Once again, thank you all for submitting questions for the mailbag. I couldn’t answer them all, but keep them coming every week.
Is Bigras going to crack the Avs lineup this season?— Meeshie (@Hardycharchar) July 6, 2017
I suspect that Bigras is going to come to camp with every opportunity to grab a spot on the left side of the blueline. With the status of Nikita Zadorov still up in the air, it’s hard to say exactly where Bigras sits on the depth chart, but he is probably 3rd or 4th among LD. Expect the final spot on the blue line to come down to Bigras and Duncan Siemens.
Has Duchene been traded yet?— NATional PLAMpoon (@natplamondon) July 6, 2017
I wish. That would give us something to write about through this slow time. I still think that Duchene will be moved this summer, it’s just a matter of when. It seems like the optimal time to move Duchene has passed, which leads some to believe that he will be back with the Avs next season - I don't buy it. It’s worth remembering that back in 2012, Avs Assistant GM Chris MacFarland - then with the Columbus Blue Jackets - traded away Rick Nash on July 23rd, so there is a precedent for this kind of wait.
Both the team and player sound like they are ready to move on, it’s just a matter of where and when Duchene gets traded.
Realistic expectations of Mironov and Yakupov?— Cody (@audioveins) July 6, 2017
I loved the Nail Yakupov signing. The Avs are in the position that they can take a gamble on a player that has the raw skill that Yakupov possesses. There is zero risk to bringing in the former first overall draft pick and with this likely being his last chance in the NHL, my bet is that Yakupov impresses.
I expect the winger to play in the Avs top-9 and if he is given the opportunity, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him exceed his career high of 33 points.
As far as Mironov goes, I suspect he will play the vast majority of the season in San Antonio as he gets accustomed to playing and living in North America.
Can you provide an outsider's perspective of the Avs (just in general) and how you think they'll do in 17-18?— Bradford Christensen (@Drofdarb23) July 6, 2017
Honestly, after spending the past two weeks educating myself with a crash course on the organization, it seems like quite the disaster. With that said, not all is lost. The team does have a number of high-end players that have established themselves as NHLers in addition, Rantanen, Jost and Makar provide a prospect group that many organizations would love to have. With that said, it’s fairly evident that Joe Sakic is a little over his head when it comes to building a successful NHL team. As someone in his early 30s that has spent three decades cheering for the Toronto Maple Leafs, I know what suffering is and last season couldn’t have been fun for Avs fans.
I think that next season, you will see a big jump in the point total and a bunch of players looking far more impressive, though I still expect them to be near the bottom of the league and looking towards the draft lottery for the last month or two of the season.
On the bright side, it couldn’t possibly get worse...right?