It’s about to hit that point in the offseason where it really is best for everyone if we just put our phones away, delete the NHL app for the next few weeks, and actually spend some time in the sun soaking up the summer.
The months between the throes of free agency and the start of training camp really are peak offseason. Players aren’t really getting traded, teams aren’t really releasing news, and even baseball shuts down for a week for the All Star break. Pretty much the only thing on TV is ping pong tournament re-runs.
For now, though, there’s still at least a little bit of new activity to sort through.
For the Avalanche, that news has come in the form of some updates on their AHL affiliate, the Colorado Eagles, for the upcoming season.
First, the team released their 2018-19 regular season schedule. As was confirmed at the end of the year, they’ll play the Tucson Roadrunners an absolutely insane 12 times (and then not play roughly half of the league at all, but who’s counting anyway?) and get to square off against the Chicago Wolves on Opening Night. [Mile High Hockey]
Of course, the real dirt came on Thursday, when it was first rumored - then eventually confirmed - that the team had brought on Greg Cronin as head coach of the AHL affiliate for the upcoming season. [MHH]
Cronin earned the ire of some Islanders fans over his tenure with the club for being what they described as ‘behind the modern game’, and it’s worth it as a hockey fan to do your due diligence and read their case for those concerns to get all sides of the argument. [Lighthouse Hockey]
As still-optimistic fans of a team trending in the right direction, though (read: not Islanders fans), there’s always the hope that Cronin is open to making some changes to his mentality now that he’s on board with an organization that has an actual analytics whiz kid on staff (sup, Arik, hope you’re reading!).
At the NHL level, things have remained relatively quiet for the Avs, although they did manage to lock up Matt Nieto to a nice new two-year contract. [MHH]
If you want to know what we think about some other random offseason things, here’s a look at Mile High Hockey’s most recent mailbag, along with both Part One and Part Two of the site’s roundtable from this past week.
In some offseason fun, it looks like PK Subban is living his absolute best life:
Side observation: I, apparently, am NOT a fashion icon, because I’m confused about a lot of this. Live and let live, I guess.
Outside of Colorado, the Arizona Coyotes managed to snag a middle six winger and a seventh defender from the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, taking on the contract of Marian Hossa and a third round pick in the process while sending back a decent upside prospect, a veteran AHL defender, a decent-upside AHL center, and... former Blackhawk Marcus Kruger, making him roughly the 8,000th former Blackhawk that Bowman has brought back into the fold after initially trading him away.
But I guess that since they’ve finally moved on from Jeremy Morin, we can count it as a step in the right direction: