In the month (and then some) of time we've missed, there has been a blurry of activity concerning the Avalanche. This post will cover everything that we have missed.
Queneville and Avs Part Ways (May 9th)
It can't be said that this move was a surprising one. Quenville, who took over the head coaching position in 2005, could not lead the Avs to the Western Conference Finals in any of his four seasons and also lead the team to their first missed playoffs since the franchise moved to Denver. A good coach, Quenville just wasn't the right coach for Colorado
The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that Joel Quenneville will not return to coach the team next season.
“After meeting with Joel, we mutually agreed that the best decision for both parties involved is to go separate ways,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President & General Manager Francois Giguere. “On behalf of the organization, I want to thank Joel for his years of service and wish him the best in his coaching career.”
Avs Name Tony Granato Coach - Again (May 22nd)
Colorado Avalanche Executive Vice President & General Manager Francois Giguere announced today the appointment of Tony Granato as the franchise’s head coach. Granato previously served as the team’s head coach from 2002-2004.
You have to wonder what Francois Giguere is thinking with this move. While Granato has the best winning percentage out of any coach in Avalanche history, he was handed a team consisting of names like Sakic, Forsberg, Hejduk, Tanguay, Kariya, Blake, Selanne, and Foote, yet he failed to go anywhere in the playoffs. Going even further, he was responsible for the dreadful power play this season, something which could have caused him to get fired, not hired.
There were better candidates out there, including Pat Burns, Pat Quinn, and former Sharks coach Ron Wilson. Giguere could have waited a few more weeks and he would have had the chance to hire former Lightning coach John Tortorella.
Rumors had been flying prior to the move that Patrick Roy could be in line for the job, but he stated that he wanted to keep coaching the Quebec Ramparts until his son was done. Because that could be as early as next year, it wouldn't be a stretch to think that Roy could be an assistant with either the Canadiens or the Avalanche in 2009.
On the positive side, Granato is someone all of the players know well. After being demoted from head coach in 2004, TG stuck with team as an assistant coach and has developed a relationship with many of the veterans.
Jaroslav Hlinka Signs in Sweden
The Czech scoring star will not be back in the NHL next season. Hlinka never really found his niche in the North American game, registering 8 goals and 20 assists in 63 games in his rookie year. He played just one game in the playoffs. All the best to him.
Avs Sign Peltier
The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that it has signed defenseman Derek Peltier to an entry-level contract.
Colorado’s fifth selection (sixth round, 184th overall) in the 2004 Entry Draft, Peltier (pronounced Pell-TEER) played four seasons at the University of Minnesota (WCHA). He served as the Gophers’ captain in 2007-08, appearing in all 45 games. The Plymouth, Minn., native led the Gophers defense in scoring this past season with 21 points (4g/17a).
Peltier sounds like a guy who will be filling out the minor league club this season. On a team that already features six or seven established NHL players and names like Cumiskey, Williams, and Boychuk already in late development stages, we probably won't be seeing Peltier on the ice this season.
Avs Acquire Sertich
The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that it has acquired forward Marty Sertich from the Dallas Stars organization in exchange for a conditional draft choice in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Sertich, 25, has spent the past two seasons with the Iowa Stars of the American Hockey League. He led Iowa in scoring during the 2007-08 season with 52 points (27g/25a) in 79 games. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound center also led the Stars in goals and power-play goals (9).
Another small center in the Avalanche organization, I can't see Seritch fitting into the roster this season. If Sakic and Arnason come back, I highly doubt Sertich will play before Guite, Hensick, or Stastny. Once again, consider this a minor league signing.
Rumor: Avs Sign Per Ledin
Reported on the Avs board with Swedish tabloids as a source, the Avalanche have apparently signed a Swedish energy player by the name of Per Ledin. However, the Avs have not confirmed the signing.
It's been an interesting off-sesaon thus far. In my next post, we'll look ahead to tomorrow's draft, as well as hand out the 2007-2008 AF Awards.