Friday, July 31, 2009

Avs Forum Dead

Big government is at it again!

The official Colorado Avalanche message board has finally closed as all NHL team forums are being consolidated at www.fans.nhl.com.

Though I hadn't posted on the boards in over two years, I managed to make over five thousand posts from March 2004 to Summer 2007. My username on the site, avslova, was the inspiration for this blog's name.

RIP Avalanche Message Board

I hardly knew ya.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Whining About The Schedule

30 teams. 82 games per team.

For what seems like the third or fourth time in the past six years, I will be unable to attend an Avalanche game because the NHL did not schedule an Avs-Flyers game in Philadelphia.

Who cares?

I do.

You should, too.

How pissed are fans in other cities that will be unable to watch Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, or Matt Duchene? (Too soon? Probably.)

The NHL wants to sell the game, but by not guaranteeing that every team plays in every city, they are not giving ans total access to some of its best players. Want to market the surging Blackhawks? Allow fans from every NHL city to see them live. Want to fill seats? Let Avalanche fans watch the Bruins instead of the Wild.

It's also ridiculous to not realize that there are fans of teams living in other cities than the team itself. I won't be able to watch Paul Stastny this season (except on Center Ice) because the NHL wants the Islanders in the Wachovia Center a bazillion times. Exciting.

No Avs for me this year.

A crime.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Farewell, Super Joe



Super Joe, Burnaby Joe, No Ordinary Joe, Quoteless Joe, Captain Clutch, Joe Sakic.

No matter what name you knew him by, Joe Sakic will forever remain one of the greatest hockey players to ever grace the NHL.

______

My first Sakic-related memory dates backs to the mid-90s. I was at a sports store in a mall in New Jersey and my parents finally decided to buy me my first Avalanche jersey. The man at the store only had two available - Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic. Though I couldn't have gone wrong with either, I made my choice with only the slightest hesitation. Sakic it was.

I still have that jersey, and I actually sent it in to Frozen Pond to be autographed by Sakic. It has become one of my most valued possessions.

Growing up just outside of Philadelphia, I didn't have the opportunity to watch many Avalanche games. Instead, I relied on The Hockey News to follow the team. The more I read about Joe, the more I liked him.

He was talented and humble. The perfect combination for an athlete.

Since 1998, I have not missed an Avalanche-Flyers game in Philadelphia. Joe is a huge reason for that. I never realized what I had witnessed until he officially announced his retirement on Thursday. We all hear stories about Bobby Orr and Gordie Howe. In 20 years, those stories will be about Joe Sakic.

Who will ever forget the '96 Final and his 18-playoff goals?

Who will ever forget his penalty shot against the Blues in the 2001 Conference Finals?

Who will ever forget his handing the Cup to Raymond Bourque?

Who will ever forget the 2002 Olympic Final?

What about his record 8 Playoff overtime goals? What about the fact that he's 8th on the all-time scoring list? What about his fight against Gilmour or his class against the once-hated Wings?

Remember the time he knocked down Scott Stevens? Or the season when he became the oldest player to record 100 points? How about his now-legendary wrist shot?

______

Sakic's legacy won't simply be that he was an unbelievable scorer. He will be remembered as one of the most respected players in the game. In terms of value to a franchise - over the last 20 years - Sakic may only be matched by Steve Yzerman. But even Stevey Y didn't change hockey in Detroit as much as Sakic did in Denver.

______

Now that Sakic has retired, a new era of Avalanche hockey will begin. Sakic's number 19 will be retired on the opening night of the '09-'10 season, and if my hunch turns out to be correct, the Avs will wait a year before naming a new captain.

Will anyone ever replace Joe Sakic? Absolutely not. He was a once-in-a-lifetime player. A true legend. A great role model.

Thank you, Super Joe. My love for hockey is all thanks to you.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Retired



I have a long tribute post coming tomorrow. This is a very tough day. Sakic was my first "favorite" athlete, and he was the main reason that hockey became such an appealing sport to me.

I'll miss Joe for what he did on the ice, and the example he set for me off of it.

More tomorrow.

Thanks Joe. An unbelievable career.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

SAKIC LIKELY TO RETIRE THURSDAY [TSN, Denver Post]

Thursday could be the day that a true hockey legend calls it a career.

Denver Post
The news that Avalanche fans had hoped never to hear is nevertheless official: Joe Sakic has decided to retire from the Avalanche.

The Denver Post has confirmed that the Avalanche captain will retire Thursday at a 1 p.m. press conference at Inverness Hotel.
TSN
After 20 NHL seasons, Colorado Avalanche forward Joe Sakic may be ready to hang up his skates.

The Avalanche have called a news conference for Thursday at 3pm et/12pm pt, where according to local reports they will announce Sakic's retirement.
Obviously, more comment on Thursday.

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

AVS TRADE RYAN SMYTH TO KINGS



Adrian Dater, according to TSN's Darren Dreger, reports that the Avs have traded Ryan Smyth to the Los Angeles Kings for defensemen Kyle Quincey and Tom Preissing, along with a 5th-round draft pick.
Dater

It's 2:39 am in Philadelphia and I just happened to check the Avalanche blogs before going to bed. Crazy news.

Bits of Dater's article:
Not sure any of you believed me when I wrote the other day that Kroenke is INTENT on shedding payroll, but maybe after this trade you will believe it more. Hannan, Clark or Salei should be the next domino to fall, at some point…
Assuming that Preissing and Quincey are being brought to the Avalanche to play, that means one or both of the three guys listed above will be gone before the season begins. It could also mean that Kyle Cumiskey doesn't get his shot in the NHL.

(Kyle) Quincey had BACK SURGERY in April. That is one reason why the Avs told me tonight this deal is NOT OFFICIAL until the players pass a physical -
Ugh. So the Avs learned nothing from the Jordan Leopold saga. Trading for injury-proned defensemen is not a good idea.

Preissing? Totally awful year last year. You can look at it a couple ways: he was part of a terrible organization last year and things didn’t work out, and he’s really much better than that. Or, he’s well on the downward slope.
I'm inclined to believe that Preissing's terrible play was due more to the terrible play of the Kings as a whole. We saw how many Avalanche players truly stunk last year. It could be the same with Preissing. Still - not encouraging words to read.

Like I wrote before, Stan Kroenke is of the belief that this team needs to be dismantled and put back together through youngsters via trade and the draft. Yeah, there might be a forward picked up in the coming days, but don’t count on anybody like Dany Heatley.
Dater also added earlier that the replacement wouldn't be Dany Heatley.

Who is still out there that plays left wing? Kyle Calder? (Gross.) Stephane Veilleux? (Boring.) Bates Battaglia? (Please, never again.)

Do the Avs try to sign an RFA? Nikolai Zherdev? (Weak.) Benoit Pouliot? (Not worth it.)

I'm kind of pissed that the Avs couldn't squeeze a guy like Frolov or Williams for the man they call "Captain Canada,"

____________

With absolutely no depth on the left side, one must assume that the Avs are counting on Stastny-Sakic as the top two centers with Wolski playing left wing on the top line. Though many have assumed Wolski would get the chance to start the season as center, a ridiculous lack-of-depth will probably make that impossible.

There's an another possibility of Sakic moving to the wing, and having a Stastny-Duchene 1-2 punch down the middle. Unlikely, but possible.

Though Ryan Smyth never lived up to his huge contract, he was consistently the hardest working Av for the past two seasons. He never took a night off, and if he had been used properly - that is, in front of the net while the defenseman took shots from the point - I'm convinced that he would have had an even bigger impact on the team.

His 6.250 million dollar cap hit comes off the Avalanche books, but Quincey and Preissing bring a combined 3.275.

The Avs still have to sign Joe Sakic (and there is every indication that Joe will return for a 21st season) and if Dater is correct, the Avs will still cut more salary in the process.

The current depth chart now looks like:

Jones - Stastny - Hejduk
Galiardi - Wolski - Svatos
Tucker - Hensick - Stewart
McLeod - Willsie - Koci

Liles-Hannan
Clark-Foote
Salei-Quincey
Preissing
Cumiskey

Anderson
Budaj

I'm not sure who is going to score, and I'm not sure who is going to play left wing, and I'm not sure who is going to play center.

I am, however, 100% that Ryan Smyth is no longer an Av. The Francois Giguere era has come to a screeching halt and the Greg Sherman/Rebuilding era has officially begun.
______

Now that the analysis is done, let me be honest....

THIS SUCKS.

We're getting rid of a guy who actually played with some heart. We're getting rid of a guy who was one of the only men to perform (cue the "that's what she said" joke.) We're getting rid of a guy who didn't complain about playing on a terrible team. We're getting rid of a guy who played through pain, who played with tenacity, who played the game with respect.

Trade Svatos. Trade Clark. Trade Hannan.

Don't trade Ryan Smyth.

We sign David Koci and then we trade trade Ryan Smyth. Really?

Most GMs want to sell tickets.
No Lappy. No Smyth. This team will be as boring as last year's in both performance and media.

Damn it.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Haha - Rangers Sign Tyler Arnason

It's official - Tyler Arnason is no longer a member of the Colorado Avalanche.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Check out the positive spin of the signing on the New York Rangers website.

In addition, Arnason has recorded two career hat tricks, and was selected to the 2003 NHL All-Rookie Team following his first full season with Chicago.


When a player's only career highlights are a couple of hat tricks and an All-Rookie Team selection, it probably means the player sucks.

Arnason will always be remembered as one of the most hated Avs of all time.

Good luck on your new team, Arnie.

Good bye and good night.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Avs Sign David Koci

The Avs just signed David Koci to a 1-year, $575,000 deal.

Koci is a left winger who played 33 games for Tampa Bay last year. He had two points, was a +3, and had 132 penalty minutes.

This is likely a deal to help fill up the Monsters.

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Ian Laperriere signed by Philadelphia

3 years / 1.17 million per season.

A freaking disgrace.

There's absolutely no reason why the Avs shouldn't have signed him.

Living in Philadelphia, Laperriere is going to be closer, but he feels much further away.

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Avalanche Sign Craig Anderson

The Avs clearly read this blog.

Ok, maybe not...but it was still an excellent decision by Greg Sherman & Co to go out and sign a solid goaltender for a reasonable price.

TSN's Free Agent Tracker lists the deal as being two years for 3.6 million.

More news throughout the day.

Avs still have over 9 million to spend.

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