Kukla's Korner Hockey
In a 3-2 loss to the Canucks. The videos tell the story...
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Asked whether Varlamov could be done for the year, the Avalanche coach responded: “I think that’s a possibility. I don’t like to speculate on that stuff. I don’t know. When the doctors and the trainers and Varly get together, they’ll come up with …”
Bednar paused and changed direction.
“We can’t put him in the net if he’s not, if it’s just going to be temporary, short-term stuff,” Bednar said. “So we have to come up with a way to make sure he’s either playing or he’s doing the right thing so he is put in a position to play a lot of games. We’re not going to know until after the all-star break what we’re doing with him.”...
“I’m saying that’s frustrating for both parties,” Bednar said. “You need your players to be able to play their best. With Varly, you guys know a lot about his history the past couple years. It’s my understanding it’s given him issues at times before. This year, for me, he comes in, he plays a couple of games, he can’t sustain it because his groin is bothering him. He comes back out, he comes back in, he can’t find a rhythm to be successful.”
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Here’s what I think is going to happen: As the March 1 trading deadline approaches, whether that means in the final weeks or the final minutes, the Avalanche will have decent — not great — offers on the table for Duchene and Landeskog.
By “not great,” I mean a package that doesn’t qualify as a mouth-dropping difference maker. A great “offer” is: Did they really offer that? To qualify as great, it would have include an eventual long-term, standout defenseman for the franchise. And more.
I’ve brought this up before, but I feel stronger about it than ever.
Then will come the acid test for Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic.
Does he make an inadequate deal for the sake of making a deal, for the appearance of doing something major to avoid leaving the impression he is fiddling while Rome burns … to the ground?
When a guy in a suit gets involved, you know a problem exists.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
"Their D group is not good enough at all,'' a Western Conference coach said via text message on Thursday.
The Avs know that. So Sakic hopes to fix it.
"I just think they will wait until the summer to figure all this out,'' said one Eastern Conference team executive.
That's very possible. There's no urgency for the Avs to make all these deals before the March 1 trade deadline. It may be that their better offers come during the offseason, when the salary cap is less of a constraint for other teams and it's easier to make bigger moves. That's why June has become the month for blockbuster deals around the NHL the last few years.
So the issue for Sakic and the Avs will be how to balance the best offers they get before March 1 with what they believe they might get come June.
The bottom line is that Sakic doesn't have to deal Landeskog, nor Duchene, if teams don't step up and meet his demands.
Nashville, TN - Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Friday that the club has acquired forward Cody McLeod from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for forward Felix Girard.
McLeod, 32 (6/26/84), has appeared in 659 games over 10 NHL seasons, all with Colorado, amassing 1,359 penalty minutes and 117 points (66g-51a). The Binscarth, Manitoba native has played in 28 games for the Avalanche this season and recorded 52 penalty minutes. He notched his first point of the season on Dec. 31 vs. the Rangers with a goal at 1:59 of the first period.
Originally signed by Colorado in 2006 as an undrafted free agent, McLeod has recorded eight fighting majors this season, fourth-most in the NHL. He led the League in fighting majors in 2015-16 with 12.
Something is rotten to the core. Much ado has been made about said core of the Avs, the under-30 group of multi-millionaires that includes Matt Duchene, Gabe Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Tyson Barrie, Semyon Varlamov and Erik Johnson. They are players that most any GM in the league would be very interested in having. For whatever reason, though, this core group has a chemistry akin to the room full of watery trash in the first Star Wars movie. It’s a toxic stew, all right.
-Adrian Dater on the Colorado Avalanche. Read more on the Avs from Dater at WoodyPaige.com.
from Lyle Richardson at The Hockey News,
During an appearance last Friday on Buffalo's WGR 550, TSN analyst Darren Dreger said GM Joe Sakic is going to have to do something to improve his club's culture. Dreger notes core players such as left winger Gabriel Landeskog or center Matt Duchene are the subject of trade speculation.
Dreger's colleague Bob McKenzie told Toronto's TSN 1050 he thinks there's a sense of urgency for the Avalanche to change something. If Sakic moves a core player, McKenzie cautions he must ensure he gets a good return. Of those players, McKenzie doubts they'll move the 21-year-old MacKinnon, who signed a seven-year, $44.1-million contract last summer.
Duchene could attract the most interest among rival GMs. Last season, he reached the 30-goal plateau for the first time. With 12 goals in 30 games this season, he's on pace to do it again. ESPN.com's Craig Custance includes the center on his “All-Trade-Candidates” team. Noting the Avs need for an impact defenseman and the Carolina Hurricanes' depth in good, young blueliners, Custance suggests Duchene could be a fit there.
from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,
So when does Joe Sakic quit?
He loves the Avalanche too much to let this go on.
The worst team in the NHL suffered a complete meltdown Thursday night, losing 6-0 to Toronto.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t frustrating right now,” said Gabe Landeskog, captain of the NHL’s worst team. “It’s probably as frustrating as it’s ever been.”
The Avs are an abomination. The low point in the team’s history? You’re looking at it.
The problem is too big to ignore, and the stink starts at the top. This is a poorly constructed hockey team, a roster that cannot win.
Watch the game highlights below...
So the test for Sakic has become: What now?
The moves that created this roster weren’t all made under Sakic’s watch. But his faith in the core hasn’t been rewarded. If anyone interprets that as trashing Duchene, for example, you’re wrong. He’s the Avs’ best player, but everything should be considered.
I’ll say this again: It’s a tightrope. Making a bad deal for the sake of “doing something” in times of desperation isn’t the way to go, either.
The “easiest” solution would be for MacKinnon to play like a “generational” No. 1 overall pick, not just the best player in one draft crop, and for the other members of the core — including Varlamov, as he did last Sunday in Toronto — to reward Sakic. It’s not their “fault” alone, but they can be the leading edge of the solution. That isn’t blaming them. It’s challenging them. They can prove us wrong.
-Terry Frei of the Denver Post where you can read more on the Avs.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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