Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Rick Sadowski at the Rocky Mountain News,
The agents for defensemen Adam Foote and Kurt Sauer have had preliminary contract talks with the Avalanche and expect to resume discussions shortly before or during the June 20-21 NHL draft.
Foote and Sauer will be eligible for unrestricted free agency on July 1.
In other not-particularly-fascinating-but-still-suggestive Avalanche news, Adrian Dater mentioned (in his Denver Post blog yesterday) that Joe Sakic has recently been spotted in a local gym. He added this note:
That has to be a good sign, right? If I had said “Joe Sakic has been seen at the all-you-can-eat Pizza Hut lunch buffet for five days straight”, that wouldn’t be such a good thing, right?
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.
more at the Avs site…
added 12:31pm, Adrian Dater at All Things Avs,
Well, so much for going with a fresh, new approach.
I’ve said it before - nothing the Avalanche does ever totally surprises me. At this point, today’s news that Tony Granato will be the head coach - again - was like the effect on me of an already electrocuted man falling into the live wire fence one more time.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Curtis Leschyshyn might be a little biased. After all, Todd McLellan — the Detroit Red Wings assistant who could become the Avalanche’s next coach — was in his wedding party.
The former Avalanche defenseman, though, can’t say enough good things about McLellan and what it would mean to the Avs if they get him.
“That would be a very wise decision by the Avalanche,” said Leschyshyn, who now is involved with the Littleton Youth Hockey Association. “He’s ready to coach in the National Hockey League. He’s a guy that didn’t ever jump into something he wasn’t prepared for. He’s made sure that, along the way, he learned and experienced what it was going to take to be successful. That’s why I think he’d be a tremendous guy for a team needing a coach.”
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Detroit assistant coach Todd McLellan came off the ice after the Red Wings’ game-morning skate Monday at the American Airlines Center and was about to step into the visiting dressing room when I, well, ambushed him.
I asked McLellan, in his third season with Detroit, if he would be interested in the Colorado coaching job, vacant since the Avalanche and Joel Quenneville parted ways Friday.
“I would be very interested,” McLellan, 40, said several hours before the Wings beat the Dallas Stars in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals. “I think right now there are a number of young coaches who have come up from the American League and have done a good job, and I consider myself one of those.”
From Bernie Lincicome at the Rocky Mountain News,
Wait. I was only kidding when I suggested Patrick Roy for the coach of the Avalanche. So, I take no credit or blame if Roy gets to stand under his own jersey hanging up there in the Pepsi Center rafters, along with those two Stanley Cup banners he helped win.
My suggestion was in keeping with the Avs’ fondness for leafing backward through their old scrapbooks. Oh, look. There’s Ray Bourque.
Why not him? Or how about Adam Deadmarsh, great name. Chris Drury, old Captain Clutch, still playing, could be a player-coach.
No, it is Roy, the only name that gets the blood up, causes conversation.
From Adrian Dater at the Denver Post,
Roy, who retired in 2003 with the Avs, has coached the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League since then. Speculation has begun that he might be ready to return to the NHL with the Avs behind the bench.
“Am I interested? Right now I am very happy in Quebec with the Remparts. I really haven’t thought about one day making the move to the NHL. Right now this is only a rumor or speculation,” Roy told RDS.
But Roy seemed to leave a little wiggle room that he might be interested.
“We’ll see what’s going to happen. Francois Giguere will certainly have a list of candidates that he would like to meet.”
Note: Reported earlier today, coach Joel Quenneville was informed his contract won’t be renewed
From the Colorado Avalanche:
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.”
Update 2:02pm ET: Previously noted on KK—Rick Sadowski at the Rocky Mountain News saw this coming yesterday.
Update 2:36pm ET: As a commenter noted below, my saying that Quenneville was fired was an inaccurate way of posting this news. In truth, his contract was up and simply not renewed.
added 4:19pm (Paul), from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
Quenneville, who won the NHL’s Jack Adams Trophy as top coach for 1999-00, will undoubtedly be in the running for bench boss openings in Ottawa, Toronto, Florida and Atlanta. He’ll almost certainly find work by the beginning of next season, as he wasn’t seen to be the primary problem with an injury-riddled roster still a couple years away from true Cup contention.
Update 7:11pm: Patrick Roy for the job, anyone?
from Rick Sadowski of the Rocky Mountain News,
I spoke with Giguere the day after the season ended and, except for saying that he’d welcome Joe Sakic back “with open arms,” wouldn’t comment specifically about any player or coach.
Frankly, I didn’t get the feeling that he was too enthusiastic about Quenneville.
No announcements have been made since then, which leads me to believe Quenneville has coached his last game for the Avalanche. His contract expires at the end of June, but I doubt Giguere will wait that long before making an official announcement.
Seems to me, if Giguere wanted Quenneville back, a new deal would already have been struck.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
The thing that makes me wonder a little more whether he’ll retire, though, is this: I wonder if Sakic was maybe a little scared by this last series, at how much better Datsyuk and Zetterberg were than him or anyone else up front on the Avs. They just zipped past anybody on the ice, including No. 19, and when a great player no longer feels he can dominate any opponent anymore, no matter who they are, they lose the thing inside that made them the best in the first place.
Wondering if Joe Sakic was “scared” is really hard to believe. Perhaps ‘has realized’, ‘the writing may be on the wall’, ‘looked a half-step behind’ would be a better fit, but one thing for sure, Sakic is not “scared”!
from Spector at Fox Sports,
Giguere has over $27 million committed to nine players for next season, giving him sufficient cap space to retain many of the aforementioned but it remains to be seen how many will fit into his plans.
The Denver media is already speculating over the possibility of Sakic retiring and questioning Forsberg’s value, Liles was the subject of trade rumors for most of the season and Theodore’s struggles against the Red Wings could jeopardize his potential re-signing.
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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