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Discussion Starter #1
So I suppose it falls to me to make some sort of speech (crowd boos), quiet you, here goes:

Following the Avs of the last season has been an exercise in, among other things, fidelity. With only a few exceptions, the majority of the games played by Colorado before the trade deadline lacked serious character -- grit, spunk, moxie, chutzpah, whatever you call it, the Avalanche weren't showing it and were content to win games on talent and luck while losing games by being outworked. Losing is obviously an inevitability but there's no shame in losing after putting forth your best effort. Sadly, for most of the season the team didn't even remotely put forth their best effort, content to win a game, lose a game, win two games, lose two games, win three games, lose three games, et cetera, until they were playing straight .500 hockey with no hope of breaking said cycle of mediocrity. Scoring soft goals, allowing soft goals, shying away from hits, rolling over on bottom-feeders, content to just end the game regardless of the outcome.

The essence of fandom isn't entertainment or glory or supremacy, but pride; the idea that as a fan you are no less part of the team than the players or coaches or management. That by cheering at games or buying a hat or just generating ad revenue by watching TV you've helped the team, and that they couldn't achieve their successes without you. But for much of the season, pride by the fans seemed almost trivial. Why have pride in a team that has no pride in themselves? How should a fan relate to a consistant lack of serious effort? How can we cheer for players who only want to pick up a paycheck?

Whatever happened around the trade deadline -- maybe just shipping out May and bringing in Parker -- somehow revolutionalized the team. It's not that they started winning (a nice byproduct however), but that the team as a whole began to work in unison to make the playoffs. Just simple things like hustling to loose pucks, finishing checks, going hard to the net, diving in front of pucks, etc, something changed and as a result the team started working hard, and subsequently they gained the pride it took to make a March playoff drive that's probably one of the best in NHL history. Whats more, the Avs could've packed it in at any time in the last month, but they didn't stop working hard; even in games they lost the team put forth a tremendous effort, and kept fighting until they dropped. They reminded me why I'm a fan, not just of the Avalanche, but of hockey itself. They reminded me why I love the sport, and so long as they play the game, I'll be cheering along, win or lose.

There's no doubt in my mind that next season's team won't be putting up 14-1-2 streaks, but if they keep playing with heart and character (clichés, I know, but they apply), they won't be on the outside looking in come 2008. Also, the cap will do more help than harm to the Avs next season, which brings me to the nuts and bolts of the team.

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Brunette (1.6) -- C -- Wolski (.86)
LW -- Stastny (.7) -- Hejduk (4)
LW -- C -- RW (Laperriere option at 1.06)
LW -- Richardson (.6) -- RW

Forwards: $7.8 million committed

D -- Liles (1.4)
Clark (1.5) -- Skrastins (2.4)
D -- D

Defense: $5.3 million committed

Theodore (6)
Budaj (.7)

Goaltenders: $6.7 million committed

Current 07/08 cap hit: ~$20 million

Players, performance, Phish's random armchair GM musings:

UFAs

-Sakic: what more needs to be said? Joe's the franchise and he can write his own paycheck. I'd expect another one year deal for roughly the same amount. Even though Sakic played like a $10 million player, I doubt he'll ask for a raise, but even so, with considerable cap room, he'll probably be signed to somewhere around 6 million.

-McLean: B-mac's had another solid year by any account. Shuffled around on various lines, he played suprisingly well with Stastny and Hejduk, even though half the time he seemed to be by himself scoring or setting up goals. That his assist count dwindled isn't overly worrisome, but if he plays center for the next season full time, he's going to take some heat if his wingers' goal productions drop. In any event, he's earned a raise; previously earning 750K, a contract of $4-5 million over three years is a good deal for both parties.

-Arnason: As a fairly consistant 50 point producer for less than a million, Arnason certainly proved to a cheap third-line scorer and an excellent pickup by FG. His defensive game needs work and for some reason he can't score worth jack on powerplays, but I imagine his next contract is worth around $1.5-2 million. That having been said, I don't think the Avs will shell out that much for him, while another team will be more than willing to.

-Turgeon: He's still not Peter Forsberg, and if for some reason he doesn't retire after this season, I can't see why the Avs would keep him. Although he produced suprisingly well in the short period of time he played this season, it's painfully clear that it's time for him to hang up his skates. Unless he can miraculously reconnect last season's chemistry with Svatos, his career is basically over. It's pretty sad to see a guy who was once one of the better players in the league finish on long-term IR, but maybe he can somehow squeak into the Hall of Fame. Whatever happens, his $1.5 million is off the books.

-Laperriere: Lappy's production this season is most likely a better indicator of his skill than last season (8 goals versus 21), but if Parker stays for another season, it means that Laperriere has less pressure put on him to fight and can put more effort into providing secondary scoring. Considering his versatility and leadership, it's fairly obvious that the Avs will pick up his option for at least one more year.

-Guite: solid depth move. Guite might be a career AHLer but in his limited time in the NHL he's proven to be a very smart defensive forward and penalty-killer. Even if he only scores five goals and ten points in a full season, his value at minimum wage is a good balance. I imagine the Avs give him a slight raise, but probably not much more than 500-750K per year.

-Rycroft: I'm not overly impressed by Rycroft (mostly due to the maddening number of open nets he missed), but if he stays with the team I won't complain. At half a million he could be re-signed on the cheap, although other teams might make if a better offer. If they do, let him walk.

-Parker: I won't pretend that Parker somehow willed this team to make a playoff run, but since his acquisition the team's stats speak for themselves. I imagine he's only on the roster as a marketing ploy, but, as said before, if he can take on Laperriere's enforcer roles, he might be worth his salary.

-Brisebois: Doomed to most likely end his career like Turgeon, Brisebois looks to be out permanently. In my opinion he isn't nearly as bad as some make him out to be, but his $3 million salary could be put to better uses. In any event, it can be now.

-Klee: I doubted Klee's abilities at the start and was quickly proven wrong. I honestly cannot remember a bad game from Klee, and given Clark's lukewarm play of late, I'd say Klee was the Avs best defenseman last season; consistant, reliable, and even capable of putting points on the board. I'd like to see him back next season, but considering how close he sounded to retirement at the beginning of the season, who knows what happens next. Luckily, considering he lives in Colorado, if he doesn't play for the Avs, he doesn't play for anyone. Hopefully a contract for as much as $2 million could convince him to return for at least one more go.

-Vaananen: Toward the conclusion of the season Vanny was given a benching for reasons I'm not sure of. He still takes terrible penalties at bad moments, but his physical presence and shutdown abilities are still prevalent. At age 26 he should be coming into his own and it would be wise for the Avs to hold onto him, but I think they'll let him walk due to Finger being ready for his spot.

-Theodore: What more can be said? If he can't be moved by draft day, buy out his contract; and considering the prospects that would have to be shipped out to facilitate the trade, just buy him out. Considering the same will happen in Montreal to Aebischer and Samsonov (who was acquired the money freed up by the trade), the trade is looking more like a wash now, even though it hurt both teams.

RFAs

-Svatos: Call it a sophmore slump or whatever you wish, last season's production was underwhelming. Svatos could be traded, sent down, re-signed, any one of half a dozen scenarios. His future is up in the air.

-McCormick: Unless Rycroft walks, I can't see McCormick cracking the roster next season, except as an injury call-up. Whatever promise he showed previously has evaporated, and his position on the team with it.

-Leopold: Everything else aside, Leopold played very well in his (limited) time with the team, offensively and defensively. Blaming him for the team's situation because of Tanguay/injuries/whatever is neither fair nor rational nor even accurate. If the Avs are smart, they should sign him for as long as possible; price is not an issue for a defenseman who'll be #1 in a very short time.

-Sauer: I'm just not sure anymore what Sauer's best role with the Avs is. I've seen him completely control games and I've seen him completely blow games. My only hope is that if he is re-signed, it won't be for more than a million.

-Finger: Adapting very well to suddenly playing 15 minutes a night at the NHL level. Although he gets bumped down to the AHL quickly when Leopold returns, Finger could have a future with the Avs down the road.

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I imagine the following probably happens:

-Sakic, McLean, Laperriere, Guite, Parker, Svatos are re-signed, each with a moderate raise; Arnason and Rycroft walk; Laaksonen and McCormick renew AHL contracts
-Leopold, Klee, and Sauer are re-signed with various raises; Vaananen walks, Finger renews an AHL contract
-Theodore is bought out

So we have the following:

Bruno - Sakic - Wolski
FA - Stastny - Hejduk
FA - McLean - Laperriere
Guite - Richardson - Svatos
Parker, Laaksonen, Hensick, Stewart

Leopold - Liles
Skrastins - Clark
FA - Klee
Sauer, Cumiskey

Budaj
FA

I've been kicking around several ideas with this lineup, the first of which is that with some shuffling there's little need to acquire some hefty, big-name forward. I still maintain that Wolski is best used as a center (he looks lost on the topline anyway, and has no chemistry whatsoever with Bruno and Sakic); putting him on the third line would limit his ice time, but would similarly take the shutdown defenders off his rear. Give him Svatos to finish his plays, and see what happens. Likewise, Laperriere played on the top line last season in the brief period when Hejduk was injured and before Svatos started scoring hat-tricks against Kipprusoff, and looked comfortable playing with Sakic; his lack of speed wouldn't be an issue because neither Sakic nor Bruno are overly fast skaters (although Sakic can still put on the jets when he has to). Put McLean back on the second line and we have a top nine something as such:

Bruno - Sakic - Lappy
B-Mac - Stastny - Hejduk
FA - Wolski - Svatos

Which looks pretty good, especially down the center. However, the Avs still need to sign a winger if Arnason leaves; Blake out of NYI could be a solid fit especially if the Isles push to resign Smyth. Arkhipov or Ponikarovsky are also IMO worth tossing an offer sheet at, partially because of their kick-ass names, partially because they play a good two-way game. However, with an offense that was second-best in the conference, I don't expect FG to spend much time or money on improving fowards. I'd expect the goal tally to be roughly the same for next season; while Sakic's production will probably drop 10-15 points, Wolski and Svatos will more than likely rebound and pick up the slack.

Onto defense. If the current defense corps can stay healthy, it's good enough as is, but there's no guarantees and an upgrade or two might not hurt. Most of the stud UFAs (Hannan, Regher, Markov) will most likely be resigned by their team, and I'd expect FG to go fishing and dredge up another pearl out of the muck like Klee. The defensive pool will most likely be shallower than last season, so what happens in the next months is anyone's guess.

And onto goaltending. I think the best UFA on the market is Backstrom out of Minnesota, which means that A) the Avs will hopefully make a pitch for him, B) so will a dozen other teams, and C) the bidding war will escalate quickly. Of course, if Minnesota can unload Fernandez, they might keep Backstrom for themselves. My second preference is Norrena from Columbus, who has proven to be a dependable big-game goalie, and with a contract that's creating friction with Leclaire's. The rest of the names are vastly lower in quality; Cujo, Esche, Lalime. Hopefully FG jumps on this horse first, because the Avs need a good platoon goaltender to share 30-40 games with Budaj next season, or they're just spinning their wheels.

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And to conclude a hugely long post, I think it's only fair to say that every team has to rebuild, and if the Avs can rebuild without totally tanking the season, more power to them. Can Stastny, Wolski, Liles, Leopold, Budaj, and Hensick/Stoa/Stewart do for this franchise what Sakic, Forsberg, Foote, and Roy did?



We get to find out soon.
 

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Well, I'm not new to the HF, but I've finally signed up instead of just reading all the posts. So here's my first.

I think that Drury is most definitely a good fit back here, given that we will most likely need someone to fill the captaincy void in a year or two. IMO, Stastny showed alot of poise this last season under pressure, and could become our next long term "C". I do think we will need an interim captain though, and his face off skill and scoring prowess will definitely fit to what we're looking for this offseason. One question remains though, (aside from NYR's interest in him) On what line would we play him? First and second lines seem pretty shored up at center, and I don't think we can play him (happily) at third. Stastny gives us too much productivity to move him to a wing or the third line also.

I would love to see Drury back, but maybe someone has already played out a better position scenario in their head.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome to the boards.:)

I'll be the first one to say that I'd love Drury back, but I don't see it happening either. The consensus is that Buffalo "can't sign both Drury and Briere" but without Biron on the payroll and depending on if they renew Numminen to a lower contract (or don't renew his services at all), it's possible for the Sabres to keep them both. Even then, there are plenty of teams in need of depth at center/leadership/playoff performances more so than the Avs, and Drury could command as much as $7 million on the open market -- which would easily take up half the remaining cap space the Avs would have after signing UFAs, all without upgrading goaltending or defense.

Combined with how PL traded him out of town I'd say it's very doubtful Drury returns, although his position as a top six forward isn't wholly in question. Considering that McLean may not be resigned with Hensick and Burki capable of making next season's roster, Drury could take the role of the second-line LW next to Stastny and Hejduk. He played on Foppa's wing for most of his time in Colorado and was only shifted to center when Sakic or Forsberg went down with an injury.

In any event it's all pure speculation because pretty much anyone can end up anywhere. However, if Giguere wants to upgrade the forwards, I'd prefer he brings in natural winger(s) to complement the depth at center; as Wolski, McLean, Arnason, and Laperriere are all centers shifted to wing out of necessity.
 

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There is not a winger as of now that I want more than Ryan Smyth. I think he'd be a great asset and really balance out the lines.

Im not concerned about our offense, it's the goaltending and defense. Bring in Scott Hannon before you bring in anyone, we need a shut down defensemen that we so desperately needed since the days of Adam Foote.

As for a goaltender, im thinking that Backstrom may not like a backup position and im feeling it more than ever that Budaj will be our starter. Maybe we'd be better off picking up a regular backup goaltender, except im not quite to sure who's on the open market.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The problem I have with Smyth is the same problem I have with Hannan (and, to an extent, Drury), they're considered the best player at their position available at free agency so damn near every team is going to be throwing money at them. Look no further than last season when the bidding war on the best available defensemen got Chara and Jovonovski $7 million each, neither of whom are worth anywhere near that much.

The consensus amongst armchair GMs is that you have to overpay for the best, and while I'd willingly overpay a guy like Kipprusoff or Pronger or Ovechkin, the talent level available this offseason is nowhere near the status of "can't pay too much", if you follow my meaning. I'd rather see Klee and Vaananen re-signed for about $3 million total and have some cap space for the trade deadline than see the Avs throw $5 million at Hannan, better defenseman though he be. If there's one sin this franchise is ever guilty of, it's putting all their eggs in one basket. Luckily FG thinks like an accountant and I don't see it happening.

Throwing some more names out there, yay or nay them:

-Sykora's a UFA, one of the best but quietest names on the market. 20 goals and 50 points with 2/3rds of Smyth and an injured Hemsky. His last contract was for less than $3 million, could possibly be had for just a little more, and could plug him anywhere on the team.

-Amonte's contract is up, he'd be a solid fit with Bruno and Joe on the top line. Sure he's slow but speedy players like Wolski and Svatos didn't work well with them anyway. His size could work well to clear up space...yes, he's about to turn 36, but he's not a 400-goal scorer for nothing. Could be gotten for cheap.

-Handzus wants something like $4 million, but after sitting around for all of July fifth wondering why nobody has given him a contract, he could come around for half of that. Imagine him, Lapperiere, and Guite all banging bodies in resonance...

-Berard...yeah, I know he took steroids, maybe that makes me a hypocrite, I don't know. But, he's big, hits like a freight train, can even play on man advantages. The Avs could pick him up for probably a million or less.

-Pock out of the Rangers is a UFA. His stats aren't overly impressive, but he's young, and considering Staal and Sanguanti are moving up the charts...perhaps FG could pull a quickie.

-Weaver from the Kings was only a -4 on one of the worst +/- teams in the league (combined -223). He's even smaller than Liles but has good speed. Make no mistake, he's a bottom-pair defenseman, but for league minimum could be a good pickup.

-Aubin in Toronto...no, he's not my first choice either, we all know which goalie from the Wild I'm high as a kite on...but if that doesn't work out, the team has to look at alternatives, bleak though they are. If the Leafs want to rush Pogge to the NHL, that leaves Aubin looking for a new home. He played badly this season, but last season went 9-0, perhaps worth throwing the dice on.

Just some names to mull over. I've also been wondering whether management is willing to avoid any splashes on the market to plug in some prospects to the team. Hensick is ready for the NHL right freaking now, Stewart and Burki could make it as injury call-ups. On defense it's slim; I don't see Montgomery making it for another season or two but Finger and Cumiskey played well in their limited times. Last but not least Colorado's AHL affiliate next season should have an interesting goalie drama if both Wall and Wieman don't make it out of training camp.
 

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-Sykora's a UFA, one of the best but quietest names on the market. 20 goals and 50 points with 2/3rds of Smyth and an injured Hemsky. His last contract was for less than $3 million, could possibly be had for just a little more, and could plug him anywhere on the team.

-Amonte's contract is up, he'd be a solid fit with Bruno and Joe on the top line. Sure he's slow but speedy players like Wolski and Svatos didn't work well with them anyway. His size could work well to clear up space...yes, he's about to turn 36, but he's not a 400-goal scorer for nothing. Could be gotten for cheap.

-Handzus wants something like $4 million, but after sitting around for all of July fifth wondering why nobody has given him a contract, he could come around for half of that. Imagine him, Lapperiere, and Guite all banging bodies in resonance...






-Aubin in Toronto...no, he's not my first choice either, we all know which goalie from the Wild I'm high as a kite on...but if that doesn't work out, the team has to look at alternatives, bleak though they are. If the Leafs want to rush Pogge to the NHL, that leaves Aubin looking for a new home. He played badly this season, but last season went 9-0, perhaps worth throwing the dice on.

I'd like to see Aubin. He's a good goalie, definatley able to play big games if needed, could fill starting job if Budaj gets injured. IMO, I would like to see him come over, he's a good goalie, and could come for under a million.

Handzus for 2 Mill would be great here, play with Lappy, and could fight and score.

Amonte: I don't know, if he come for cheap why not, but I don't wanna spend a lot of money on this guy, he could play great with Sakic and Bruno.

Sykora: I don't have a clue.

I agree with Dill, I'd love to see Smyth over here, in a Avs uniform, he's a great palyer, but could got for the league max.
 

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Throwing some more names out there, yay or nay them:

-Sykora's a UFA, one of the best but quietest names on the market. 20 goals and 50 points with 2/3rds of Smyth and an injured Hemsky. His last contract was for less than $3 million, could possibly be had for just a little more, and could plug him anywhere on the team.
I also agree. Quiet and often overlooked name, can come quite cheap, and willing to play almost anywheres. Stick him on a line with Stastny and that would be a speedy combination. Sykora the finisher, Stastny the set up man, nice site to watch.

-Amonte's contract is up, he'd be a solid fit with Bruno and Joe on the top line. Sure he's slow but speedy players like Wolski and Svatos didn't work well with them anyway. His size could work well to clear up space...yes, he's about to turn 36, but he's not a 400-goal scorer for nothing. Could be gotten for cheap.
I wouldn't want him.

Amonte's career is going down like Jeremy Roenick's did. He's not the player he use to be, and not first line material. If we did sign him, I would only want him there if he was under 1.2 mill. Only be useful on the third line with Lappy really.

-Handzus wants something like $4 million, but after sitting around for all of July fifth wondering why nobody has given him a contract, he could come around for half of that. Imagine him, Lapperiere, and Guite all banging bodies in resonance...
Depends on how much he wants. He never played last season, wants 4 million, sounds like a problem to me. If he is wanting 4 million after not playing, im kind of sketchy of how he is in the dressing room. 2.5 Mill would be my highest bid.

-Berard...yeah, I know he took steroids, maybe that makes me a hypocrite, I don't know. But, he's big, hits like a freight train, can even play on man advantages. The Avs could pick him up for probably a million or less.
Him and Liles would actually not be that bad of a PP unit to watch. He can play defense both ways, and I found his career went to shambles after Hossa high sticked him. Nobody can play well on Columbus. I'd give him a fair shot.

-Pock out of the Rangers is a UFA. His stats aren't overly impressive, but he's young, and considering Staal and Sanguanti are moving up the charts...perhaps FG could pull a quickie.
Don't know much on him except he is more of an offensive defensemen and his career is in the minuses. Doesn't seem to take many penalties although. I would rather see a defensive defensemen than Pock.

-Weaver from the Kings was only a -4 on one of the worst +/- teams in the league (combined -223). He's even smaller than Liles but has good speed. Make no mistake, he's a bottom-pair defenseman, but for league minimum could be a good pickup.
Don't know much about him either, but seems like a responsible defensemen. Take him for league min and see what he can do, wouldn't hurt.

-Aubin in Toronto...no, he's not my first choice either, we all know which goalie from the Wild I'm high as a kite on...but if that doesn't work out, the team has to look at alternatives, bleak though they are. If the Leafs want to rush Pogge to the NHL, that leaves Aubin looking for a new home. He played badly this season, but last season went 9-0, perhaps worth throwing the dice on.
No. He blows, we can do better. I wont even consider him. Playing badly would be kind words for him to hear. Not worth the risk. Budaj can't play 70+ games, don't wanna risk all those losses with Aubin.

Here's some more, can't remember if you'd mentioned them.

Scott Walker - Bang up physical power forward. I think he would be suited well on a line with Lappy. He played well when he was in Nashville. I wouldn't mind seeing him.

Matieu Garon - Would rather see him dressed over Aubin anyday in my life in an Av's uniform. Still nothing great about him, I always liked him with Montreal although.

Eric Brewer - Another defensemen I'd like. Depends all on what kind of money he'd like or want, may be a bit pricey. But also may be a guy some people forget about.

Ray Whitney - He's old like Tony Amonte, but at least he is still known for being able to produce. I'd stick him either on the top or second line, nothing less for him. Not sure if he'd like the West Coast although.

Brad Stuart - Kind of had a slack year with Boston and than with Calgary. to me would be a great risk, but if it worked out it could benefit us greatly.

Cory Sarich - A minus player, but I would be willing to blame a weak regular season goaltending system to that also. Can be very physical, one of the most out there. Also owns a half decent shot at the point. Also a pretty big defensemen which I like, 6-4, 210. He'd be great along the boards.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, Brewer has a 4-year extension tacked onto his contract. Not terribly suprising.

I expect Garon to be re-signed by the Kings pratically any day now...with five goalies on the payroll and only one with a winning record, it's pretty safe to say they'll start throwing money at him long before the deadline. However, the guy knows that he's worth more than the $1.5 he's making now, and if he or his agent try to gauge his next contract by comparison of performance/salary with Cloutier (a possibility I pray to God happens), he may ask for more than the Kings are willing to pay, and Colorado might answer the call, especially considering the team's infatuation with French-Canadian goalies. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing him with the Avs, though I wouldn't want the team to pay more than $2 or $2.5 million.
 

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Yeah, I'll remove my Aubin comment, after looking at his stats, he's not someone I'd want to play 20 odd games for us. Maybe 6 or 7, but not 20. He can play a few big games but not 20.
 

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-Sykora's a UFA, one of the best but quietest names on the market. 20 goals and 50 points with 2/3rds of Smyth and an injured Hemsky. His last contract was for less than $3 million, could possibly be had for just a little more, and could plug him anywhere on the team.

I can't agree with this fit. It would be like having another Sturgeon on the team. Only with the right guys will he produce at all, and I don't see him producing much given how much ice time he'd be slated for with the other talent on the team. Too much money to spend on a moody player.
 

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-Sykora's a UFA, one of the best but quietest names on the market. 20 goals and 50 points with 2/3rds of Smyth and an injured Hemsky. His last contract was for less than $3 million, could possibly be had for just a little more, and could plug him anywhere on the team.

I can't agree with this fit. It would be like having another Sturgeon on the team. Only with the right guys will he produce at all, and I don't see him producing much given how much ice time he'd be slated for with the other talent on the team. Too much money to spend on a moody player.
I agree, too much money to spend on someone that probably won't play that much. He might get second line if lucky. I'm not really into singing him.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Some more food for thought, if anyone besides me can't sleep at 5:30 in the morning:
A frantic finish almost landed the Colorado Avalanche in the playoffs, but they ended up being the team with the best record to miss the postseason.

Off-Season Game Plan looks at what the Avs might do this summer to build on last season's late flurry.

The return of Joe Sakic obviously bodes well of the organization, and young talents like Paul Stastny and Wojtek Wolski are the next generation of Avalanche stars.

What needs to be done this summer, then, to bridge the gap and get the Avalanche into their accustomed playoff position?

Colorado has a great deal of room under the salary cap, and could have even more should they get rid of Jose Theodore, leaving room for some blockbuster signings if that is the path that general manager Francois Giguere chooses to follow this summer.

Snip

DRAFT
14th - Nick Petrecki, Logan Couture, Colton Gillies

FREE AGENCY
The Avalanche have approximately $28-million committed to salaries for next season.
Needs: Two top nine forwards, one top four defenceman, backup goaltender

TRADE MARKET
Svatos, Leopold
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=208031&hubname=nhl
I agree with most of the stuff here. In a general sense of order, my opinion is that Giguere needs to sign a 40-game goaltender first, then round out the defensive core (which could be done by as little as retaining Leopold, Klee, and Vaananen), find a complementary top-line right winger for Sakic and Bruno (again, could be done by Svatos or Stewart, but not very likely), and flesh out the third line.

An interesting point this article makes is the upcoming draft in Columbus, which I know dick-all about despite actually having tickets for (more about that in the weeks to come). Ideally I'd like the Avs to draft a scoring LWer - aside from Fritsche, that well is dry like none other - then plug for as many defensemen and goalies as possible. Colorado's pace of developing defenders and netminders is painfully slow, so I saw start throwing the darts and hope something hits.
 

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While he would be, I don't think he'd want to come back. We traded him, and He'd be a 2nd line Center maybe, unless he can play a wing.
well if goes in cheap but otherwise we need to get rid of theodore and get a backup and young defenseman or just get help in the wings and get young
 

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I disagree with TSN saying the Avs should dump Svatos and Leopold.

Svatos in particular has proved that he can play great hockey when on his game. Sure, he had a real slump of a second season. But that happens to a lot of people. As I recall, it even had a title, like "sophomore slump", or "sophomore curse", or something like that. Don't cut him loose due to one mediocre run. This guy is still very young, and has a great deal of talent and potential. He is fast on his skates, and has a quick and accurate shot. Remember who won that pivotal double overtime game in Dallas in the 2004 playoffs? It was Svatos, who skated down the wing and beat Turco dead clean with a wrister to the tip-top shelf. Keep this guy, or you'll be sorry when he starts putting up big numbers with a different team.

As for Leopold, if you're going to give up a big star player like Tanguay to get him, you may as well at least see what he can do for you. Besides, after his injury riddled season, maybe you can get him for less money on a new contract. If the Avs can keep him healthy this time, he could be a good solid defenseman. His health is a gamble, but I'm sure he'll be working hard on that during the offseason, and at a decent enough price, it seems worth it to give the guy another chance.
 

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well if goes in cheap but otherwise we need to get rid of theodore and get a backup and young defenseman or just get help in the wings and get young
Drury will not go cheap. Most people know that all Avs fans should be in favour of a nother Goalie, a backup, or a solid 40 game goalie. And then Work form the back, to the front.
 

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I disagree with TSN saying the Avs should dump Svatos and Leopold.

Svatos in particular has proved that he can play great hockey when on his game. Sure, he had a real slump of a second season. But that happens to a lot of people. As I recall, it even had a title, like "sophomore slump", or "sophomore curse", or something like that. Don't cut him loose due to one mediocre run. This guy is still very young, and has a great deal of talent and potential. He is fast on his skates, and has a quick and accurate shot. Remember who won that pivotal double overtime game in Dallas in the 2004 playoffs? It was Svatos, who skated down the wing and beat Turco dead clean with a wrister to the tip-top shelf. Keep this guy, or you'll be sorry when he starts putting up big numbers with a different team.

As for Leopold, if you're going to give up a big star player like Tanguay to get him, you may as well at least see what he can do for you. Besides, after his injury riddled season, maybe you can get him for less money on a new contract. If the Avs can keep him healthy this time, he could be a good solid defenseman. His health is a gamble, but I'm sure he'll be working hard on that during the offseason, and at a decent enough price, it seems worth it to give the guy another chance.
yea i agree they still young in their prime
 
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