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It’s Colorado Avalanche day on PHT

Aug 19, 2013, 9:16 AM EDT

Gabriel Landeskog Getty Images

Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Colorado Avalanche

There may not have been another team this summer who embraced what it meant to go “back to the future” the way the Colorado Avalanche did.

They fired coach Joe Sacco and replaced him with Patrick Roy. Then they brought former captain Joe Sakic on board as the Executive VP of Hockey Operations all while GM Greg Sherman sits by nervously waiting for the ax to fall on him. Even former defenseman Adam Foote was also added as a defensive coach.

With all that change in the team, it seems to have invigorated some interest in what’s a fascinating young team. With Roy’s addition, the Avalanche will either be entertaining because they’ll be a fun, young team to watch or because Roy will lose his mind when they struggle. Win/win?

Offseason recap

Their front office and coaching stuff was only part of the fun. They brought back former Sakic linemate Alex Tanguay in a deal with Calgary that also saw Cory Sarich come to Denver. David Jones and Shane O’Brien headed out the door to make that happen.

The NHL Draft saw them land offensive powerhouse Nathan MacKinnon with the No. 1 overall pick. The team has already said MacKinnon will be right there to start the season and having him joining up with recently extended forwards Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene gives Colorado one hell of a young core.

With focus on the youth, not much attention has been paid to long-time veteran Milan Hejduk who is hoping to catch on with another team. That must be awkward with all of his old teammates coming back to roost in the organization.

Free agency saw them not do a whole lot adding depth along the blue line with Andre Benoit (Ottawa), Nate Guenin (Anaheim), and Nick Holden (Columbus) joining the team. The latter two will likely spend more time in Cleveland in the AHL than Denver.

All that aside, hope everyone has their popcorn waiting for the moment Coach Roy blows his top the first time. It’s going to be great.

Related:

Introducing: PHT’s ‘Team of the Day’ summer series

  1. pxland - Aug 19, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    I think people underestimate what Roy brings to the table. The most important thing he brings…..

    An absence of Joe Sacco

  2. jacketsfan7 - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    If varlamov can have a bounce-back season , I find it very hard not to think that this team can make the playoffs , this team has a very bright future coming , get ready Avs fans!

  3. jernster21 - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    The second paragraph isn’t entirely accurate, in that, after Joe Sacco was fired, it was then that they brought Joe Sakic in as EVP of Hockey Operations – it was Sakic that made his first move as an executive to hire Roy, whom also shares responsibility in hockey operations. Greg Sherman is still the GM of the team, in that, he’s the guy in the room negotiating deals (he is a money man after all) and I give a lot of credit to him for untangling the financial mess the Avs put themselves in after the lockout which brought in a salary cap. The Avs went through a rebuild and before extending Landy and Duchene, had around 11 million in cap space to use going into this season. A lot of Avs fans were getting pissed that the Avs were going through a rebuild but had a lot of money to spend – and for what reason? Even if they spent to the cap throughout the rebuild it was still quite unlikely they would have been close to contending for a playoff spot – so kudos to Greg Sherman, he definitely still has a place/role within the organization but for obvious reasons, the spot line is now being shined on Sakic and Roy, real hockey guys.

    It’s a great time for the Avalanche with a lot to look forward to…there’s a lot of buzz and excitement around the team, something that has been missing ever since the team was considered a contender every year. While I still think there will be some growing pains over the next couple years, we should see a complete change in culture as far as the on ice product – this team is going to learn how to win, and they’re going to learn that losing/mediocrity is unacceptable – something that wasn’t present the past 5 or so years. On top of the team itself, ownership has invested a lot of money into the Pepsi Center, replacing all lower level bowl seats with nice leather seats and a massive jumbotron and sound system. The off ice entertainment will be a hell of a lot better.

  4. avfanforlife - Aug 19, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Tanguay should have never been traded away in the 1st place. D. Jones had huge potential, but was under the supervision of Sacco so he didn’t have a chance. 1st Calg/Col game, both these guys will put up points! O’Brien was no loss. Hejduk should be given another year. Last year was total bs and his veteran presence is huge for the younger guys. He is still a sniper with the puck and will definitely put in some game winners this year. Roy has to undo everything that has happened over the last four years and I think he’ll be able to motivate this highly talented team into a playoff position this season (if he and his staff can get get Varly to reach his potential and solidify the D of course).

  5. yanks33 - Aug 19, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    Cant wait to see MacKinnon put up a great rookie season on his way to winning the Calder Trophy!

  6. bigx21 - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    Love the 3 top lines. I would have maybe put MacKinnon over Statsny for 1st line. Love the 2nd line of O’Reilly, Dutchy and PA!! Finally with Patrick Roy as a coach, we will be making the playoffs and lead to a Stanley Cup, just as Patrick Roy said on his interview when he was hired as coach!!

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