For the past couple of years the Avalanche have been doing their best impression of the Edmonton Oilers. They have been acquiring as much young talent as they can without shelling out a ton of money to retain their talent. This formula led to a disastrous season last year. The Avalanche finished as the worst team in the Western Conference and second to last in the NHL. Colorado management decided to bring Avalanche Hall of Famers Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy back in the mix. Sakic will be providing his services under the title of Vice President of Hockey Operations while Patrick Roy will be manning the bench in his first season as an NHL head coach. In my opinion these legends were brought back a bit prematurely. It's going to be a bumpy ride for Colorado for at least the next two years. Hopefully the Avalanche faithful can tolerate and endure a few more years of mediocry without crying to pull the plug on these two legends. Other then these changes in management there is not a ton of news for the struggling Colorado franchise.
The biggest news is of course the Avalanche winning the draft lottery and getting the number one overall pick in 2013. They decided to pass up the highly talented defenseman Seth Jones. Colorado desperately needs help on defense and their pass over of Jones sat a bit sour in my mouth. With that being said, the Aves were able to pick up Nathan MacKinnon who is a talented goal scoring playmaker. Many analysts have said this kid reminds them of Sidney Crosby so you can't blame Colorado management for indulging on MacKinnon. General Manager Greg Sherman was quick to say that MacKinnon will make the big club immediately. They need his talent and he is going to have to be a quick learner to become accustomed to the NHL. The Avalanche also re-signed Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene.
On offense the top six of this team is fairly talented. They have Matt Duchene, Paul Stastny, Gabrial Landeskog, Ryan O'Reilly, P.A Parenteau, and now Nathan MacKinnon. We can expect MacKinnon to be centering the Aves second line in no time. Beyond that there isn't much talent when it comes to the bottom six. Alex Tanguay was signed from Calagary and he had 27 points in 40 games last year. Tanguay was also a -13 but he played on the horrible Flames. Not that his plus/minus is going to improve anymore on the Avalanche this season. The Avalanche are certainly missing offensive depth and that is going to take awhile to build.
Defense is an issue for Colorado. The defensive unit is led by former number one pick Erik Johnson. I still think the Blues got away with highway robber by trading Johnson who is just not going to pan out. The Avalanche dealt Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk for Erik Johnson and Jay McClement. St. Louis definitely got the better of that deal and it has led to the cornerstones of their franchise. The defensive corps behind Johnson is just not that good and they are going to be lit up this season.
In goal is Semyon Varlamov. The 25 year old net minder struggled last season posting a .903 SV%. It certainly didn't help playing behind a terrible defense. Varlamov will probably be better this season since his career save percentage is around .913.
The Avalanche are not going to be good this season. They will not make the playoffs and will likely end up near the bottom of the league in the standings. They need to continue to prepare for the future and make their moves accordingly. I will definitely be tuning in to see Nathan MacKinnon in his first NHL season but other than that the Avalanche are going to be an uninspiring bunch.
Odds to win the Stanley Cup: 60/1