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Avalanche rebuilding hindered by ownership

If you are expecting a Sakic-esque return to prominence for the Avalanche, you better hold your breath for the foreseeable future cuz it ain’t coming.


The Colorado Avalanche were once a premier mid-market team with heavy hitters, but since the lock-out have been a wayward hockey club. We all know the story. The story goes that “Once upon a time in a city that was ruled by football, there was a hockey club. In this hockey club were three big superstars of the game. Guys that knew how to wheel, had some real grit and skill. There was Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic, two of the best in the game at the time and for Sakic, one of the best ever.”

The story then introduces the brickhouse butterfly king, Patrick Roy. “Patrick Roy was a guy who was determined to never let anything get past him after he forced his trade after getting hung out to dry by Coach Tremblay. He once told a man that he couldn’t hear him because his Stanley Cup rings were in his ears. Roy was a goalie amongst mortal men and has since gained sainthood in Denver.”

The Colorado Avalanche since the lock-out have not been the same team that won two of Lord Stanley’s cups, nor has anyone on the roster been worthy of being called ”one of the best in the game.”

Don’t get me wrong, Matt Duchene is a talent and I believe suffers from a lack of skill around him while also trying to do more than he should. You could make the argument that Paul Stastny is maybe worth his contract, but I would disagree. Stastny is an overpaid sub-60 pointer that isn’t worth as much as his contract would say he is. He is a good player that suffers from a bloated contract. Pay him half of what he makes now ($6 million this past season … for 53 points) and that would rectify this accounting error.

The problem with the heart of the issue is similar to Moneyball with a twist: the Kroenke’s have money, but don’t use it for replenishing the source. The Avs and the NBA’s Denver Nuggets are both owned by the Kroenke Family -who are a legit sports dynasty by the way- and are two of the sources at the family’s disposal. The Kroeke’s together own: Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, St. Louis Rams of the NFL, Arsenal of the English Premier League, Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, Colorado Mammoth of Major League Lacrosse …

They own it all, but my main beef right now -when it comes to talent and why there isn’t enough of it- is that the Kroenke’s made a $1 billion bid for the financially woeful baseball team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. They are too focused on their sports world manifest destiny to want to focus on the teams that give them the buying power to pick up NFL teams.

The Avs produced immediately for the Kroenke’s after the move from Quebec, for damn near a decade. The only thing the Avs produce now is steady attendance and sub-par hockey. The indifference to spending and poor judgment is going to keep this club as is for quite some time unless the players on the ice figure out a way to hold their weight in dollars. I wish Super Joe could do something off the ice to turn the page, but unfortunately his magic seemed to only extended to the end of a wrist shot.

Cory Whitmer

Cory Whitmer

Cory is a 27-year old aspiring sportswriter and Convergent Journalism student at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Some could call him a cynic, he likes to think of himself as a sports realist. An avid Denver sports fan, he doesn't hold back, even on his home teams. Check out his Colorado Rockies blog:
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