Hi everyone, I'm happy to take your questions on the Avalanche again in what will be a regular mailbag. I did a million of them in a former life, and always enjoyed keeping in close touch with the fans.
It'll be sporadic the rest of the summer, but will be at least once a week in the regular season. I feel good again, feel the passion coming back again and will do my best to keep you all informed of what's going on with this crazy hockey club. My goal has always been to take you as inside the team as I can, and that will never change.
So let's start off these batch of questions with one about, yes, you guessed it, Matt Duchene:
Q: I see a lot of people bashing Joe Sakic for not trading Matt Duchene and asking to lower the price. The Calgary Flames acquired Travis Hamonic for a 1st and a mediocre prospect. I am SO glad sakic rejected this offer. I personally think Hamonic is overrated so I won't get too into that but I think he should look into acquiring a LHD a 1st and a forward who can replace Duchene for now and prospect. Which in fact I look at a team who can afford and has been linked to rumors before, The Carolina Hurricanes have the perfect pieces for a Duchene deal. Here's my mock trade:
To Carolina: Matt Duchene and Chris Bigras
To Colorado: Noah Hanifin, Teuvo Teravainen, Zykov Valentin
Let me know what you think. Thanks AD - Kaleb
Dater: Well Kaleb, I would do that deal if my name was Joe Sakic. I would definitely do that deal. Problem is, I don't think there is any way Ron Francis would do that deal. I think you're asking for too much here.
I like the fact that you're including Bigras here, as I do believe he makes the most sense as a "throw-in" as part of a Duchene deal, an arguably expendable piece that would make it perhaps more palatable for a team to give up a good young defenseman, one like Hanifin. But, even though Hanifin didn't have a dynamite rookie season, he's only 20 years old and was the fifth pick overall in the 2015 draft. The Hurricanes just aren't going to give up a kid like this so fast. And that's been the problem so far with the Duchene trade scenario: He just isn't a marketable enough commodity at the moment to get a blue-chip defensive stud prospect like this, a real blue chipper.
A.J. Haefele and I have talked about Duchene a lot on our BSNAvalanche podcasts, and it always comes back to the same thing: Duchene is coming off a lousy season, and it has hurt his trade value. The Avs want a proven defenseman and more in return, but teams just aren't sure they're getting a proven No. 1-type center/forward in return right now. They know he's got a lot of talent, but they look at his play last season, especially in the second half, and have questions. Does he work hard enough? Does he sulk when he doesn't like the coach and/or the system? Why does it seem like he needs to be the one to play with good players to succeed, instead of him elevating the play of others? Trust me, those questions have floated around among the hockey decision-makers lately, and it hasn't helped Sakic's bargaining position any.
But, as you said, Sakic isn't going to sell low on a talent like Duchene. He either gets what he thinks he's worth, or he's going to keep him and hope for a big rebound season. The fact is, Duchene has been an all-star in this league and won a gold medal for Team Canada in the Olympics and in World Championships. He's a name player, and Sakic isn't going to just give him away because fans and media are impatient for some kind of deal. Sakic is either going to look like a genius on this, for holding the line and being a stone-cold killer at the poker table, or he's going to look like a fool for waiting too long and maybe losing even more value. We shall see.
Q: Hey Adrian,
Q: Joe Sakic was my childhood hero, the whole reason I started playing hockey. But he has had three/four 'deadlines' where he's done nothing and continued on doing nothing, where those decisions are widely considered a huge failure...
My question is, how much longer could this dude actually have as our GM if his name isn't Joe Sakic? How many times would he have been fired by now? I'm genuinely amazed he is still in charge. Again, love and respect him as an all-time great player, but he's ruining this team, imo.
His last batch of moves have been to move out the old and in with the young. I mean, Colin Wilson and Jonathan Bernier aren't young pups, but they aren't in their mid-30s, just trying to get one last contract. The bulk of this team is still pretty young, and trending younger. Nail Yakupov has played five NHL seasons, but he's still only 23.
Q: Thanks for bringing this back, sir!
Nolan Pratt is slated to return and he worked a lot with the defense, so I think it would be some overlap there with Foote on the bench too. I think Foote still likes being able to drop in once in a while on the D, give some pointers and go about his other business. I know he's always enjoyed coaching youth teams in the area too. The Avs should announce soon the replacements for Francois Allaire, Tim Army and Dave Farrish, so maybe there's a chance Foote could have a bigger role, we'll see.
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