The Avalanche pulled their worst move yet this offseason last night when they traded star forward Ryan Smyth to the Los Angeles Kings. In return, they get defensemen Kyle Quincey and Tom Preissing, and a 5th round draft pick.
Quincey appears to be a good two-way defenseman, and had 38 points last season. Preissing has a $2.7 million contract, so he'd better be good. (he was limited to only a handful of games last season due to injuries, and was a disappointing -7 when he did play) A 5th round pick may or may not turn out well. It's a late pick, but the Avs also have had a good history with late picks.
The Kings have won this trade, however. Ryan Smyth was another one of the Avs' heart and soul players. He was a leader, and brought energy and character to the game. Smyth, called "Captain Canada", was a hard-working, gritty forward that played a smart and physical game, and put up good points. He'll be sorely missed, not just as a player, but as a person. He was another one of my favorite Avs. Last season he refused to waive his no-trade clause, but apparently now he's changed his mind. Thanks for the memories Smytty. We'll really miss you. Have fun in LA, and may God bless your efforts in all that you do, and whatever you do, do it unto Him. Here's hoping you'll play with us again someday.
As far as the Avs are concerned, I think it's getting worse all the time. Even if Joey (Joe Sakic) comes back, we are starting to look worse than we did last year. Here's a little breakdown:
-The worst GM in Avs history (Greg Sherman) is gutting us, probably with our repulsive owner Stan Kronke pulling the strings. (your money may be really important to you, but I've got news for you Kronke, the more you gut our team, THE LESS PEOPLE THAT'LL COME TO YOUR GAMES!! You're only going to money this way!)
-An unproven head coach (Joe Sacco) who has never coached in the NHL, and had a mediocre couple previous seasons in the .
-Avs lose key player Ian Laperriere, and try to fill in with former Lightning winger David Koci. I don't know whether to laugh or shout in anger.
-Avs trade away star player Ryan Smyth for a late round draft pick and a couple decent defensemen.
-Avs sign goaltender Craig Anderson, choosing good over great (they passed up Swedish goalie Jonas Gustavsson, who still has yet to make a decision. While it may have been good not to chance him signing elsewhere and getting caught with our pants down, even right now there are still some good goalies left, such as Biron, that, while not great, would've been a decent backup plan). Anderson has had great numbers for a bad team that allows I think the most shots of any team in the league. However, he is still unproven as an NHL starter, and he's coming into his prime, so time will tell if this was a failed attempt.
-Avs core Joe Sakic may or may not return this season. (we should know next week at the earliest)
-Avs have a great draft, but we still don't know for sure if potential superstar Matt Duchene will play with the Avs this year. (my guess is he will, but it's still an unknown at this point)
Not far into the offseason and already there are so many negatives, and they certainly at this point out do the positives. I don't want to be pessimistic, but the sad reality is management (or more likely ownership) is killing our team. It begs the question, what's next? Is anyone on our team safe? Are we even going to have a real hockey team next season? I hope things get better from here, I really do, but so far there's nothing giving me the hope that they will.