Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Joe Sakic Enters the Avalanche Illuminati
by J Scott Moore
So the salary floor hugging Colorado Avalanche has recently added another executive to the top heavy management structure already in place. Yes, I know who that man is and the implications of his employment with this team. But the fact remains that the players are the ones that play the game and if the Avs are on a budget, shouldn’t they spend a little more on the ice instead of behind the desk?
The Avs landed a decent goalie in Craig Anderson only to lose him with ten year old negotiating tactics that are as dead as the days of sell-outs at the Pepsi Center. One contract offer: take it or leave it. That was all fine and dandy in the old glory days. Players wanted badly to be a part of this wining, star-studded team. But when the circumstances change around this team, and boy-howdy have they changed, the management needed to respond. They didn’t, they haven’t. I hate to say it but Pierre Lacroix doesn’t know how to do the rebuilding that this team needs. He was handed a team that was already full of future stars in a time before salary caps. He made the Roy trade that sealed the deal and made him a genius for the next decade. That team conveniently went on to win a cup and win the hearts of this city. It was a gravy job to manage this team after that.
But free agents no longer hanker for our cow-town. Premier players no longer add Denver to the short list when ask to waive a no trade clause. And long ago the so-called home town discount has disappeared into the Denver thin air. Players won’t come here just to play with Sakic, Roy, Forsberg and Foote anymore. Because they aren’t here! It seems ridiculous to state the obvious and just as ridiculous that it needs to be stated.
It needs to be stated and understood in the offices and secret places inside the Pepsi Center where apparently the Avs illuminati think Ryan O’Reilly and TJ Galiardi are the Emperor’s New Clothes. And I’m afraid it’s up to Joe to set things straight.
Ok, so I’m being pretty cynical about it, right? Well, I don’t know about that. But let’s look at it another way. The popular line of thinking is that Sakic offers the experience of a player that has won it all, was well known to be a committed and dedicated guy as well as being highly respected in the community. From the management’s point of view he’s also the guy that always said the right thing in any situation and never said too much. He could handle the pressure of the media, didn’t get flustered and had the company line down pat. Put the two together and viola! The perfect former player turned executive in charge of turning around his former team. And I’m sure he is 100% sincere in his efforts. Let’s just hope that the guys that hired him are on the same page as Super Joe.