by J. Scott Moore
I’m going to make this clear right at the beginning of this post. When it comes to the big picture, there are no winners when the Avalanche organization misses the post season. There are individuals that had a good and even great season but that isn't what this post is about.
The Avs have missed the playoffs and the real losers here are the fans. The Avs traded away the first round pick to this spring’s draft and missed the post season. Landing around the 10th spot is probably the worst situation for a team that is trying to rebuild. No sure fire draft pick and no playoff appearance to salve the growing pains of a young team in transition.
Unless a team goes to the playoffs or plummets to the depths of the lottery they are stuck in a sort of purgatory. Just look at the Calgary Flames for a perfect example of a team that isn’t bad enough to restock with the best of the draft and not elite enough to really attract the top-end free agent talent.
The Avalanche have already started to show a predilection for trading like for like. Trades that don’t necessarily accomplish a lot in the long run, just shake things up in the here and now. A pattern the Flames have been in for years. Purgatory.
I give the Avs management credit for making some moves over the summer and at the deadline to get into the post season. However it just wasn’t enough. In a world where fans want instant gratification, there will be none. In fact the Avs management went all in on this season with the Varly trade. Even a plummet to the depths of the standings would not have given the fans the dubious satisfaction of a high draft pick.
And now there is no post season excitement. For that matter there will be no post season flush of cash for the team. And as fans that should be as much a concern as the disappointment of knowing Matt Duchene is going fishing pretty soon.
I suspect Matt isn’t the only one that will be fishing this off-season, but he’s probably the only one that will land a big one.