Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic has been at the helm now for six years. His team has spiraled downward and hit rock bottom last year with a league’s worst 22-56-4 record, worth 48 points. To make matters worse, the team only has a handful of prospects and don’t seem to have a plan or path to take the franchise on.
According to NBC Sports’ Adam Gretz, Sakic is a likely candidate to be on the hotseat this season. The team’s lack of a proper path, constant roster questions that seem to be held up by a potential Matt Duchene trade that has never happened and a shortcoming of prospects seem to suggest that he may be the first general manager out the door this season. To make matters worse, the Avalanche have had the worst defense in the league for the past two years, according to Gretz, and have made no defensive changes this year.
- The Avalanche still have quite a few questions when it comes to its roster. Although the team is currently negotiating with defenseman Nikita Zadorov, the Avalanche only have three defensemen on their roster, including Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie and Mark Barberio, according to NBC Sports James O’Brien. With more than $11MM in cap space still remaining, Colorado has the ability to acquire more players and depth. However, considering their lack of depth, using draft picks to trade for a player makes little sense. That leaves signing leftover free agents to short-term deals, but there are very few defensive free agents of note. Trading Matt Duchene may be their best way to fill in some of those holes.
- O’Brien also points out that, on a positive note, that the Avalanche have very few long-term deals, which should give the team quite a bit of flexibility. Only Nathan MacKinnon ($6.3MM AAV till 2022-23), Gabriel Landeskog ($5.57MM AAV till 2020-21), Carl Soderberg ($4.75MM AAV till 2019-20), Johnson ($6MM AAV till 2022-23) and Barrie ($5.5MM AAV till 2019-20) are locked up for the next three years.