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Leftover thoughts from an Avalanche season gone too soon…



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Like most of you who frequent this site, I’m still trying to process just what in the heck happened in the past few days with the Colorado Avalanche.

Some stream-of-consciousness thoughts:

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  • My hunch is that Jared Bednar will be back, but in no way am I overconfident on that. But I don’t see Joe Sakic just arbitrarily sacking him. I do think that he’ll take some time to think some things over, but Bednar led a team to a President’s Trophy that had 311 man-games lost to injury. It was still a very good season.
  • The expansion draft for the Kraken is July 21. Teams have to have their protected/exposed lists in by July 17.
  • The biggest decision Sakic and Co. have to make is “do we protect four defensemen or just three?”
  • Conventional wisdom has always held it’s smarter to just protect seven forwards, 3 D and one goalie. But if you have four real good D men, as the Avs do, you can protect four of them and four forwards, along with a goalie.
  • I think the Avs will do a 7-3-1 list, but that probably means losing Ryan Graves to the Kraken. Yeah, there are youngsters coming who can fill his spot, including Bo Byram, Justin Barron and Drew Helleson.
  • I think Erik Johnson had a chance to come back in the next series, which makes the loss even tougher to swallow. It would have been nice to see EJ out there.
  • Everyone assumes EJ will waive his no-move clause, thereby allowing the Avs to expose him to Seattle. But until that happens…
  • Remember, EJ has earned the right to say no to the Avs on this topic.
  • But I don’t think he’d want to put the Avs in a bind like that. And besides, I would think the odds the Kraken would take EJ would be fairly low.
  • With Nazem Kadri still having one year left on his deal, I think the Avs will protect him, keep him and, depending how his and the team’s season goes, think about maybe moving him at the trade deadline. If he’s playing great? Great, he stays.
  • Again, I’m sorry for letting an F word slip in my question to MacKinnon the other night. I was trying to ask something along the lines of “Hey Nate, if this team is guilty of thinking too much out there, do you ever think the mindset should just be screw it, we’re not gonna get up in our heads so much?” Instead, I mangled the question entirely, used a worse word and got rightly mocked for it. I guess, in my stupid head, I was thinking it was just a couple people in the conversation, and not subject to being streamed everywhere. My apologies, won’t happen again.
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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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AD, I have actually liked Kadri at times, but at this point…. keeping him as a #2C seems like a huge liability. Playoffs are physical… if he has any sort of suspect hit, what’s next? Is 8 games now 16? Indefinite? I don’t trust him or Player Safety enough to get that one right.

I personally hope the expansion draft opens up some options for Trader Joe to explore.


Even if Kadri is exposed on the expansion draft, I expect Seattle to take a hard pass on Naz. Not the way to start your team with a guy who has a reputation as a dirty player with multiple suspensions and one more suspension away from losing 16 games or more in a season. Besides – – you’re trying to build a hockey fan base and Kadri isn’t exactly the poster boy candidate. Not the guy I’d want doing commercials to drum up ticket sales.

Last edited 1 year ago by ricoflashback
chippy play

I just think he’s not likely to get much on the trade market, and he would leave a huge hole at the 2C spot for next year.


Assuming the d-corps on the roster are not injured protect Graves, Byram, Toews, and Makar. I would like to say Girard but his skating speed isn’t enough for him to create space from onrushing forwards. Besides he appears to play with hesitation and what looks like fear at times. I read comments about how the Avs need size on D. Only if they come with NHL smarts and some speed in small areas.

Last edited 1 year ago by pukface

Byram is expansion draft exempt.


Is there going to be a post mortem podcast? If so, I’d be curious to hear some big picture takes, including the following couple of thoughts. For one, there is the question of mental toughness: I was reminded of the old adage that the winning team being the team that simply wanted it more (or at least was willing and capable to do what it takes to win). When you look at the shots blocked statistic alone, there certainly seems to be some truth to that. In addition, the fact that the team wasn’t able to find another gear in… Read more »

Richard Trujillo

I would tend to look at things a little more concrete than the vague “mental toughness” when figuring out how to fix this roster. I don’t disagree that they certainly lack in that respect but how do you measure mental toughness? As far as where you can objectively improve the roster I think they need to add size and strength in every part of their game. We keep watching their tiny defensman get pushed around in front of the net and unable to control the puck in their own zone. We also watch our forwards inability to establish any kind… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Trujillo

I get it, the first instinct is to look at the stat sheet from this series and eliminate those names who simply didn’t cut it. Eventually you will have to make personell situations, but I think that hasty roster moves can also lead to costly mistakes because what you are looking at right now is really just a snap shot. I mean it’s not like Vegas is all that stood between us and the Stanley Cup. So while I agree that questions about mental toughness and risk management may seem a bit intangible and even esoteric, I think they are… Read more »

Jared Moss

I see this team getting a pretty good shuttle this off season what exactly will that be is up to joe but I dont see joe going with this team again/ cap issues. Kadri will be traded/ replaced. And I hope the D core will be different. Let’s see if I’m right in two months

Aaron Hinton

I do not believe that JB has the leadership style that fits this team. Avs are ultra-talented, no question about that. However, coaches determine the personality of a team, i.e., how hard they play, their aggressiveness, toughness, all the intangibles that aren’t necessarily evident by bullshit statistics, Corsi, etc. but are obviously equally if not more important in the process of becoming a proven winner. This was evident in the Vegas series. Neck and neck talent-wise, but the intangibles are what won Vegas that series. That’s coaching. Not Xs and Os, personality. I would take Rick Tocchet right now to… Read more »

Richard Trujillo

I wouldn’t say they are neck and neck as far as talent goes or that intangibles decided the series. Vegas is a far more talented team than the Avalanche. Take Mackinnon out of the picture and which team has more talent? Vegas by a landslide. Vegas is also bigger, stronger, and faster and that should be obvious to anyone watching. The Avalanche keep losing to the same type of team in the playoffs and that has nothing to do with “intangibles” or coaching and everything to do with their organizational philosophy on building a roster. Their problems run deeper than… Read more »

Aaron Hinton

Don’t be such a Richard, Richard. You act like God on these message boards, you don’t know any more than anyone else. We all get it, bro. You want Mac traded. He’s one of the top 5 players in the league and he’s not going anywhere.

Richard Trujillo

I want a Cup. I don’t care who is on the roster. And I might not know anymore than anyone else here but have I said anything that was wrong? I am pretty sure the results on the ice have backed up everything I have said. But anyway, I do apologize if I might come off as harsh. I am no writer and that is not my intention. I really like the little community that has grown here and it is refreshing to interact with people who can look at our team critically instead of the non stop sunshine and… Read more »

Nathan Edwards

I agree us Av fans want a Cup, especially when you have to live on Eastern time zone and watch the dang playoff games start at 9 or 10pm haha I myself, care who is on the Avs. Part of the reasons we watch hockey and sports for the matter is the pure rush and entertainment value that just sucks you in emotionally so yeah, you can stay up until 1am in the playoffs. So yes, I want to watch Mackinnon Rantanen Landeskog Makar etc. I do agree with your assessment on size and weakness being bred in the Avs… Read more »

Aaron Hinton

All good bro – I want a Cup as bad as you do.

chippy play

This is insane Richard. Those two teams are incredibly close in talent. Ok course Vegas would have the edge in you remove MacK; it also wouldn’t be close if you removed Stone or Petro. Colorado is also way, way younger. Plenty of room to improve.


You’ve got to be kidding me. Protect Girard over Graves? We must have watched a different series. Option 1 – trade Girard. Option 2 – expose Girard to the draft and hope he gets picked. Under no circumstances do I go into next season with Girard on my roster. Unless, of course, Dater, you have no intention of competing for a Stanley Cup. What the hell do you see in Girard to keep him around after that disastrous performance against Vegas? Do you think Girard is going to pickup twenty pounds of muscle in the off season? Do you think… Read more »


Size is a good attribute but they lack 1-2 players that can clobber players and still contribute. Missing Matt Calvert hurt and he is that type of player. From the first playoff game other teams were going to push, bully, punch and hurt them physically. It was hard watching them get pushed around.


Great website to check the Colorado Avalanche roster, cap situation and each player’s expansion draft status. They also have a link to CHN!

Matt Briggle

This expansion draft for the Avs is going to be a most interesting thought experiment until the actual thing happens. I could see the Avs going with either option right now and either one offers major question marks. Since it seems to be a serious conversation now that they might use the 8 skater option here’s my two cents on that list for what it’s worth. D – protect Makar, Toews, Girard, and Graves. F – protect MacK, Landy, and Rantanen for sure. Then add in one of the following – Nichuskin, Jost, or LOC. In my ever so humble… Read more »


LOC is expansion draft exempt.

Nathan Edwards

I would not protect Girard, he was horrible. I like his exciting style in the regular season, and he does generate offense, but He was sloppy against Vegas it made me cringe


Disappointing 2+ years of coverage using my money elsewhere fir 2022.
Way to blow the final question of the year to your superstar. Dater, you obviously have not learned your lessons. Coverage was subpar overall and you’re always late to break news when you swore you’d have such great insight and connections, and that has not been the case. #GoAvsGo

Nathan Edwards

I disagree with your sentiment. I will say that Sportsnet can be pretty fast on reporting hockey related news. Dater seems to provide plenty of Avalanche insight , and way more then most of the other sites that could really care a less about Colorado

Cody Danko

I wouldn’t just blast him for that question. Maybe he wasn’t thinking clearly, but we also know about his parting from the Denver Post. He is a human being who has been in our community and covering our beloved team for years. It’s really easy to blast other people when they make a mistake, but you have no idea if there was anything else going on that contributed to that mistake. Maybe so, maybe not. Human beings make mistakes. And it’s not like it was that out of line. MacKinnon said himself that he “hasn’t won shit.” and dropped his… Read more »

chippy play

I see we’re still in the emotional overreaction phase here in the comments.

Sakic built this team to be a long term contender – no way is he doing anything close to blowing it up after this year. No way is Bednar going anywhere.

He’s going to hopefully learn from this years mistakes (NEMETH) and also tweak the edges. Gotta to always try to get better, but this is exactly where he wants to the team to be.

Sorry if people thought it would be a guaranteed championship.

Jared Moss

Hey AD. Any chance we get a chance to ask bednar why he chose to play timmins and nemeth instead of Bryam


DNVR asked that question prior to game 5 or 6. The gist of the answer was that Bednar didn’t feel comfortable throwing a rookie defenseman into the fire who hadn’t played in 2(?) months. Seems like a mistake to me.


Always love your knowledge and passion for the Avalanche. No apologies needed for me, but appreciate the comments. Keep up the great work and take care.

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