Colorado Avalanche, Time Doesn’t Guarantee Success


The Colorado Avalanche are in the midst of what looks to be another disappointing season. Yet as some preach patience with a young team there’s no guarantee winning is around the corner.

We’ve all seen various hot takes this year on the Colorado Avalanche; with every stretch of wins fans grasp at what could be a turning point (including me) and in every losing streak the fans stew in disgust and frustration.

Editor Janik Beichler had a great piece yesterday on the status of the Avalanche as they go through ups and downs this season. And the general consensus as the season goes on is that the Colorado Avalanche are still a maturing team, tomorrow’s team today essentially. And while I love the optimism, there are a couple reasons why the Avalanche front office can’t sit on its collective hands and wait.

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The Colorado Avalanche Aren’t That Young

I will readily admit the Av’s roster isn’t playoff worthy today, but I don’t think the reason why is because it’s too young. Matt Duchene is already in his 7th season in the league, Gabriel Landeskog is in his 5th season, and Nathan MacKinnon — who is already the best of the three — is in his third. So it’s not like this is a team of rookie or sophomore year players. And for the defense Erik Johnson is quickly approaching the peak of his career, while Tyson Barrie is in his 4th year as a regular in the NHL.

So the Avalanche may not have a winning roster now, but it’s not because they’re to young. If anything the consensus around the league has become it’s a young man’s game,  and the Colorado Avalanche core has certainly seen enough NHL hockey to get the gist by now. I’m not saying MacKinnon and Barrie won’t continue to improve, but other then that it’s not like the Avalanche are sitting on a goldmine of young superstars waiting to bud.

The Colorado Avalanche Aren’t Even Close To Competing

This hurts, but the Avalanche are currently tied for last in the league with the Edmonton Oilers, a team that I think the Avs start to compare more to by the season. Now I know the Avalanche have an abysmal one-goal game record that could, with a little puck luck, result in them having a slightly better record. But the Avs took their puck luck with no regret winning the division two years ago, and in the NHL a win is a win.

So the Avalanche are actually in the Auston Matthews race! Which really pisses me off. The Avalanche have enough first 3 talent — it’s on Sakic and Roy to build a team around the stars. And they simply aren’t going to field a winning team when they’re handing 3+ million dollar contracts to Brad Stuart and picking up the rest of their defense from hitchhikers around the league. I know it’s not easy, there are 29 teams all trying to do the same thing, but this is their job and simply put they need to improve.

Next: 3 Trade Destinations for Matt Duchene

The Avalanche Roster Is In For A Shakeup. Why Wait?

So let’s say that the Avalanche win the Auston Matthews sweepstakes, is there any chance the Avalanche are going to keep Matt Duchene, Landeskog, MacKinnon, and Auston Matthews on the same team while the defense withers and the rest of the forwards lack depth?  Obviously someone is gone out of the equation.

It could be the draft pick itself, but Auston Matthews is supposed to be too good to pass up on. So someone else is going to go, and we all know who it is, (Duchene if you’ve been in a foreign country or something) . So if the Avs aren’t going to compete this year, and are building towards the future why would they keep the oldest forward core player for the rest of the year? Get the young players in and start developing them.

Even if the Avalanche don’t get the first overall pick, unless something radical happens they’re probably looking at a top 5 draft pick — which I think results in Dutchy getting traded. Might as well give the team a shake up this season. It doesn’t mean have to be Duchene, he’s just been linked to the rumors. I want Roy to do something, anything, to show that he acknowledges that being in last place is not acceptable.

Like I said earlier I know it’s not easy to build a good roster, there’s 29 other teams trying to do the same thing. But that should be even more motivation to start moving things now because teams like Chicago and the Rangers don’t wait until they have to rebuild. They’re constantly improving.

I guess the arguments all hinge off of whether you think the Avalanche are a team of tomorrow or of today. I’m impressed with your ability to maintain hope if you’re still in the latter camp.

But just because the Colorado Avalanche are a team of tomorrow doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to be a brighter tomorrow. Unless the front office starts making smarter moves and building a complete team, the Avalanche will be stuck in this state of perpetual rebuilding for years to come. And I’m not saying the Avalanche need to go into fire-sale mode by any means, but the idea that the Avs just have to wait another year to start winning is fundamentally flawed.

What do you think of the Colorado Avalanche’s chances of having a winning season this year?