Colorado Avalanche: The Offseason Narrative

Apr 1, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy on his bench in the third period against the Washington Capitals at the Pepsi Center. The Capitals defeated the Avalanche 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 1, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy on his bench in the third period against the Washington Capitals at the Pepsi Center. The Capitals defeated the Avalanche 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche are on the outside looking in, and the offseason is the only thing that looms in relevance because of this dismal reality.

Colorado Avalanche fans are fed up. They got a glimpse of what it was like to be back in 2001 when the Avalanche went on a lofty tear in the 2013-14 season, and now they want more.

The heads of Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic are being chanted for, a turnover in the roster is desired, and a plea for a Stanley Cup attitude is voiced with attrition; in other words, a cult is rising to the tide of revolution.

Currently, the 2013-14 season stands as an outlier against the backdrop of defeat, and Avalanche fans are not satisfied with the last two seasons in lieu of it.

The coaching staff and management are not exempt from this mode of thinking — two pivotal players in the original winning narrative are now involved in the process of assuring its renewal. Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic are trying to reinvigorate that process of renewal, and have come up short in their efforts the past two seasons.

That sort of narrative ultimately breeds dissent like a double-yolked egg. It creates a morbid fascination with defeat while simultaneously trying to dismantle that notion and create something new from the ashes of a once proud franchise.

The offseason direction will ultimately facilitate one yolk or the other. Either way, the results are still encased in a shell only to be cracked and revealed when the offseason strikes and changes are made.

Offseason Narrative

The narrative is as ambiguous as who will win the Stanley Cup at this point; yet, fans are a rabid bunch.

When Colorado Avalanche fans are currently watching an incompetent Minnesota team play the Dallas Stars in a contest the Avs could have certainly been involved with, strife takes on an ominous tone of the future.

What will this Colorado Avalanche team do during the offseason to once again find the postseason where everything is possible, and dreams of winning The Cup actually take on a visceral meaning?

Visceral, as in when something transcends the very breadth of intellect, descending into a realm where feelings and dreams flit about in a state of reality.

In other words, a realm where the youthful dreams of winning a Cup usurp any statistical assured conquest of said Cup.

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A realm where the Washington Capitals are not assured of hoisting the Lord of all trophies just because they inhabited a rare sect of hockey glory during the regular season.

A realm where teams like the Predators, Wild, and Sharks — who have never even skated in a Stanley Cup Final — can fantasize about the moment where that may become a reality, a reality where they might become the Champions.

That is what the Stanley Cup Playoffs forces the outside-looking-in to contemplate. They are the ones that missed out on those visceral realities, a controversy of reality, where every team dreams of hoisting the Lord of trophies.

Dreams, in all facets, are starkly different than reality, and so the offseason reality is likely to follow suit.

Offseason Reality

Who will get traded? Who will be considered vital to the core of the Colorado Avalanche? Reality is the name of the game, and these are the questions to be pondered, even though the dreams of winning The Cup inform these decisions.

The reality is that Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic will be around for at least one more season, and even though fans may blame the management, the current onus is falling on the players.

The roster may be subject to drastic change this offseason because of that responsibility. Matt Duchene is mired in trade discussion across the Internet, while Semyon Varlamov is quietly left out of them to a large degree.

Semyon Varlamov might expect a new home this offseason, and the Avalanche can expect a good return if that is the case. Jarome Iginla might also want a new place of residence, especially if he wants to win a Cup before he kicks the bucket on his career.

Mikkel Boedker is probably due for a contract extension this offseason, but the Avs might have to alleviate his monetary anxiety in order to get that result.

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What will happen with Mikhail Grigorenko? Does he deserve a contract extension? Or, will he find himself as a prospect in a trade this offseason?

The reality is that both Sakic and Roy are fed up with how this team is performing, and they are either the orchestrators of that result, or are in a place to do something about the failures of the past two seasons.

The offseason will directly reflect those two results. Fans will say that the Avalanche made the right moves, skeptics will be optimistic at best, and pundits will level the offseason like a sandcastle ready for the wave.

Commentary will be had.

Moves will be made.

Results will be seen when the regular season strikes, a match struck to the grain.

The Conclusion

Essentially, we’re in for another gauntlet of the most trying degree because the Colorado Avalanche inhabit the Central Division, where even the lowly Wild can make the playoffs with 87 points because the Pacific Division is still inadequate in comparison.

That sort of competition can only foster the most drastic offseason results from teams who want to find themselves in the playoffs.

Roy is either blaming himself for the lack of result, or he’s trying to find ways to eliminate the losing culture from this team. The latter is more likely, although he’s cognizant enough to ensure that his reflection does not avoid scrutiny.

Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic are dependent upon next season for the livelihood of their post-NHL careers, especially if the moves they make in the offseason reflect a direction, and that direction is not realized next season.

This is a trying time in Colorado Avalanche country because it is time for this team to move beyond the rebuild, and be a consistent playoff participant. If the coaches and management cannot enact that next season, then they should be removed.

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Those are the facts of hockey. Players only adopt a losing culture because of a mindset, and a mindset is perpetuated by an encompassing idea that cannot be shaken.

It is the coaches’ job to shake that idea.

Players live to win. They don’t play this game to just have fun, they play this game to realize the ultimate visceral tendency, or the unshakeable desire to play a role in the dance.

By playing that role, they each have an opportunity for the stage, where the ultimate glory stands alone, ready for the lift and kiss.