Colorado Avalanche: What GM Joe Sakic Says about the Season


The Colorado Avalanche GM, and onetime player hero, Joe Sakic has a responsibility to address the media in the midst of the team’s worst season.

The Colorado Avalanche are in a tailspin. The team currently has more than twice the number of losses than wins with a 12-25-1 record.

Practically every way there is to lose, the Colorado Avalanche are doing it. They’re starting off soft and giving up goals early. They’re blowing third-period leads. They’re getting outshot by a factor of 4-1 in the second (Boston Bruins, 26-4 in the second period). They’re playing a good game but experiencing bad puck luck. They’re collapsing and leaving their goalie out to dry. Their goalie turns into a sieve… (Semyon Varlamov in the Montreal Canadiens game).

During all this, Jared Bendar is trying his hokey best to explain what’s going on:

"“We played a good, solid hockey game except for eight to 10 plays. A couple of them they didn’t score on them, a couple of them were needless penalties for me, still a handful of turnovers, and it ends up costing us the hockey game.” — after Vancouver Canucks loss"

"“There were stick penalties, really. I don’t know how many high-sticking penalties we had and whatnot, but those [hurt]. Special teams was a big part of the game obviously tonight, and we’ve been undisciplined with our sticks and tonight didn’t seem much different.: — after Calgary Flames loss"

"“We know our history; we’ve been struggling all year to create offense. We felt like we were still one shot away from getting back into that game and giving ourselves a chance, especially the way [Varlamov] was playing. Unfortunately, tonight that just didn’t happen.” — after the Minnesota Wild loss on December 20."

The Colorado Avalanche captain, Gabriel Landeskog, has also been speaking regularly with the media. He even remarked that this was “It’s probably as frustrating as it’s ever been.”

Landeskog’s young alternates, Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon, have also regularly spoken to the media. Both have shown frustration, and they lack answers, but they’ve been willing to offer what insight they have.

Perhaps the most calming presence has been veteran Jarome Iginla. Though no longer an alternate, he’s certainly showing his leadership. After the Flames loss, Iginla remarked:

"“We can be better, and we’re going to be better. As a group it’s a learning experience for the young guys.”"

More from Mile High Sticking

Meanwhile, here’s what GM Joe Sakic has said about the season: mum. Though he may have spoken privately to some beat writers, he hasn’t addressed the media since announcing Jared Bednar as coach in August.

I don’t know exactly what an NHL general manager’s day looks like. I’m sure he’s in a lot of meetings and probably has a lot of phone calls to make, too. I imagine he’s evaluating talent on opponent teams and figuring if he can make any trades to benefit his own team.

In other words, I don’t think Joe Sakic is on vacation in a tropical locale while we freeze here in Colorado with a broken team. I’m sure he’s attending to a whole host of responsibilities.

I propose, though, that one of those responsibilities should be addressing the media.

Now, Joe Sakic is ever famous for saying nothing — he was called Quoteless Joe in his playing days. The one time he took a firm stand — stating unequivocally that Patrick Roy would be back for this season — well, we know how that turned out.

I’m also not advocating for Sakic to make a panic trade at this time. Indeed, I don’t think he should make anything but a minor trade until the deadline. And then he should only deal Iginla to a contender for respect’s sake. If he wants to make big moves, let it be in the offseason.

MORE FROM MILE HIGH STICKING: Sakic Likely Waiting for the Offseason to Make a Move

That said, I think Joe Sakic addressing the media — and thus the fanbase — now would be a little like a president coming out and addressing the nation after a tragedy. He doesn’t have to say much beyond cliches, but it makes the nation feel better.

I think Avs Nation would feel a little bit better hearing their onetime player hero reassure us that the Colorado Avalanche would be good again one day.