We’ve never liked Joe Sakic. Oh sure, all-time great player. The center the Hawks could never have, the player Jeremy Roenick could never be. But it was always him standing in the Hawks’ way in the mid-90s. He who scored that goal in Game 4 in ’96 that prevented the Hawks from taking a 3-1 lead (while Chris Chelios’s leg was numbed by his own team’s doctor). He had 65 points in 55 games against the Hawks. It felt like it was 174.
So we rejoiced when he was hired as GM of the Avs in 2013. Surely this was just a move to placate an eroding fanbase, give them a name they recognize and would give the most amount of leash because how would anyone in Denver ever be mad at Joe Sakic? Another rock-headed former player being used to insulate an ownership no one really cared for.
It all started so promisingly, as the entire franchise bent to the will of Patrick Roy, a vapid bullhorn come to life. They goofed one division crown, and then tried to chase that for three more seasons. They signed Jarome Iginla, which they didn’t have a need for. They signed Francois Beauchemin because Roy wanted a big, bruising d-man while ignoring he couldn’t catch anyone. They jerked around Tyson Barrie. It was going so swimmingly to keep the Avs in the toilet for eternity. The dream was almost real.
Then Sakic fired Roy, or at least got him to quit, which is just as good. He went outside the Old Boys Network to hire Jared Bednar. They didn’t flinch when they had a historically bad season last year. All the while, he drafted Rantanen, Greer, Jost, Makar. They traded Ryan O’Reilly and got J.T. Compher. They finally cashed in on Matt Duchene and got a huge haul out of it. They’ve straightened out Gabriel Landeskog, and put something in Nathan MacKinnon’s food. What the fuck is going on here?
And now the Avs look set to rise out of the muck. No longer will they be an after-thought with weird colors. Can you imagine how obnoxious this will get when the Denver hipsters catch on? It’s going to be awful.
Your ass used to be beautiful, Joe. And now you’ve gone back to our nemesis. History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.
Game #79 Preview