We seem to be getting these wrong more and more. We’re told that’s what happens as you get older. We’ll still rage against the dying of the light.
When Joe Sakic was hired as GM of the Avalanche, it seemed a desperate ploy to try and earn goodwill with a fanbase that had watched its team slip into irrelevancy. Here was a name they all knew, centering (literally) the memories of glory from the past, and could be used as a shield by Snake Kroenke for at least a little while from everyone realizing he had sunk the team into the Earth. A shiny bauble, as it were.
When Patrick Roy was foisted upon Sakic at the same time, or perhaps he was actually Sakic’s choice (but we doubt it), it only turned the chuckle into a guffaw. The Avs and their fans thought they had the last laugh when Semyon Varlamov PDO’d their way to a division title in 2014, only to watch it crumble in the first round. And the Avs were nowhere after. And even their two most famous alums could no longer delude the fans into thinking this team was going anywhere afterwards.
But when Sakic was given the full reins, he quickly dispatched Roy and went outside the box to hire Jared Bednar. He took the lumps of a historically bad 2016-2017 season, collected the picks and prospects, and now has the Avs poised for something bigger here. Cale Makar arrives either this spring or next season. Thanks to Matt Duchene, the Avs are holding the Senators pick, which is looking like it can’t be any lower than #2. So that’s Jack Huges or Kaapo Kakko joining Nathan MacKinnon and crew next year as well. That’s not even mentioning Samuel Girard or Vladislav Kamenev, whom Sakic heisted out of Nashville. Suddenly things look pretty set.
It’s bad enough that Sakic and fellow GM Steve Yzerman tormented us as players. Now they’ve proven to be more than capable in the front office, and one has created a direct competitor in Denver while Yzerman looks set to revitalize, or try, the Auld Enemy in Detroit. Some curses never get exorcised. We thought we’d suffered enough, but Sakic has come to pile on that Game 4, double-overtime goal in 1996.
Game #74 and #75 Preview Suite