I am not calling him an incompetent GM, far from it. He is slowly building the team a new identity and adjusting the roster as needed to compete in the long run. However, he needs another voice in the room when it comes to negotiating trades, as he is too quick on the trigger IMO and does not take the time/effort/thought process to maximize the teams return.
With both the Johnson and Varlamov trades, Avalanche management contacted the teams several months before the actual deals went down. In Johnson's case, at the beginning of the 2010-2011 season (as quoted by Blues GM Doug Armstrong); in Varlamov's case, when the Capitals were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs (as quoted by Capitals GM George McPhee).
Suggesting Sherman, or the Avalanche's management group as a whole, doesn't put in the time or effort to get the most out of the trades they make is one of the most asinine things any fan could say.
And I am not even convinced it would have come to making the offersheet. McPhee maybe did not use the exact words, but in the interviews about the trade, he came off as being shocked that someone offered the package they did.
“We were hoping to have Semyon back this year and play a full season so we could get that kind of value for him next summer because we knew next summer we were going to have to do something with one of the goaltenders,” McPhee said. “But we got that value now, and given the injury, I’m surprised we got that now.”
Overpay or not, the AVS needed a tender and it has worked out so far. The concern has always been his durability... so this is a topic that is best revisited towards the end of the season.
There was also the talk that Sherman inquired about Schneider, Bernier, and Varlamov with a deal based around the #11 pick. And then there's the whole thing about Stastny+ for Bernier + Johnson. The GMs clearly had a value established, it was just a matter of pulling the trigger. I still maintain that the only reason people think it's a bad deal is because we gave up a 1st.
As for the game, the team played really well in the third. It was nice to see the team make some adjustments and really start to push the play instead of accepting a loss, especially after giving up the goal.
Duchene needs to simplify his game more and learn to pick his spots. The kid has a ton of talent but he gets himself in trouble by trying to be fancy and doing too much. Stastny needs someone who can actually accept his passes and shoot the puck on net, instead of the fumbling and whiffs he's been getting for the past 45ish games.
The offense should have more goals scored for the season. The chances have been there every game, they just need to start going in.
The defense has looked a lot better than last year. At times O'Brien tries to do too much and it looks like Johnson is trying too hard to make the highlight reel plays, but on the defensive end they've been solid.