This is the ONLY explanation I can come up with that makes any sense to me:
Coming out of the lockout, the Avs had a mediocre team. Stars like Foote and Forsberg were replaced with guys like Brisebois and Turgeon. We had a veteran team with a depleted prospects pool from 'going for it' year after year. A few up and coming players gave us some hope (Svatos, Wolski) only to fade in their effectiveness. Still, with some pretty average rosters, coach Q gave us three straight 95 point seasons but then left the organization in a 'mutual agreement' or whatever.
So we ended up with Granato AGAIN without interviewing anyone else and the results were disastrous.
I've always wondered, where would this team be, if we had kept Coach Q as head coach all along? So, let's generously assume that he would have been able to keep up at 95 points, here is what the draft could have looked like instead:
95 pts - 6th in conference - 12th in league
3rd - Matt Duchene -> 18th - Chris Kreider
33rd - Ryan O'Reilly -> 47th - Ethan Werek
49th - Steffan Elliott -> 49th - Steffan Elliott (*Leopold trade)
64th - Tyson Barrie -> 80th - Ryan Bourque
95 pts - 8th in conference - 12th in league (that's our actual finish so no change)
17th - Joey Hishon
49th - Calvin Pickard
71st - Michael Bournival
95 pts - 9th in conference - 16th in league
2nd - Gabriel Landeskog -> 14th - Jamie Oleksiak
11th - Duncan Siemens -> 11th Duncan Siemens
93rd - Joachim Nermark -> 105th Emil Molin
95 pts - 9th in conference - 16th in league
41st - Mitchell Heard -> 55th - Brock McGinn
72nd - Troy Bourke -> 77th Chandler Stephenson
So obviously, the Avs not selecting those guys in those positions would change things but this is just a fun exercise for the sake of argument. This is also assuming all of the same trades would have still happened. Here would the be lineup instead:
That's pretty scary stuff right there and a lot of teams are actually going through this year-in, year-out because they have poor scouting so the team has no choice but to try and address holes through free agency.
So, to answer your question, I have no choice but to believe that management knows exactly what they've got with Sacco, (the kind of guy who would take his timeout in OT only to follow that by NOT putting on his best faceoff man and best defensive pairing to cite only ONE example in a pool of many) and they choose to keep him as their head coach because of the 'dividends' it will likely pay off at the end, as illustrated above.
I think that a good coach, even only someone with a bit more sense would have gotten more out of this team over the past 3-4 years and they probably would have cost the team more $$$ and we wouldn't of had Duchene, RoR, Barrie and Landeskog.
I do think that it's coming to an end though and that Sacco will be 'sacked' after this season, a better or more proven coach will be brought in and it will pay immediate dividends much like Hitchcock did in St-Louis. That, combined with the return on RoR as well as the assets we pick up at this year's draft should allow us to 'start fresh' again so-to-speak.
I personally believe that the impact that Sacco has on the team is more pronounced than anyone really believes. Having played hockey myself, it's really not a great feeling when you see the guy behind the bench make questionable calls on a nightly basis. It's quite demoralizing. A new coach that has a good grasp on the game as well as ACTUAL REAL SYSTEMS will do wonders for this club. (a guy like Roy or Ruff)
I wasn't sure where to post this, since we don't really have a thread dedicated to discussing what the problems with the Avalanche are. We have individual threads for Sherman, Sacco, EJ, etc, but things like Jiggy's recent comments about the work ethic and focus of the team don't really have a set place aside from GDT's.
So I decided to bump this older thread to talk about what's going on with the mentality of this team.
It was awesome seeing Dutcy back up Jiggy.
"I liked it," Matt Duchene said. "I hoped everyone saw it. Obviously he let his emotions get the best of him, but sometimes that's a good thing. I was a fan of it. That's one example of what might be going on with some guys, but the biggest thing is, we can't be looking for an easy way out. The hard way out is getting better every day as a team and as an individual, and that's what we owe to ourselves, each other and to our fans. What Jiggy said hopefully grabbed the attention over everyone.
"And if there's any guy in here who can say that, it's him. It's good that he's upset. There's other guys in here who are upset as well. This is not fun."
I knew Duchene would back Jiggy up. He is everything you'd want in an NHL player. It must drive him insane to see guys slacking off and not caring, but he's not quite in a position where he's going to start calling people out.
It seems like after every season, this team seem to be at a crossroads. I remember afrer 10-11, and Foote's legendary last shift and Jones' OT goal against Edmonton to conclude a disastrous season, I thought things would finally start to look up. And they sort of did last season, even though the team came up a little short.
But then the team doesn't even bother qualifying Peter Mueller. OK, we got Parentea, but we still could have got an asset for Mueller if management didn't want to keep him. As it turns out this team could really use him. That move just baffled me beyond belief. I've never seen such a quality player not get qualified as an RFA.
And then we extend Sacco. And SOB. We sign Zanon (I mean seriously, had anyone in the organization even watched him for the last couple years? It was obvious he was washed up). We extend Funwick, a man who spent the season scratched, and was OK for a few games. We give Jones a massive contract. In hindsight those were bad moves, although Jones still has time to redeem himself. We sign Mitchell, which actually turned out to be an OK signing, even though he's been a non-factor for the last month. McClement goes to Toronto. Going into the season, guys who would be top 4 defensemen on most teams: Johnson. Maybe Hejda. The rest are 5,6,7 guys.
The O'Reilly saga will be taught at GM schools as what not to do when trying to re-sign a star player. Had they offered him 4 million per, I bet he would have signed. But no, they stubbornly stuck to their 3.5 offer. Granted, that was not a bad offer, but when it became obvious that he would under no circumstances sign for that amount you need to up the ante or trade him. And either of those things should have happened in January. Instead, Feaster sends a stupid offer sheet. Sherman is too dumb to know the rules of the CBA, whereby we could have let him go to Columbus for a price and collect Calgary's draft picks as well. Instead we get him in bloated contract.
So what decisions will have to be made this summer? First and foremost, what to do with Sacco. Logic dictates that he should be fired the second the final buzzer sounds on the Avs' last game. And I do believe he will get fired. It would be disastrous from a PR standpoint (not the at the Avs care too much about that) to bring him back. It would also be disastrous if his replacement is Chynoweth or Army. I don't think the Avs will make that mistake, but I wouldn't put it past them. Lindy Ruff would be a great hire. He actually knows how to use skill. None of this dump and chase crap that doesn't work.
But regardless of who the coach is, this team isn't getting far with the vomit that is currently our defence. A problem is that all our current defenseman are signed through to the next season. We have 2 compliance buy outs. They should be used on Zanon and O'Brien. Hunnybunny can be a 7th defenseman. If we get Seth Jones he might be able to step right in, although that's a lot to ask for an 18 year old d-man. We'll see how Siemens looks in camp, but he may need some time. I would suggest getting a UFA on the market who can actually play. I really like what I've seen form Winnipeg's Grant Clitsome. Douglas Murray would be a great asset to shore up our play in our own end, but I have a feeling he's going to be overpaid.
At forward we have 5 guys who are legitimate top 6 material. Landy, Stastny, Parenteau, O'Reilly and Duchene. Problem is 3 of them are centres. ROR cannot be traded until the deadline next season. Stastny wouldn't fetch all that much right now. But if I'm Sherman, I make it clear that Stazz can be had a a fair price. It'd be nice if Hishon were to wow everyone at camp and make the team. Other than him, I don't see much scoring help coming down the pipeline.