Sparked by a readers comments, about who would the Avs be shopping for this offseason when it comes to management, I became intrigued at the opportunity to investigate.
Current GM Francois Giguere has had one of the worst starts a GM could have when handed an elite franchise, like the Avs were post lockout. Unlike our rival RedWings, the Avs have not been fans of the cap era, and some questionable moves by their latest GM have not helped. There needs to be a price to pay when things go this bad, and since we've already essentially fired Granato once, im sure doing it again wont help (yes i know he stepped down, whatever, it counts in my books).
The likely candidate for resuming the GM duties would be Pierre Lacroix. Now some people will argue he mortgaged our future and yes also made some bad deals, however he did that despite keeping the Avs as one of the best in the West. This team was amazing, and although we may have lost guys like Robyn Regehr, Chris Drury and Radim Vrbata (brought up because of how many people were actually upset when he was traded), we were strong and a force to be reckoned with. He's also one of the smartest GM's of our time and i think thats a point that would be hard to argue. Pierre also needs to atone for the Giguere debacle because its now Pierres legacy in ruin, if anyone wants to leave a real mark on a franchise, what better way than coming back to resurrect the team from the basement to a powerhouse once more.
Adrian Dater did a post about this topic and listed off names internally he would think lay in the mix, I will however not take this route because its boring. Instead I will look to external hirings which will clearly be way more fun.
Jim Nill...not ringing a bell? How about Kevin Holland....yea hes his assistant GM. What better candidate than one who has helped build one of the best teams in hockey. Even more fitting is that he is ready to run his own show and knows the Western Conference really well. In 2004, he was named GM for Team Canada's World Championship team, and under his leadership, Canada won the gold medal. Nill's clearly the best candidate that hasn't already been a GM.
Neil Smith, former Rangers GM, could also be a good fit. Managed the Rangers really well and should be given another chance especially after what happened with the Islanders. Things went really well for him early on with the Rangers, but amidst aging players, a mortgaged future (which won them the cup) and terrible coaches, he was fired.
Pat Quinns also available. I've always like him as a coach more than a GM, but i mean i'd take Quinn over Giguere any day. Probably not the best reason for hiring him so i'll move on.
Mike Millbury. Yes i know who he is, and i also know they players he has drafted. Hes a brilliant hockey mind, and even if he has to run trades through Lacroix, I can see him being a very good GM again...he just needs to hold on to his draft picks.
Bobby Clarke, he love the Flyers but i think a change of venue may intrigue him enough to get that hockey desire back. Brilliant and fiesty GM. Someone who would be very entertaining
Patrick Roy. Need i say more. Yes. He's clearly not ready to be a GM, but I'll take time now to say he should be an assistant coach. Now. He's one of the best cerebral players to ever lace up skates, and he knows how players think. Granted his hot headed nature may create problems, but so long as his son isn't playing for us yet, it shouldnt be that much of a problem.