I apologize for my absence Avs fans, but in May of this year I moved to South Korea for one year to teach ESL and it's kind of hard to keep updating blogs with everything that's been happening!
As Colorado fans, we clearly remember the date of July 1, 2007. On this day we made two major signings to kick off Free Agent Frenzy, with the additions of Ryan Smyth and Scott Hannan. While some have more negative feelings about these deals they were exactly what Colorado needed: some heart and soul, with a little grit.
As we enter Free Agent Frenzy '08, the question that is on our minds is just the same as everyone else: who will be wearing our colors come July 1? Good question.
Here are some snippets from the RMN regarding FG and potential signings:
Rick Sadowski reports Colorado Avalanche GM Francois Giguere suggests he isn't likely to make any major signings...He didn't rule out making any signings but would do so only if they made sense both for the roster and the payroll. He did suggest being in the market for a goaltender and hasn't ruled out Peter Budaj returning as the starter.
This was pretty much to be expected as FG is still awaiting word from long-time Captain, Super Joe, as well as from Peter the Great. I really understand how Anaheim felt last year when Scotty Neids was flip-flopping about retirement, though the situation is a little different. This is mainly because the Avs are about $20M under the cap currently. So what do we do in the meantime?
I confess I am of two minds when it comes to our goaltending. On the one hand, I would love it if we could try to go after Huet with the money left by Theo. On the other hand, I am not opposed to Boots in net, as long as we are committed to sound defense and can provide him with some goal support.
As far as forwards go, I would realistically like to see the Avs sign some depth guys, perhaps a checking center. Nothing against Guite, whom I love, but I would rather throw a guy like Stoll or Holik in for a crucial faceoff in our end. If Joe and Peter walk, we need to think fast. I'm not opposed to seeing Fedorov here, though the Avs don't seem to like Russians very much. Even guys like Huselius and Ryder could provide useful to our secondary scoring. We need to retain Wolski and Svatos too.
Our D is looking pretty solid. I wouldn't mind seeing Leo traded for someone a little less injury-prone, but overall I'm happy and I really think Liles will have a comeback year as he's a more complete player now.
Whatever FG does, I hope he thinks through each move critically and doesn't try to do too much. I really think the Avs stand a good chance, at least at making the Playoffs, if not going for something better. Let the frenzy begin!
As always: go avs go!