Let me start by saying that I am an optimistic person by nature. I try to believe that all things will work out well in the end or at least that every situation has the potential to turn out well.
As the whole hockey world anxiously awaited FAF (Free Agent Frenzy), I suggested the Avs could use some depth wingers - guys with a little heart and soul. You can't question Darcy Tucker's heart or soul. Same goes with Swedish pest Per Ledin. These two signings are a little curious. I'm not a huge Tucker fan but he can prove useful in many circumstances, as can Ledin. It's not their value that I question, it's the fact that we now have basically two full lines that are chalk-full of gritty, in-yo-face pests: Tucker, Lappy, Ledin, McLeod, McCormick, Parker (when he plays) and even Jones.
I guess one things for sure, Francois Giguere has decided to try to make his team a tougher one to play against, a proverbial "pain in the butt" team that'll bang and crash, muck it up and get under your skin. Not since the Claude Lemieux days have we seen the Avs do this.
Now, about Raycroft. I think most people will laugh at this signing, even though it is only a 1yr worth $800,000. Let me make this clear: this is NOT the signing I was hoping for in goal. However, I said it before and I'll say it again, that I believe in Budaj. With Raycroft, as Theo a few years ago, we have a goalie that was in need of a new location and a fresh start. While I don't like the idea of Colorado being a goalie-rehab center, I think that bounce-back years and guys trying to prove themselves can have a very positive effect and I, for one, hope this will be the case with Andrew. In time, maybe he can even challenge for the #1 position, who knows?
Quick notes about our D. We have 6 solid guys back there: Foote, Liles, Salei, Hannan, Clark, and Leo, with Cumiskey soon to be here (along with others). We lost, in Finger, grit and toughness. Don't read into that to think I question the toughness of Foote, Salei, Hannan or even Liles. I think the Leafs may a good move, though I must say I didn't expect Finger to receive close to $3.5m per season! All the best to Theo in Washington, Brunette in Minny, Finger in Toronto, and Sauer in Phoenix.
Being an optimistic person, I believe we should give this new-look Avalanche team a chance and extend at least an ounce of grace to FG, Raycroft and Tucker and welcome the latter two to our team.
As always: go avs go!