It’s decision time in Colorado for the Avalanche brass. I know there are a lot of personnel decisions that must be made, but hopefully near the top of the list there is room for resigning 14 of the top 22 players for the Avs that are now free agents. It’s a big time contract year and you can bet that not everyone is going to have a locker at Pepsi Center in the 2012-13 season. Players in this category include Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly, Erik Johnson, and Shane O’Brien. Also included are some potential key ingredients like Jamie McGinn and Steve Downie who both proved themselves to be game-worthy this season. And maybe if they resign Peter Mueller, we can get our token 15 games out of him next season. (He’ll miss the rest with injuries.)
Duchene, O’Reilly, Johnson, and O’Brien have made it very clear they want to stay in Colorado. Matt Duchene added a very prideful personal touch to his statement saying that “I grew up worshiping this team.”, and later added “It’s my number one commitment to raise a Stanley Cup one day in this jersey.” Sorta gets you pumped for next year, huh? It’s nerve-racking to think about which players aren’t going to make the cut during the off season, but there is a lot of talent amongst the mish-mash of a team we managed to throw out on the ice this season. They will likely end up with over half of the 14 free agents being resigned. And it’s clear whatever we end up with for a coach for next season; he’ll be chomping at the bits for the opportunity to harness this much talent.
Denver Sports by Manderson