Mile High Sports

Grading the Avs Offseason

Apr 5, 2018; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Ian Cole (23) blocks a shot in front of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (72) during play against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the time of the year hockey fans dread the most: the middle of August. Most GM’s are on vacation. The trade market is dead. In general, all is quiet in the world of hockey.

The good news, however, is that the Avs report to training camp in less than a month. Coming off a season in which the Avs surprised the world by making the playoffs, expectations will be a lot higher come September 13th when everyone reports to camp. Each of the last three times the Avalanche have made the postseason, they’ve failed to qualify for the playoffs the next year, so the franchise will be looking to build off the previous year.

Barring any surprise moves, Joe Sakic’s offseason is likely done. The roster you see now is probably the roster that will report to camp next month. Let’s take a look back and assess each move Sakic made this offseason as he looks to build another playoff team.

May 2nd: G Pavel Francouz signs for 1 year, $650k – B+

May 15th: D Mark Barberio re-signs for 2 years, 1.45M per season – B

May 25th: W Gabriel Bourque re-signs for 1 year, $950 per season – C

June 22nd: Avalanche acquire G Phillip Grubauer and D Brooks Orpik for 47th overall pick in 2018 NHL Draft – B+

July 1st: Avalanche sign D Ian Cole to three-year, 12.75M contract – C+

July 1st: Avalanche sign W Matt Calvert to 3 year, 8.4M Contract – D-

July 7th: W Matt Nieto re-signs for 2 years, 3.95M contract – C

August 2nd: D Patrik Nemeth re-signs to 1 year, 2.5M contract – B-

Overall Grade: C+

Overall, the Avs had a very average off-season. Grubauer is no doubt their most important acquisition, but there are still question marks on him since he’s never been a true number one goaltender at the NHL level. Sakic did not address the Avs secondary scoring issue, so he seems content just banking on players like Tyson Jost, Alexander Kerfoot, and J.T. Compher improving in their sophomore years, which is always a risky proposition. Big changes were not likely after last season, but given the ultra competitive Central Division, a small setback can knock you out of the playoff picture pretty quickly. Expectations will be higher, and Sakic seems confident the players that were already on the roster are up to the task.