Joe Sakic: Why He Needs To Go
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By Brendan Jordan
The Colorado Avalanche find themselves, once again, at the bottom seed of the National Hockey League.
But what changed from the triumphant 2013-14 team that won the Central Division title, to the now bottom-feeder NHL team that gets lucky when they pick up a win? The answer can be found in the Avalanche’s front office.
When the Avalanche first came to Colorado, they were blessed with a fantastic General Manager in Pierre Lacroix. Lacroix built the 1996 and 2001 Stanley Cup winning teams in with his bare hands. He was simply a gift to the Avalanche from the hockey gods above. After the times of Stanley Cup parades and Presidents’ Trophy titles, the Avalanche hired former captain of the team during those Stanley Cup runs, Joe Sakic, as the new General Manager. Since his hiring, the Avalanche have only made the playoffs once. For Sakic, that’s not something he’ll want to put on his resumé.
Sakic arrived to the Avalanche front office on May 10, 2013. Since then, I can recall no transactions that have been very beneficial to the Avalanche. Some may argue that the infamous trading of Ryan O’Reilly in 2014 was a good deal for the Avalanche because it brought in good future considerations. But for me, I’d rather be watching this team winning championships now rather that waiting for the future to come.
Since Sakic’s arrival, the Avalanche have only had one successful season, which came in the first year of his new position with the Avalanche. Following that first season, the Avalanche have done nothing but struggle with their lineups and their coaching. The Avalanche suffered a lot of losses to their lineup after that triumphant season, including the loss of long-time Avalanche forward Paul Stastny, and the trading of Ryan O’Reilly. Sakic did attempt to fill those missing lineup spots by signing veteran forward Jarome Iginla and acquiring Danny Briere for a short amount of time. However, we must take a look at where those transactions have left the Avalanche now. Danny Briere retired the year after we got him, and Jarome Iginla is now being paid $5.5 million to skate on the third line and barely produce any offense.
As for today, the Avalanche just cannot win a game to save their lives. With 46 games played, the Avalanche have strung together a total of 13 wins. The core of this Avalanche team is just embarrassingly weak, but alas, Sakic is still sitting at home and not doing anything to change where the Avalanche are seated.
The Avalanche need a big trade that will strengthen the core immensely, and that trade need to happen much sooner rather than later. Of course, there are a few untouchable players like Nathan MacKinnon and (maybe) Matt Duchene, but moving a big name such as Tyson Barrie or Gabriel Landeskog might be very beneficial to the Avalanche to make the playoffs in the next few years. Personally, I say we look to strengthen our defensive core and go after someone like St. Louis Blues’ defensemen Colton Parayko or Kevin Shattenkirk. Putting some strong defensemen in front of our stellar goaltenders might change up the outcome of these games.
Joe Sakic has had his ups and downs of being the General Manager of the Colorado Avalanche. But for me, the only thing he has proved is that sometimes good NHL players don’t make good NHL front office members. The Avalanche need to do away with Joe Sakic in the front office and hire someone willing to make the Avalanche a winning team again.