Friday, September 30, 2022

Keeler: With the avalanche chasing Stanley Cup dreams, Darcy Kumper was a takeaway. But did Joe Sakik just make the flying jump?

Say it not, Super Joe. Hey, a healthy Darcy Kumper in the crease deserves a flight. But is that flying leap worth it?

Trading a first round pick, a conditional third round pick And 22-year-old defenseman Conor Timmins for a 31-year-old goaltender who has made more than 29 regular-season starts Once from 2014?

it’s not a win-now Step. it is one win-or-other Step. For example, “Otherwise the fan starts to light the torch.”

Wasn’t Rocky the one who was supposed to be weird this week? Did the Avalanche hire Jeff Briditch as a consultant? Is Colorado general manager Joe Sakic, the most respected team-builder in town, just… Sakik-ed?

Say it not, Super Joe. There is a fine line between aggressive and desperate. The Kumper deal, at first, somehow managed to bring the two together. Required, yes. But was it supposed to be so painful?

“Listen, I have all the confidence in the world in Joe and C-Mac (Assistant General Manager Chris McFarland),” Avalanche captain and winger Gabe Landeskog said Wednesday morning after returning to the eight-year, $56 million deal. “And the team he clearly built and continues to build.”

For fans of Avs, though, that belief is about to be tested.

The 6-foot-5 Kumper, when he’s right, is a complete wall. The Canadian stopper finished in the top 8 in Vezina Trophy voting in 2019 and ’20. The Dude almost single-handedly saved the coyotes’ bacon at the postseason bubble in Edmonton last summer. Against AVS in the first round, he shot 49 in a Game 3 victory. Colorado won the series in five matches anyway.

There are many cracks in the wall, especially on the front of the injury. Lower body blues. Upper body blues. a stick in the eye. If a pair of Kumper and Pavel Françoise can somehow untangle it until next spring, it will prove that either Sakic is a genius or that his soul is bound by blood to the wrong mob.

Either way, he’s going for it. And with the clock ticking after the deepest avalanche team in a generation, a seemingly perfect window faded away, can you blame him?

We didn’t say “best” team. And we did not say that the window was completely closed. Any roster with Nathan McKinnon, Mikko Rantenon, Kale Makar and Landeskog basically remains a Stanley Cup contender, right from the jump.

But as of late Wednesday, Avs’ margin for error kept dwindling. The roster, along with former goalkeeper Philippe Grubauer – who agreed a six-year, $35.4 million deal with Seattle on Wednesday – joins the list of the recently departed that includes Timmins, Joonas Donskoi, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Ryan Graves are also involved.

“We obviously want to keep everyone (around) there,” Landeskog said. “It’s always like this – you want to keep the group together … We understand it’s a business and sometimes you can’t keep everyone.”

A franchise that two months ago boasted a killer corps, insane depth and a good Netminder, a killer corps, Kuemper and Françoise have been snubbed. When Winks said the hard part for AVS would be not so much climbing the mountain as maintaining a penthouse in the peaks, he meant the summer of 2021.

Yes, the loss is like half a dozen paper cuts. Yes, paying more money to keep Grubby in the fold might have been a wiser game, but it was money that AVS didn’t have.

On the bright side, the depth purge – retaining stars like second- and third-row fixtures Landeskog and defenseman Kale Makar, paying for quality over quantity – would have given Sakic a chance to take another swing at patching up past postseason failures. Is. A mid-window tweak if you wish. A rethink. Skaters along the lines of new defenseman Curtis McDermid, a 6-foot-5 banger.

Sakik had already cornered the market with speed, brilliance and finesse. The Stanley Cups are won on Spine, Smart and Steel.

You need reliable hands. Even more, you need reliable heads. Golden Knights don’t have to feel comfortable camping.

We will always have St. Louis, Gruby. St. Louis and Regrets.

“I hate the term ‘unfinished business,'” Landeskog said. “(But) we haven’t achieved much. The ultimate goal is to win the Stanley Cup. That’s what I’ve said since day one.”

For Landy, over $7 million a year is an investment in the forking locker room as much as the scoreboard. It is about balance. Chemistry. And you can squeeze out every last, precious drop in the next 23 months.

McKinnon, who is set to earn $6.3 million next year and become an unrestricted free agent in 2023, won’t be a forever deal. Eric Johnson ($6 million) and JT Compher ($3.5 million) may also enter the market after the 2022-23 season.

“Obviously, we are very happy to have people together,” Landeskog said. “And listen, it’s just the beginning. We’re glad to see a bunch of people locked up for a long time. It’s time to go to work.”

This goes double for Sakik, who has something to explain. No, the window is not closed. But that banging ticking sound is getting louder day by day.

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Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
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