13 April 2009
I'm cautiously optimistic. Tony Granato has always been Pierre LaCroix's guy, so it may not signal the end of his coaching tenure with the Avs. However Francois Giguere was Pierre's guy as well, so it's tough not to read too much into that.
Nevertheless, the man in charge of the debacle of this season had to go, and there was no other way around it. Adrian Dater hit on it this morning, but the way the Avs played down the stretch, and all the prospects who were called up that looked out of place, meant that the LE affiliate is clearly lacking in NHL talent. That was FG's responsibility to stock that. (You can make a major case that the reason it's not stocked with talent is because Pierre Lacroix spent years ignoring the minor league system and that FG was finally starting to put some talent into it. In fact under Lacroix the Avs shared an AHL affiliate.)
Francois Giguere wasn't the worst GM in the world. He appears to be a solid drafter. He made some good decisions:
• Signing Ryan Smyth
• Not trading away JM-Liles, and then locking him up
• The Stastny contract is a good one
• paying attention to the long term salary cap
• Drafting some decent prospects and a commitment to the minor league system
• Not trading anyone away at the '07-'08 trade deadline, sparking the streak
• Trading for Salei and Foote and leaving cap space to sign Forsberg for last years playoffs.
• Drafting that stud: Kevin Shattenkirk
And his best move:
• Not giving Theodore the extra million for inconsistant goaltending and completely crippling the Avs salary cap for the next 4 years.
But he has made some very very bad decisions as well:
• The Brett Clark contract
• The Foote Trade... a 1st round pick was too much, especially since Columbus didn't have much leverage.
• Falling in love with his draft picks, to the point where he overvalued their talent level and impact.
• Scott Hannan's contract. In his defense I thought this was a good move at the time, and I'm not certain it's all that terrible. But so far he hasn't been worth the money he's being paid.
• Signing Raycroft to backup Budaj: the Avs needed soemone who could be solid if Budaj struggled. Raycroft was coming off multiple shakey seasons.
And the crown Jewel(s):
• The inexplicable decision to sign Darcy Tucker after letting go of Andrew Brunette for essentially being to old and slow. The Maple Leafs had just bought out Tucker for essentially being too old and slow, and it looks like they were right.
• The hiring of Tony Granato without even interviewing another candidate. That was just monumentally stupoid and this move really set the stage for Francois Giguere's demise. I mean he tied himself to Tony's success, and when it didn't come he looked even more foolish.
In the end though, 15th place in the Western Conference, and just a debacle of a season is too much to overcome. His last offseason was just a complete disaster, and wiped all the good he had done.
Just remember Francois, this all could have been avoided had you listened to me
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