Day One of NHL Free Agency flew past with nary a whisper in the Colorado Avalanche front office, and that's precisely how GM Greg Sherman likes it.
Our plan of building from within is the plan," Sherman said by phone Thursday afternoon. "I feel very strongly about the group of players that we have."
Armed with an enormous amount of cap space, the Avalanche were in position to bolster their defensive core or add a dynamic offensive player to pair with Stastny. But after the first day, it appears the team won by simply doing nothing at all. Look at some of the terrible contracts handed out by desperate teams in a feeding frenzy:
- New York Rangers give Derek Boogaard a 4year, $6.6mil deal. Boogaard, who hasn't even scored a goal in over four seasons. (I don't know how this is even possible...)
- Calgary overpaid to bring back Alex Tanguay and Ollie Jokinen, two players who did little for them ages ago, and have done even less since then. Get the band back together! You didn't win the Cup with them, so obviously they are the missing pieces!
- LA Kings and New Jersey Devils are locked in an epic battle to overpay the top free agent and one way player, Ilya Kovalchuk. Nothing like outbidding another team for the right to cripple your team's budget for the next 8-10 years...
Meanwhile, the Avalanche have not added anyone to their roster, instead depending on the continued development of their young team and prospects like promising defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk to fill in the holes. It's a solid plan, built around developing and maintaining a core and allowing plenty of cap space for contract extensions and (maybe) a trade deadline acquisition or two if the Avalanche remain competitive.
Even more importantly, it avoids a potential Chicago Blackhawks situation. Yes, they won the Stanley Cup last year, but their serious salary cap issues have crippled the team going forward and they have already begun to trade off their young talent.
Kudos, Greg Sherman. You finally have the team learning how to remain competitive in a salary cap era. Just by doing nothing this year, you have already won.