Interesting times in Colorado with a once proud NHL franchise that has fallen on hard times.
Last week, the Avalanche were courting a big name in Patrick Roy to take on their hockey operation after a miserable 2008-09 season after which GM Francois Giguere was canned.
Roy said thanks, but no thanks. So what would the Avs do next? Who could be the equivalent of Roy?
Well, the plan is apparently to blow it all up, and then take a voyage into the great unknown.
President Pierre Lacroix fired head coach Tony (Dead Man Walking) Granato this morning along with five other staffers, including longtime assistant GM Michel Goulet.
Then within the last hour Lacroix announced that 39-year-old assistant GM Greg Sherman, virtually unknown across the league and a trained accountant, was taking over as GM.
Good luck to Sherman. He's going to need it.
The Avs not only stunk last year and finished dead last in the Western Conference, but attendance has started to fall off in Denver for the first time since the club moved to Colorado from Quebec City. The roster talent is thin, although there are top end players in Paul Stastny, Wojtek Wolski and Ryan Smyth, and the club has no goaltending to speak of.
There are suggestions that free agent Swedish goalie Johan Gustavsson is no longer interested in the Avalanche, although it might be the best opportunity for him in terms of becoming a No. 1 goalie right away.
Oddly, Sherman will not be permitted to speak publicly to the media until the club hires a new coach, humiliating for a new executive, which sure makes it look like Lacroix is back running the show. In fact, the former agent yesterday hired his son, Eric, to be the club's new director of hockey operations, adding a little nepotism to the mix.
Colorado has always been a bit different to deal with from a media point of view, and it appears that is going to continue.
Sherman at least has the No. 3 pick in this month's entry draft to work with, and the likelihood is that Brampton centre Matt Duchene could be the Colorado pick. Having Sherman come on board so late probably makes it more difficult for someone like Leafs GM Brian Burke to try to pry that pick away.
That said, there are rumblings the Avs might like to shed some salary, and that's the kind of situation of which Burke is hoping to take advantage.