13 April 2009
The changes have already begun - the Francois Giguere era is over.
The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that Executive VP/General Manager Francois Giguere has been relieved from his duties. Effective immediately, Avalanche President and Alternate Governor Pierre Lacroix will oversee the franchise until a new management structure is announced.
Pierre Lacroix issued the following statement:
“The results of this season are unacceptable. We feel a new direction is needed which re-emphasizes those standards of excellence our fans have grown accustomed to since 1995. We will work diligently towards reclaiming our identity that made our brand so special and unique.“We are too proud of what we have accomplished in this market to ignore where we are and what happened in just a very short period of time. Ownership and the dedicated Avalanche fans throughout the region deserve better results.
“The immediate future of this franchise is my primary concern so it was important to act now and start the process of restoring this franchise to where it belongs.
”The Avalanche has not set a timetable for finalizing a new management structure. Until such an announcement is made, there will be no further comment from any member of the team’s hockey operations staff."
I applaud Avs and Lacroix for the frank statement about the team‘s current state. Usually harsh words from Lacroix about Giguere, particularly “We are too proud of what we have accomplished in this market to ignore where we are and what happened in just a very short period of time. Ownership and the dedicated Avalanche fans throughout the region deserve better results.”
Best Moments as GM
2008 Trade Deadline - Giguere took an average Avs team that looked like it wasn’t going to get in to the playoffs and added Peter Forsberg, Adam Foote and Ruslan Salei. The Avs made the playoffs and beat the favored Minnesota Wild in the first round.
Drafts - So far, it appears that FG did pretty well in three drafts with the Avs, particularly in early rounds. He drafted two players Chris Stewart and TJ Galiardi that have likely seen their last AHL game as well as the following 4 defensemen, all who have shown flashes and real promise: Kevin Shattenkirk, Nigel Williams, Colby Cohen, and (to a lesser extent) Jens Hellgren.
Worst Moments as GM
2008 Offseason - Nearly every move FG made was a wrong move.
- Let Brunette, Finger and Sauer go
- Grossly overpaid Clark @ 2 yrs / 3.5M. (Sauer is only making 1.75M in Phoenix.)
- After being bought out in Toronto, FG signed Tucker to a 2 year deal - a deal the Avs may have to buy out.
- Signed Raycroft instead of finding a way to land a veteran goaltender who could challenge Budaj or step in the starter role if Budaj struggled.
- Wasted money on Parker and Ledin, neither of which made the Avalanche roster after training camp.
2008 - 09 season - But as bad as the 2008 offseason was, the bigger tragedy was the FG did not do anything to address to obvious team needs during the season. Yes, the salary cap makes in season trades much more difficult to accomplish, but they are not impossible, not to mention that there are other ways to shake the team up. Doing absolutely nothing while the wheels came off this season sent the wrong message to the players, fans and ultimately to Pierre Lacroix.
What does this mean for Tony Granato?
I’m seeing mixed messages so far. Pierre may still be evaluating him, or he might leave this decision up to the new GM. By firing FG right away, it does tell me that Lacroix believes the Avs problems are primarily a talent issue, which I agree with.
Any rumors on who the new GM will be?
I’m seeing Eric Lacroix’s name a lot - but that feels a lot like the Roy coaching rumors last offseason - I just don’t buy it. I will let you know when I see something plausible and credible.
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