This post is part of Avalanche Day on PHT...
In the six years that Joe Sakic has been a part of the Colorado Avalanche front office the team has qualified for the playoffs just one time. That season proved to be the outlier in what has been a pretty extensive run of mediocrity as the team has taken some significant steps backwards.
Is he under pressure in the sense that his job is in serious jeopardy? It doesn’t seem like it, because if that was the case the Avalanche probably would have already moved on in a different direction.
Under pressure in the sense that he has to start doing something significant in order to get this aimless ship headed in the right direction? Most definitely. Because when you look at the current state of the Avalanche organization it’s hard to fully understand exactly where the team is going and how it intends to get there.
They have had the NHL’s worst defense for two years running and have done little to address it.
They currently only have three defensemen under NHL contract for this season and still don’t know what the future is for Nikita Zadorov.
It almost seems as if they intended to use Matt Duchene as a trade chip to help address that position but he remains on the roster and still seems to be in some sort of limbo when it comes to his future with the team. Even more concerning is that if they do decide to trade him -- or perhaps even Gabriel Landeskog or Tyson Barrie -- the last time the Avalanche traded one of their core players -- Ryan O’Reilly -- it turned out to be a complete disaster of a trade.
At the end of the day Sakic has been involved with the Avalanche long enough that this is his team and his organization. His fingerprints are all over it. Coaches have changed. Players have changed.
The results have not. At some point that has to come back to the people responsible for assembling the roster and building the organization.