We have officially reached the dog days of the NHL offseason. The draft is a distant memory, most free agents have found a home, and we are still about a month away from training camp. It it weren't for Patrick Kane (allegedly) slapping around a cabbie and the shitshow in the desert, there wouldn't be much to write about. So, the brain trust (and I use that term loosely) here at SBN Hockey decided to come up with a way to fill the void with summer content. The idea was simply to interview another SBN blogger. We paired Eastern Conference bloggers with Western Conference bloggers and I drew Mile High Hockey (Colorado Avalanche). David Driscoll-Carignan of MHH was nice enough to answer some of my questions...even the snarky, wise ass ones.
How did a guy from NH become an Avs fan? Did you get traded with Ray Bourque?
Actually, Bourque was traded on my birthday and what an excellent birthday gift that was, let me tell you. The shortish answer is that some friends and I got into fantasy hockey a few years back to give us something to do during the baseball offseason. Joe Sakic became a cornerstone for some of my excellent Screaming Ice Demons teams. As I got more and more into hockey, Sakic became my guy and I just ended up following his team as part of the deal.
The Avs mascot: disturbing, awesome, or disturbingly awesome?
D) awesomely disturbing.
Is there a new team policy on snowblower use this year?
The only player permitted to use a snowblower is Darcy Tucker (since it's not like his hands could get any worse).
The Avalanche have struggled with goaltending in recent years. Do you think that the offseason signing of Craig Anderson will help to solidify the position?
I don't know that I've ever seen Anderson play, but I've heard lots of good stuff about him. Is he going to solidify the position? That seems a bit optimistic. He should make the position better, though, which is a good start. Now we just need to see improvements in scoring, defense, coaching and special teams!
Fans of college hockey in New England will be interested to know what you think of Brandon Yip and where you think he will fit in with Colorado's organization in the next few years?
The Avs have a huge connection with BU. Obviously, Yip signed this summer. Kevin Shattenkirk and Colby Cohen are also Avalanche prospects and the Avs drafted Kieran Millan last month. New coach Joe Sacco used to play for BU and the new coach for the Avs' AHL affiliate is, you guessed it, former Terrier player and assistant coach David Quinn. Do you know of anyone else we could grab?
As for Yip, I'm not big on college hockey and don't pretend to know what's in store for him. I've heard some glowing praise about him, but I've also heard some less-favorable reviews. One thing's for sure: on this team, he'll get a chance sooner rather than later.
How much of a home ice advantage do you think playing at the Pepsi Center is? Is the high elevation a huge factor for visiting teams?
I've always wondered if that was more bunk than science. After all, these are (mostly) highly conditioned athletes, right? Still, every freaking time a visiting player is interviewed in Denver, altitude gets mentioned so there has to be at least a little something to it. Right?
If you have to build a team around one player in his prime who do you choose: Ray Bourque, Patrick Roy, or Joe Sakic?
My brain says Roy, but my heart says Sakic. Sakic is - and always be - my favorite player.
Do you think that Matt Duchene is really as nerdy as he appeared at the NHL Draft? He wore a short sleeve dress shirt and talked about designing his own jerseys.
Sadly, yes, I do. I've already slapped the ridiculous "Doogie" nickname on him. I'm not proud of that, but look at the poor kid! I'm not even sure he could beat Doug Gilmour in a fight.
Will you be making the voyage down to Boston on Columbus Day?
I've tossed the idea around. Frankly, I feel that NHL games are kind of pricey. Or maybe I'm just cheap. Honestly, it's probably a fair mix of both.
For my responses to David's questions, check out Mile High Hockey