St Louis Blues v Colorado Avalanche

Columnist: Avalanche coach Joe Sacco ‘dismissal should be expected’


If you’re a Colorado Avalanche fan, the end of this dismal 2013 season can’t come quick enough.

The Avalanche are dead last in the league by three points. Hopes of making a playoff run are completely gone and have been for some time, and frustration within the dressing room is starting to boil over.

See Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s comments here, and the day-after reaction from his teammates here.

Then, late Tuesday evening, a strongly worded piece from Denver Post sports columnist Mark Kiszla was published online, essentially calling for not only head coach Joe Sacco to lose his job, but that a front office clean-up should also take place. Here’s an excerpt from his column (which can be read in its entirety here).

Yes, for starters, Sacco needs to worry about saving his job.

It should already be too late. With the Avs doomed to miss the playoffs for the third consecutive season in his four-year stint as coach, Sacco’s dismissal should be expected.

Of course, not everything wrong with the Avalanche is the fault of Sacco. A hose should be turned on to clean out the front office.

But when a team loses interest, it is an ugly condemnation of both the players and the coach hired to motivate them.

Perhaps it’s a good thing the Avalanche have only nine games remaining in the season.

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.