The Colorado Avalanche have been without a head coach for 18 days.
And it could be another 18 — at least — until they find a new one.
On Wednesday, Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reported his “spies” said the Avs won’t hire a replacement for Joe Sacco anytime soon.
It’s not hard to see why.
Dater reports Colorado is interested in Phoenix bench boss Dave Tippett, who is without a contract for next season.
The unpredictable nature of the Coyotes’ future clouds any potential hiring timeline — remember the Shane Doan saga of ’12? — and it could be a while before Tippett’s employment gets sorted.
As for other candidates?
One would think the Avs would show interest in Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault as well — assuming Vigneault is turfed.
Problem is, Canucks appear in no rush to make any decisions and Vigneault hasn’t even done his post-season media wrap yet, if he does one at all.
So again, there’s a waiting game in play.
Speaking of waiting games, Colorado could also be interested in Lindy Ruff, but he’s currently coaching Team Canada at the World Hockey Championships in Sweden/Finland.
Ergo, it looks like the Avs will indeed take their time — but not that much time.
Thanks to the lockout-shortened season, several key organizational dates are creeping up. The first is the NHL Draft on June 30 — the Avs pick first overall — followed by the start of free agency on July 5 (yes, six days later).
Colorado will likely want to have a head coach in place by then.
Mind you, this is Colorado.
Note 1: Colorado could make a quick and easy hire by promoting Dean Chynoweth from AHL Lake Erie. Dater pegged him as a potential replacement when Sacco was first dismissed.
Note 2: On the Patrick Roy front, new hockey ops chief Joe Sakic said “you don’t want to just bring in some guy from junior,” when discussing his potential coaching hire(s).
That could be a hint that Roy won’t be considered, given he’s been coaching at the Quebec junior level since 2003.