Tag: personal issues

Steve Tambellini, Greg Sherman

Avalanche GM Greg Sherman says he’s “very confident” in his abilities


There’s no question that Colorado Avalanche GM Greg Sherman has had his share of doubters since free agency opened on July 1. Actually, some would say that he’s been under fire since the moment he pulled the trigger on the blockbuster trade that sent power-forward Chris Stewart and blossoming defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (and a pick) to St. Louis for Erik Johnson and Jay McClement (and a pick). It certainly didn’t help that the Avalanche only had one victory in 21 games between the end of January and the middle of March. Such is life around a team that finishes with the second worst record in the league.

The naysayers have become loud enough that Terry Frei of the Denver Post talked to Sherman about it at Semyon Varlamov’s press conference on Thursday.

“I’m very confident in my abilities to do the job I have to do,” Sherman said. “This particular job, while player personnel decisions are a big part of it, there are multiple facets to running a hockey club. I’m very confident in the role.”

Sherman isn’t shying away from it: For better or worse, these are “his” moves and he’ll be accountable for them.

“A hundred percent,” he said. “I make the decision. I’m surrounded by great hockey people, but at the end of the day, make the decision and move forward. I and we believe what we’ve done in the last couple of weeks, culminating with last Friday, has upgraded this hockey club. We’ve addressed the areas that were a priority for us and we believe we have put ourselves in position to continually grow this team together and get us back to where we rightfully belong.

“I don’t think it’s any different than any other major organization or sports organization. I surround myself with strong hockey people. I come to the hockey decisions. The recommendation is made and at the end of the day, I make the final call. So to me, it starts and ends with me and I’m fortunate to be surrounded by these strong hockey people, and keeping everyone on the same page as we move forward as a franchise.”

It’s probably not a good sign when the general manager of an NHL team feels that he has to start a response with: “I’m confident in my abilities.” Then again, it’s not a great situation for the Avalanche GM when an opposing general manager says, “I’m surprised we got such a good deal from Colorado.” Ouch. No wonder the man is more defensive than Dave Bolland against a Sedin.

Unfortunately for Sherman, there is going to be high profile criticism when he makes high profile moves. It’s easy for fans and pundits to sit back and criticize the Stewart/Johnson trade or the move for Varlamov. Did it look bad for the Avalanche when Chris Stewart went on his scoring binge in St. Louis? Absolutely. Do first and second round draft picks sound like a king’s ransom for a goaltender that has only started 59 NHL games? Sure it does. Honestly, only time will tell if those deals work out in the Avs favor—but the early returns don’t look good.

No matter what happens, you have to give respect to the man who takes ownership for his decisions. He did everything short of saying “the buck stops here.” He made a good move to acquire Tomas Fleischmann (health not withstanding) and he went out and got the goaltender who he thought would be the best for the Avalanche’s future. After his comments, we know that he made the final evaluations and is confident in his hockey decisions.

If Varlamov develops into an elite goaltender, fans in Colorado will be confident in his hockey decisions as well.

Sidney Crosby won’t play tonight against Canadiens; Matt Cooke also out


Playing back-to-back games is tough enough. Going without the league’s leading scorer and one of its most insufferable pests will be even tougher.

That’s the situation the Pittsburgh Penguins find themselves in, though, as word surfaced that Sidney Crosby and Matt Cooke will miss tonight’s game against the hated Montreal Canadiens.

Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Crosby is suffering from an “upper body injury” while Cooke is dealing with personal issues (let’s assume Cooke’s personal issues don’t involve finding his son another matching tailored suit). I must admit that my immediate thought was: “maybe that David Steckel hit was as bad as it looked for Crosby” but the Penguins claim that Crosby is dealing with something from yesterday’s game against the Lightning instead.

It sounds like Crosby’s injury isn’t very serious, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Bylsma did not identify the sequence upon which Crosby was injured against Tampa Bay.

“At this point we’re making sure he’s healthy and ready and able to play when he does get back out there,” Bylsma said.

“We knew at one point in the game (Wednesday), after the game and traveling, waking up this morning… but we were still going to see how he was reacting to his injury. When he woke up this morning we decided he wasn’t going to play tonight.”

This will mark only the second game Crosby has missed over the past two seasons. His previous injuries have been of the lower-body variety (groin, hip and ankle).

Those previous injuries made Crosby miss a considerable amount of time, yet the Penguins were able to persevere thanks to strong play from the likes of Evgeni Malkin. Pittsburgh hopes they will only need to fight through a game or two without their captain. We’ll keep you updated about his status this week.