May 8, 2008 3:52 PM
Q on hold ... or gone?
It's been a week since the Avalanche was eliminated by Detroit, and a week since general manager Francois Giguere said he would take some time to evaluate player personnel and the status of the coaching staff, especially that of Joel Quenneville.
I spoke with Giguere the day after the season ended and, except for saying that he'd welcome Joe Sakic back "with open arms," wouldn't comment specifically about any player or coach.
Frankly, I didn't get the feeling that he was too enthusiastic about Quenneville.
No announcements have been made since then, which leads me to believe Quenneville has coached his last game for the Avalanche. His contract expires at the end of June, but I doubt Giguere will wait that long before making an official announcement.
Seems to me, if Giguere wanted Quenneville back, a new deal would already have been struck. And if Quenneville wanted out -- I don't really think this is the case -- it would have made sense for the two sides to make some kind of mutual announcement.
That hasn't happened, obviously, and now Giguere is heading to eastern Canada to check out the World Hockey Championship tournament. I doubt he's looking to see how Jordan Leopold is playing for the U.S.
I mean, it makes sense to catch the tournament since he doesn't have to head overseas, where it's usually played, but Pat Burns is an assistant with Team Canada, and he's got a pretty good track record as an NHL head coach, having coached in Montreal, Toronto and New Jersey, where he won a Stanley Cup.
Burns, a no-nonsense type (he was a policeman in Montreal) is certain to draw plenty of interest, and there are openings in Ottawa, Toronto and Atlanta. And Jacques Lemaire might not be back in Minnesota.
The Avalanche could do a lot worse than to hire Burns.
-- Rick Sadowski