CHICAGO — With the Avalanche trip to Chicago and Detroit spanning Wednesday's NHL trading deadline, it's at least noticeable — and perhaps ominous — that the team's front office is heavily represented on the road.
The traveling party includes executive vice president for hockey operations Joe Sakic, assistant general manager Craig Billington, GM Greg Sherman and vice president for hockey administration Charlotte Graham.
However, after the Avalanche morning skate in the United Center, hours before the Tuesday night meeting with the Blackhawks, Colorado coach and vice president of hockey operations Patrick Roy again emphasized he liked his roster and that he could live with standing pat.
"We need to be patient," Roy said. "Let's not forget. Twenty-ninth last year. We need to press on the right buttons. We have to make the right decisions. If there's something good for us, I'm sure Joe and I will look at it. If it's not, it's not, and we're very comfortable with our group. This is a very good group. This is a group that plays hard every night and they certainly deserve that opportunity as well."
A major possibility remains a deal involving Paul Stastny, whose five-year, $33 million contract is up after this season and who can be an unrestricted free agent on July 1 if he isn't re-signed by then.
After the skate, Stastny again patiently answered the same questions he has been hearing for days. First, he emphasized he hadn't spoken with his agent, Matt Keator, in the previous 24 hours and didn't know anything new. Asked if he had been brought into contract discussions, he said, "I stay out of it, unless something very important comes up. Like I said before..."
At that point, he laughed and added, "I give the same answer because that's too much for me to think about. That's how I've always been. It's not just now. We've been together for 10-plus years, coming out of college and my first couple of years. It keeps my mind at ease to not have to worry about it and just worry about on the ice."
Stastny did add that he "absolutely" would be willing to grant the Avalanche a discount. The trick there is how that's defined, especially since it's generally conceded that while he has played well as a two-way center doing a lot of the intangibles and is a major contributor to this team, his $6.6 million salary the past five seasons raised eyebrows.
"Everybody knows how the business works," Stastny said. "You can obviously go somewhere and get more money somewhere else. But if you have something good and you want to stick with it, that hometown discount is obviously something that everyone's aware of and is important to do. You want both sides to be happy. You don't want to (mistreat) the team and you want the team to be put in a good situation where they can kind of compete down the road as well."
Terry Frei: email@example.com