The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla on Monday answered questions from readers in a live chat. What has stood out to you the most in what seems like a revival of the Avalanche? What’s your rank in order of importance for reloading talent via draft, free agency or trade? Others in the division seem to be getting better, at least on paper. Here are the highlights: Who are you watching this week at the Senior Bowl? OK, revival may be a tad much, but its nice to see consistent winning again! But I think recent NHL history teaches us a fairly consistent lesson: The quickest way to a team’s revival is through a forward that can change the complexion of any game with his skill. Rank: O Line, QB, RB, receivers, linebackers, defensive backs, D Line. Kiz: Well, we’ve got to start with the quarterbacks. I haven’t got the fever (maybe it was the flu shot). And let’s try to find out if Josh Allen is a bona fide top draft pick, or just a big quarterback with a lot of cool physical traits. Kiz: You cannot win a Cup without a goaltender that’s elite … 1 reason the Avs are a force to be reckoned with in the playoff race. Does GM Jeff Bridich seriously think David Dahl and Ryan Mc Mahon are the answer for a rising playoff team? And they did get better, by remaking the back end of their bullpen. I’m surprised you think this will be Nolan Arenado‘s year over Nathan Mac Kinnon’s year. Kiz: Wrote a column saluting Nathan Mac Kinnon before I wrote a column praising Nolan Arenado. Hockey fans feel like their sport is under-appreciated. But hockey fans have a chip on the shoulder, ready to tangle with anyone that can’t see the beauty of the sport (ha). You look for one thing in the draft above everything else. It will let him and the Broncos know where they currently stand int he NFL pecking order. With Taylor as their QB this past season, I’m betting the Broncos would have been in the playoff race until the final seconds of the regular season. Inside linebacker was not believed to be a position of need by Denver a year ago. We keep hearing about the Rockies need for a corner or first base bat, but there’s nothing apparently on the horizon. But the real art of the deal in free agency is in the time frame as the clock winds down to the start of spring training. Let’s see how smart and active a shopper Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich can be now. rank or prioritize by position when looking at the draft. It’s not the way any NFL general manager should ever think. Kiz: John Elway has got to kick the tires and do the no-haggle pricing on Kirk Cousins to start the process. The obvious choice for me when the Broncos were on the clock in the first round was Reuben Foster, linebacker from Alabama. So we go back to my draft philosophy: Always take the best player on the board, the player with the most potential impact, regardless of need. Or at least I screamed for Carlos Santana, who signed on to play first base for the Phillies, at the hefty rate of $20 million per year. If the answer is no, then they need to be gone at the trade deadline, even if the move is made for long-term gains rather than to help the chase for a playoff berth. Should Broncos try to get Tyrod Taylor and spend money on D, or spend big on Cousins and cut money on D? So if Taylor is the QB in 2018, it seems to me that Elway better have his eye on a QB he really likes in the draft … Kiz: It appears the Broncos chose the wrong offensive tackle. Here was my problem: Denver got in trouble by thinking it had to take a tackle in the first round. Do Wilson Chandler and Kenneth Faried really want to be here, and is there really a future for either one of them here? Close runner-up: The Avs at the turn of this century. Garret Bolles or Ryan Ramcyk, a year later, did the Broncos take the better tackle?
Kiz: The cornerstone players on the Nuggets are Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris and Jamal Murray. Since living in Denver who was the greatest team you got to cover? The mystery is part of what makes watching these Buffs so interesting. Kiz: Kirk Cousins is a hot commodity because he has the ability to be one of the top 10 QBs in the league and the possibility of becoming a free agent, should Washington let him test the market. And the supply of competent, experienced QBs in the league is far less than the demand. Would you still draft a QB at 5 so he can learn underneath him? I like this debate because there’s no single correct answer. What do you think they need to do to get going in the right direction? Tad Boyle never knows exactly what he’s going to get, from one game to the next. Is he better than any QB that Denver had in the room last year? In the bizarre world of the NFL draft, if they don’t take a QB at 5, who should the Broncos pick in your best talent available world? Let’s say the Broncos sign a veteran QB in free agency. So why would Kirk Cousins, Alex Smith or Tyrod Taylor want to sign with Denver, if Elway is also going to draft some hotshot at No. It’s hard enough to play QB in the NFL, without looking over your shoulder. They’re a box of chocolates, as Forrest Gump might say. But if Terry scores the goal that wins a gold medal for Team USA — and he just might — Terry will soon be sitting on the sofa next to Jimmy Fallon while America cheers. Kiz: Right now, Troy Terry is a hero only to the a few thousand fans that show up and sing “Sweet Caroline” during University of Denver hockey games. I learned this lesson when covering the World Series and playoffs way back in the 1990s, and saw that those magnificent Atlanta Braves pitchers weren’t generally quite so dominating in October. That’s why it’s a good thing the Rockies have former pitcher Bud Black as their manager. Non-calls really hurt Jacksonville, especially the last first down by the Pats.