Five Reasons To Be Excited About The Avalanche: The Roster
Welcome to a new segment counting down the days until the Colorado Avalanche open the season against the hated Detroit Red Wings next Saturday night, October 8th. We will take a look at five reasons why you should be excited about the Avalanche this season.
Over the summer the Colorado Avalanche acquired Jan Hejda and Shane O’Brien on defense; Chuck Kobasew, Joakim Lindström and Gabriel Landeskog on the attack; and an entirely new pair of puck stopping madmen – Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Semyon Varlamov in an effort to shore up some glaring inconsistencies.
You could argue that the Avalanche, who have been in the first stages of a rebuild for a while now, have actually moved on from the “restructuring to compete” phase of the rebuild. With key pieces in place for the longterm like Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly, Peter Mueller (now healthy) and Erik Johnson; and the future of the franchise looking promising with players like Stefan Elliott, Duncan Siemens, Brad Malone, and Garrett Meurs, Colorado is ready to start playing with the big dogs again.
Are they good enough to win the Stanley Cup this year? Probably not. But the beauty of parity in hockey is that teams like the Boston Bruins can shake off an almost first round upset and end up winning it all. Sometimes even the eighth place seed plunges deep into the playoffs without any reasoning whatsoever.
The next step for the Avalanche is quietly shedding any dead weight while adding a missing asset here or there. Then they start to roll.
Fans of the Denver Nuggets are familiar with the Kroenke family’s style of ownership by now: spend little, build from within, and compete. Many argue that the lack of salary spending is something holding these teams back but that is only valid until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is reached. Once the new financial landscape has been identified, the Avalanche club will have more than enough money to lock all of their important players into long term contracts, avoiding an implosion like the Chicago Blackhawks or even the Avs of the early 2000′s.
Still, this team was leading the NHL in goals scored during the first portion of last season, overpowering opponents by more than three goals on many occasions. They are lethal, talented, tough, determined and most of all young. Colorado is built around a youth movement. The names of these players will be recognized for many years to come.
Colorado has something to prove this season and listening to what any so-called pundit might predict would be a sad error of judgement. Hell I won’t even try and predict where the Avalanche will end up, but with the state of sports in Denver, I bet they fare better than most. Plus, now there is a group of passionate Avalanche fans dedicated to bringing the noise and banding together to make anywhere they go more raucous and enjoyable.
Hockey is on the verge of a resurgence in Colorado and the lineup is looking good.
What do you think?