1000 Chopper Cir, Denver, CO 80204
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The Colorado Avalanche is a professional ice hockey club based in Denver and playing at the National Hockey League. The club was founded in 1972 and played under the name Quebec Nordics (1972-1995). Since 1995 the Club has been called Colorado Avalanche. The club has been playing in the NHL since 1972.
Regular Season Results / 1968-2021
Stanley Cup Winner
Two-time President's Cup winner - 1997, 2001.
Two-time Stanley Cup champion - 1996, 2001.
Playoffs / 1996-2021
The Avalanche logo depicts a burgundy A resembling a mountain from which an avalanche of snow with a puck descends, forming the letter C. Club colors burgundy, blue, silver, black. Home ground - Ball Arena, with a capacity of 17800 spectators.
Avalanche on Map
The Quebec Nordics club was created in 1972 and became one of the 12 teams created a year earlier by the World Hockey Association.
It was originally planned that the team would play in San Francisco and be called the “San Francisco Sharks”, but even before the start of the first season of the WHA, Californian businessmen had financial problems, and Quebec entrepreneurs took the initiative and transferred the club to their city.
The first coach of the team was Maurice Richard. On October 11, 1972, the Nordics played their first match in which they lost 0-3 to the Cleveland Crusaders. Richard soon announced that the coaching position was not for him, and left the team.
In 1979, after the termination of the existence of the WHA, “Nordics” and three other WHA clubs joined the NHL. In the first season, the team was among the outsiders, and the following season made it to the playoffs, where they lost in the preliminary round to Philadelphia in five games.
In 1981-1987, “Nordics” constantly played in the playoffs, twice reaching the final of the conference. In 1988-1992, the Nordics were one of the worst clubs in the league. At the same time, the local native Guy Lafleur, known for his performances for Montreal, played out in the team in those years.
The last places in the NHL in those years turned out to be one of the first picks for the Nordics. The team acquired several talented young hockey players – Joe Sakik in 1987, Mats Sundin in 1989, Owen Nolan in 1990, Eric Lindros in 1991. Lindros refused to sign a contract with the Nordics, and they were forced to exchange him to Philadelphia for several players, two first draft picks, and $ 15M.
The compensation received had a significant impact on the team’s performance, with the club doubling its performance in 1992/93, from 52 points in 1991/92 to 104 points. However, in the first round of the 1992/93 playoffs, Quebec lost six games to Montreal.
On July 1, 1995, a move to Denver was announced and the club was renamed the Colorado Avalanche. The very first season in the new location was successful. During the regular season, Avalanche held several exchanges that significantly strengthened the team. From New Jersey, Claude Lemieux was received, from San Jose – Sandis Ozolins (in exchange for Nolan), from Montreal – goalkeeper Patrick Roy. The Avalanche finished second in the Western Conference.
In the 1996/97 season, Colorado finished first overall in the regular season with 107 points but lost six games to Detroit in the third playoff round. In the 1997/98 season, finishing first in their division, the Avalanche lost in the first round of the Stanley Cup to Edmonton in seven matches.
In June 2001, after beating the New Jersey Devils in a 7-game final series, the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup for the second time. Goalkeeper Patrick Roy was named the best player in the playoffs of that year, and Joe Sakic, 31-year-old Colorado captain, became the NHL’s most valuable player in the regular season. At the same time, in the last two rounds of the playoffs, the Avalanche played without Peter Forsberg, who had his spleen removed.
Despite the retirement of Patrick Roy’s career, Avalanche had big plans for the 2003/04 season. The team’s attack was intensified by Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne, but the team, without showing a stable game, failed to win the division title again, and in the playoffs dropped out of the fight in the second round, losing to San Jose Sharks in six matches.
The introduction of a salary cap in 2005 hit Avalanches hard, which usually did not count the costs of hockey players’ contracts. In the summer of 2005, the Avalanche failed to find space in their budget for Peter Forsberg and Adam Foote. The first went to Philadelphia, the second to Columbus.