Recent News

The Colorado Avalanche Announce the Addition of an ECHL Affiliate, the Fort Wayne Komets

July 22nd, 2014 at 5:40 PM
By Corey Dunkin

The family of hockey teams affiliated with the Colorado Avalanche got a little bigger on Tuesday, as the Avalanche and the ECHL's Fort Wayne Komets have announced a new affiliation agreement. Colorado now has affiliate teams in three minor leagues: The AHL's Lake Erie Monsters, the aforementioned Komets, and the CHL's Denver Cutthroats. The addition of the Komets to the group completes a line of affiliations through all levels of professional hockey, as they moved up from the CHL to the ECHL just two years ago, after having won the CHL Championship in their final year as a member of that league.

thepeachmartini / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Avalanche themselves represent the highest level of pro hockey, the NHL. The Lake Erie monsters are at the next level down, the AHL (American Hockey League). The level below that is the ECHL (formerly East Coast Hockey League, now the name is not an abbreviation of anything), and the Komets are at that level. The Denver Cutthroats are at the lowest level in the CHL (Central Hockey League). 

Read more...
Join the Conversation...

2014-2015 Season Player Preview: Matt Duchene

July 18th, 2014 at 7:57 PM
By Corey Dunkin

At the forefront of the Colorado Avalanche's core of young stars is center Matt Duchene, who was the first of those core players to be brought to the Avalanche when he was drafted 3rd overall in 2009. He is coming off a season where he had a career high 70 points (23 goals, 47 assists) in only 71 games. Over the last two seasons, Duchene has been nearly a point-per-game player, producing 113 points in 118 games. If he continues to improve, the offensive frontman for Colorado could have a 30-goal season next year. 

bridgetds / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Duchene spearheads a group of extremely talented forwards, some of them young like himself, Ryan O'Reilly, Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon, and a couple of still very capable veterans in Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay. With that group forming the top-6 for Colorado, it's about time they had a 30-goal scorer, something the Avalanche have not had since Milan Hejduk had 35 in 2006-2007. In fact, it would not be terribly surprising if Colorado has more than one 30-goal scorer next season. For Duchene, it's the next logical step in his career trajectory to eclipse 30 goals in a season. But one might wonder if that depends on which line Duchene centers as much as it depends on his continued progress as a player. 

Read more...
Join the Conversation...

2014-2015 Season Player Preview: Erik Johnson

July 14th, 2014 at 10:45 PM
By Corey Dunkin

For a former first overall pick, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson has quietly settled into a role as half of the team's top defensive pair. Although his usual partner for the last couple of seasons has been Jan Hejda, it is expected that next season Johnson will be paired with newly acquired Brad Stuart. It has been an unconventional road that Johnson has traveled to be where he is in his NHL career now. 

sarah_connors / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Originally selected first overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 2006 NHL Draft, Johnson was expected to become an elite NHL defenseman who would consistently garner Norris Trophy consideration. Unfortunately, he has not lived up to those expectations. Any player who is taken first overall in the draft is expected to become one of the game's best players, but, as in Johnson's case, that doesn't always happen. Late during Johnson's third NHL season, the Blues were apparently not satisfied with the rate at which Johnson was developing as a pro, and they traded him to Colorado at the 2011 trade deadline. 

Read more...
Join the Conversation...

2014-2015 Season Player Preview: Jarome Iginla

July 11th, 2014 at 9:51 PM
By Corey Dunkin

Headlining the trio of additions the Colorado Avalanche made at the end of June and beginning of July is future Hall of Fame forward Jarome Iginla. The longtime Calgary Flames star has had an illustrious NHL career in which he has scored 560 goals and 607 assists over 17 seasons. This is a guy who has AVERAGED more than 30 goals per season for 17 years! Even just last year he was able to light the lamp 30 times at 36 years old in his lone season with the Boston Bruins. While it is clear that Iginla is in the twilight of his career, he can still produce at a high level. 

Dinur / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

After being ousted in the opening round of the playoffs following a spectacular regular season, Colorado knew that they needed to add some experience to a roster that predominantly consisted of young players. Iginla not only has an enormous 1,310 games of NHL experience, but he has shown that he still commands a great deal of respect from opposing defenders. Even if this is the first full season since 1999-2000 in which Iginla comes up short of the 30 goal mark, a 25 goal season from a 37 year old would be nothing to sneeze at. 

Read more...
Join the Conversation...

2014-2015 Season Player Preview: Brad Stuart

July 10th, 2014 at 9:45 PM
By Corey Dunkin

Amidst all of the commotion on the first day of free agency, the Colorado Avalanche acquired a player who was not a free agent. On July 1, the day that free agency opened, Colorado struck a trade with the San Jose Sharks, sending them two future draft picks for defenseman Brad Stuart. The acquisition of Stuart was overshadowed by two other acquisitions that happened around the same time, namely the trade for Daniel Briere the day before and the signing of Jarome Iginla on the same day. Nonetheless, Stuart figures to be just as important of an addition to the team as anyone else acquired this offseason. 

Dinur / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Much criticism has been made about Colorado's lack of top-caliber defensemen, some of it fair and some of it unfounded. It is true that the number of shots surrendered by the Avalanche defense last season was unsettling. But it is also true that even though Vezina Trophy Finalist Semyon Varlamov faced a constant barrage of shots, he was almost always able to get square to the shooter and gobble the shot right up, because the defensemen were not, in fact, flailing about helplessly. Still, the group of defensemen that Colorado has consists mostly of late bloomers who are proving themselves to be true NHL caliber players and young players still learning the NHL ropes. It is not a group that boasts any Norris Trophy candidates.

Read more...
Join the Conversation...