Ice Hockey Wiki
Colorado Avalanche
Conference Western
Division Central
Founded 1972
History Quebec Nordiques
19721979 (WHA)
19791995 (NHL)
Colorado Avalanche
Arena Ball Arena
City Denver, Colorado
Team Colors Burgundy, Blue, Silver, Black
Media Altitude Sports and Entertainment
Altitude 950
Altitude Sports 92.5
Owner(s) Flag of the United States Ann Walton Kroenke
General Manager Flag of Canada Joe Sakic
Head Coach Flag of Canada Jared Bednar
Captain Flag of Sweden Gabriel Landeskog
Minor League affiliates Colorado Eagles (AHL)
Utah Grizzlies (ECHL)
Stanley Cups 2 (1995–96, 2000–01)
Presidents' Trophies 3 (1996–97, 2000–01, 2020–21)
Conferences 2 (1995–96, 2000–01)
Divisions 10 (1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2013–14, 2020–21)
Official Website
Colorado Avalanche Home Uniform.gif Colorado Avalanche Road Uniform.gif
Home ice
Colorado Avalanche ice rink logo.gif

The Colorado Avalanche are a professional ice hockey team based in Denver, Colorado, United States. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Avalanche have won the Stanley Cup twice, in 1996 and 2001. The franchise was founded in Quebec and were the Quebec Nordiques until moving to Colorado in 1995. The Avalanche have won eight division titles and went to the playoffs in each of their first 10 seasons in Denver, with the streak ending in 2007.[1] The Avalanche are the only team in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup their first season after a re-location.

From their first season in Denver in 1995, until the end of the 1998–99 season, the Avalanche played their home games at McNichols Sports Arena. Since then, they have played at Ball Arena (known before October 2020 as Pepsi Center).

The Avalanche have a notable rivalry with the Detroit Red Wings, partly due to having met each other five times in seven years in the Western Conference playoffs between 1996 and 2002.[2]

Franchise history

Quebec Nordiques (1972–1995)

See also: Quebec Nordiques

The Quebec Nordiques were one of the World Hockey Association's (WHA) original teams when the league began play in 1972. Though first awarded to a group in San Francisco, the team quickly moved to Quebec City when the California deal soured because of financial and arena problems.[3] During their seven WHA seasons, the Nordiques won the Avco World Trophy once, in 1977 and lost the finals once, in 1975.[4] In 1979, the franchise entered the NHL, along with the WHA's Edmonton Oilers, Hartford Whalers, and Winnipeg Jets.[5]

After making the postseason for seven consecutive years, from 1981 to 1987, the Nordiques became one of the worst teams in the league: from 1987–88 to 1991–92, the team finished last in their division every season and three times had the worst record of the league.[6] As a result, the team earned three consecutive first overall draft picks, used to select Mats Sundin (1989), Owen Nolan (1990) and Eric Lindros (1991),[7][8] even though Lindros had made it clear he did not wish to play for the Nordiques.[9] Lindros did not wear the team's jersey for the press photographs, only holding it when it was presented to him[10] and, on advice from his mother, he refused to sign a contract and began a holdout that lasted over a year. On June 30 1992, he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for five players, the rights to Swedish prospect Peter Forsberg, two first-round draft picks, and US$15 million.[11] In hindsight, the Lindros trade is seen as one of the most one-sided deals in sports history,[12] and a major foundation for the Nordiques/Avalanche franchise successes over the next decade.[13] In the first season after the trade, 1992–93, the Nordiques reached the playoffs for the first time in six years. Two years later, they won the Northeast Division and had the second best regular season record of the league.

While the team experienced on-ice success, it struggled financially. Quebec City was the smallest market in the league[14] and in 1995, team owner Marcel Aubut asked for a bailout from Quebec's provincial government[15] as well as a new publicly funded arena.[14] The bailout fell through and Aubut subsequently sold the team to a group of investors in Denver.[16] In May 1995, the COMSAT Entertainment Group announced an agreement in principle to purchase the team.[17] The deal became official on July 1, 1995 and 12,000 season tickets were sold in the 37 days after the announcement of the move to Denver.[17] The franchise was presented as the Colorado Avalanche on August 10, 1995.[17] They became the second NHL franchise to play in the city: the Colorado Rockies played in town from 1976 to 1982 after which they moved to New Jersey to become the Devils.

Colorado Avalanche (1995–present)

Goaltender Patrick Roy, the winningest net minder in the NHL, played for the Avalanche from 1995–2003.


After buying the team, the COMSAT Entertainment Group organized its Denver sports franchises, the Avalanche and the Denver Nuggets under a separate subsidiary, Ascent Entertainment Group Inc., which went public in 1995, with 80% of its stock bought by COMSAT and the other 20% to be available on NASDAQ.[18]

The Colorado Avalanche played their first game in the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver on October 6, 1995 winning 3–2 against the Detroit Red Wings.[19] Led by captain Joe Sakic, forward Peter Forsberg, and defenseman Adam Foote on the ice and Pierre Lacroix as the general manager and Marc Crawford as the head coach, the Avalanche got stronger when All-Star Montreal Canadiens goalie Patrick Roy joined the team. Feeling humiliated for being left in the net after having let in nine goals in 26 shots during a Canadiens game against the Red Wings, Roy joined the Avalanche on December 6 1995, together with ex-Montreal captain Mike Keane in a trade for Jocelyn Thibault, Martin Rucinsky and Andrei Kovalenko.[20] Roy would prove a pivotal addition for Colorado in the years to come.

The Avalanche finished the regular season with a 47–25–10 record for 104 points, won the Pacific Division and finished second in the Western Conference. Colorado progressed to the playoffs and won the series against the Vancouver Canucks, the Chicago Blackhawks and Presidents' Trophy winners Detroit Red Wings. In the Stanley Cup Final, the Avalanche met the Florida Panthers, who were also in their first Stanley Cup final. The Avalanche swept the series 4–0. In Game Four, during the third overtime and after more than 100 minutes of play with no goals, defenseman Uwe Krupp scored to claim the franchise's first Cup.[21] Joe Sakic was the playoff's scoring leader with 34 points (18 goals and 16 assists)[22] and won the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the most valuable player to his team during the playoffs. The 1996 Stanley Cup was the first major professional championship won by a Denver team.[17] With the Stanley Cup win, Russians Alexei Gusarov and Valeri Kamensky and Swede Peter Forsberg became members of the Triple Gold Club, the exclusive group of ice hockey players who have won Olympic gold, World Championship gold, and the Stanley Cup.[23]

In 1996–97, Colorado won, not only their Pacific Division, but the Presidents' Trophy as well for finishing the regular season with the best record of the entire league: 49–24–9 for 107 points. The team was also the league's best scoring with an average of 3.38 goals scored per game. The Avalanche met the two lowest seeds of the Western Conference in the first two rounds of the playoffs: the Chicago Blackhawks and the Edmonton Oilers, who were beaten 4–2 and 4–1. During a rematch of the previous year Conference Final, the Avalanche lost against the Detroit Red Wings in a 4–2 series. The Red Wings went on to sweep the Stanley Cup final just as Colorado had done the year before. Sandis Ozolinsh was elected for the league's first all-star team at the end of the season.

In 1997, financial problems led to the selling of the Ascent Entertainment by COMSAT to the AT&T's Liberty Media Group for $755 million. Liberty put its sports assets immediately for sale.[18]

As a free agent during the summer of 1997, Joe Sakic signed a three year, $21 million offer sheet with the New York Rangers. Under the collective bargaining agreement at the time, the Avalanche had one week to match the Rangers' offer or let go of Sakic. Colorado would match the offer,[24] which instigated a salary raise for NHL players.[25]

In the following season, Colorado won the Pacific Division with a 39–26–17 record for 95 points. The Avalanche sent the largest delegation of the NHL to the 1998 Winter Olympics ice hockey tournament in Nagano, Japan: 10 players representing seven countries and coach Marc Crawford for Canada.[26] Milan Hejduk won the Gold Medal for Czech Republic, Alexei Gusarov and Valeri Kamensky got the Silver Medal for Russia and Jari Kurri won the Bronze Medal for Finland.[27] Colorado lost in their first playoff round against the Edmonton Oilers in a seven game series, after having led the series 3–1. Peter Forsberg was the league's second highest scorer in the regular season with 91 points (25 goals and 66 assists) and was elected for the league's first all star team. After the end of the season, head coach Marc Crawford rejected the team's offer of a two-year deal.[28] Bob Hartley was hired to the head coach position in June 1998.

In 1998–99, with the addition of the Nashville Predators to the league, the NHL realigned their divisions and the Colorado Avalanche were put in the new Northwest Division. Despite a slow 2–6–1 start, Colorado finished with a 44–28–10 record for 98 points, won the Northwest Division and finished second in the Western Conference. After beating the San Jose Sharks and the Detroit Red Wings in the first two rounds, Colorado met Presidents' Trophy winners Dallas Stars in the Conference Final, where they lost after a seven game series. Peter Forsberg, the playoffs leading scorer with 24 points (8 goals and 16 assists),[22] was again elected to the league's first all-star team and Chris Drury won the Calder Memorial Trophy for the best rookie of the season. Together with Milan Hejduk, both were elected for the NHL All-Rookie Team at the end of the season.

Ball Arena, where the Avalanche play their home games

It was in the 1999–2000 season that the Colorado Avalanche played their first game in the new Pepsi Center (now Ball Arena), which cost $160 million.[29] Milan Hejduk scored the first goal of a 2–1 victory against the Boston Bruins on October 13 1999.[30] The Avalanche finished the season with a 42–28–11–1 record for 96 points and won the Northwest Division. Between January 10 and February 7, the Avalanche had their longest winning streak ever with 12 games.[27] Before the playoffs, the Avalanche strengthened their defense for a run towards the Stanley Cup. On March 6, 2000, the Boston Bruins traded future Hockey Hall of Famer defenseman Ray Bourque and forward Dave Andreychuk to Colorado for Brian Rolston, Martin Grenier, Samuel Pahlsson, and a first-round draft pick. Bourque, who had been a Bruin since 1979, requested a trade to a contender for one last shot at a Stanley Cup.[31] However, and just as the year before, Colorado lost in the Conference Final against the Dallas Stars in a seven game series after beating both the Phoenix Coyotes and the Detroit Red Wings in 4–1 series. Joe Sakic won the Lester B. Pearson Award for the outstanding player of the regular season, elected by the members of the NHL Players Association.

In July 2000, after years of intrigue and several failed negotiations, the Avalanche, the Denver Nuggets and Pepsi Center were finally bought by business entrepreneur and Walmart heir Stan Kroenke in a $450 million deal. Liberty retained only 6.5% stake of the sports franchises. The deal included a guarantee to the city of Denver that the teams would not be relocated for at least 25 years. After the deal, Kroenke organized his sports assets under Kroenke Sports Enterprises.[18]

The 2000–01 season was the best season the team has ever had. The Avalanche won the Northwest Division and captured their second Presidents' Trophy after having finished the regular season with 52–16–10–4 for 118 points. Joe Sakic finished the regular season with 118 points (54 goals and 64 assists), only three behind Jaromir Jagr's 121 points. On February 4, 2001, the Colorado Avalanche hosted the 51st NHL All-Star Game. Patrick Roy, Ray Bourque and Joe Sakic played for the North America team, who won 14–12 against the World team, that featured Milan Hejduk and Peter Forsberg. All but Hejduk were part of the starting lineups.[27] Before the playoffs, the Avalanche acquired star defenseman Rob Blake and center Steven Reinprecht from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Adam Deadmarsh, Aaron Miller and their first-round 2001 Draft pick.[32] In the playoffs, Colorado swept their Conference Quarterfinal against the Vancouver Canucks. In the Conferece Semifinal, the Avalanche defeated the Los Angeles Kings in a seven game series, after having wasted a 3–1 lead. After the last game of the series, Peter Forsberg underwent surgery to remove a ruptured spleen and it was announced that he would not play until the following season. The injury was a huge upset for the team; former NHL goaltender Darren Pang considered it "devastating (...) to the Colorado Avalanche".[33] The team would overcome Forsberg's injury: in the Conference Final, Colorado beat the St. Louis Blues four games to one in the series and progressed to the Stanley Cup Final, where they faced the New Jersey Devils, the Stanley Cup holders. The Avalanche won the series 4–3, after winning the last game at Pepsi Center 3–1. After being handed the Cup from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, captain Joe Sakic immediately turned, and gave it to Ray Bourque, capping off Bourque's 22-year career with his only championship.[34] Joe Sakic was the playoffs leading scorer with 26 points (13 goals and 13 assists).[22] He won the Hart Memorial Trophy, given to the league's most valuable player during the regular season, the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player that has shown the best sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with performance in play, the Lester B. Pearson Award and shared the NHL Plus/Minus Award with Patrik Elias of the Devils. Patrick Roy won the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the playoffs' most valuable player. Shjon Podein was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for significant humanitarian contributions to his community, namely his work on charitable organizations and his own children's foundation.[35] Ray Bourque and Joe Sakic were elected to the league's first all-star team; Rob Blake was elected to the second all-star team.


Avalanche players warming up in 2006

The Avalanche have failed to reach the Stanley Cup Finals since 2001. In the 2001–02 season, the team finished the regular season with 99 points of a 45–28–8–1 record and won the Northwest Division. Colorado had the league's lowest goals conceded: 169, which makes an average of 2.06 per game. The NHL season was interrupted once again for the 2002 Winter Olympics, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Colorado Avalanche had nine players representing six countries. Canada won the ice hockey tournament and Rob Blake, Adam Foote and Joe Sakic won Gold medals. American Chris Drury got a silver medal.[27] With the win, Blake and Sakic became members of the Triple Gold Club.[23] The Avalanche advanced through the first two rounds of the playoffs winning a 4–3 series against the Los Angeles Kings and a 4–3 series against the San Jose Sharks. Patrick Roy had a shutout on the decisive game of each series.[36] At the Western Conference Finals, Colorado met the Detroit Red Wings in the playoffs for the fifth time in seven years. In a seven game series, Colorado had a 3–2 lead after five games, but lost game six at home 2–0 and then the Red Wings won the deciding game at Detroit 7–0. As in 1997, Detroit went on to win the Stanley Cup. Peter Forsberg was the playoffs scoring leader with 27 points (9 goals, 18 assists).[22] Patrick Roy won the William M. Jennings Trophy, given to the goaltenders of the team with fewest goals scored against. Roy was elected for the league's first all-star team, together with Joe Sakic; Rob Blake was elected for the second all-star team.

The following season, 2002–03, saw the Avalanche claim the NHL record for most consecutive division titles, nine,[37] breaking the Montreal Canadiens streak of eight, won between 1974 and 1982.[38] The division title came after a bad start by the team, that led to the exit of head coach Bob Hartley, in December.[39] General Manager Pierre Lacroix promoted assistant coach Tony Granato, who had only three months of coaching experience as an assistant, to the head coach position.[40] The team's playoff spot seemed in doubt, at one point, but the Avalanche managed to finish with 105 points, ahead of the division rivals Vancouver Canucks by one. The race to the title was exciting, namely the second-to-last game of the season, as the Avalanche needed to win the game to stay in the race, and Milan Hejduk scored with 10 seconds left in overtime to beat Anaheim.[41] The title was guaranteed in the final day of the regular season, when the Avalanche beat the St. Louis Blues 5–2 and the Vancouver Canucks lost against the Los Angeles Kings 2–0.[42] In the playoffs, the Avalanche blew a 3–1 series lead over the Minnesota Wild, and lost in overtime of game seven to be eliminated from the first round of the playoffs.[43] Peter Forsberg won the Art Ross Trophy for the leading scorer of the regular season, which he finished with 106 points (29 goals, 77 assists). Forsberg also won the Hart Memorial Trophy for the regular season's most valuable player and shared the NHL Plus/Minus Award with teammate Milan Hejduk. Hejduk scored 50 goals to win the Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy for the best goalscorer of the regular season. Forsberg was elected to the league's first all-star team; Hejduk was elected to the second all-star team.

After that season, Patrick Roy retired and the Avalanche signed star wingers Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.[44][45] Both failed to live up to the expectations: Kariya spent most of the 2003–04 season injured and Selanne scored only 32 points (16 goals and 16 assists) in 78 games.[46] There were doubts if goalie David Aebischer could perform at the top level the team was used to while having Roy.[47] Having "nine elite players",[48] "the most talented top six forwards on one team since the days of the Edmonton Oilers"[49] was not good enough as the franchise failed to win the Northwest division title, ending the NHL record streak. The 40–22–13–7 record was good enough for 100 points, one less than the Northwest division winners Vancouver Canucks. During a game against the Canucks on March 8, 2004, Canucks player Todd Bertuzzi punched Colorado's Steve Moore from behind, said to be as a retaliation for a hit Moore had delivered to Canucks captain Markus Naslund the month before,[50] leaving Moore unconscious. Because of the punch and the consequent fall on the ice with Bertuzzi on top of him, Moore sustained three fractured neck vertebrae, among other injuries, that ended his career.[51] Bertuzzi was away from professional hockey for 17 months as a result of suspensions.[52] In the playoffs, Colorado won the Conference Quarterfinal against the Dallas Stars in a five game series, but lost in the Semifinal against the San Jose Sharks in a six game series. Joe Sakic became the only Avalanche player ever to be chosen as the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player during the 2004 NHL All-Star Game, when he scored a hat-trick. Sakic was elected for the league's first all-star team at the end of the season and won the NHL/Sheraton Road Performer Award.[27] After the end of the season, on July 2004, Joel Quenneville was hired for the position of head coach, replacing Tony Granato, who became his assistant.[40]

The 2004–05 NHL season was canceled because of an unresolved lockout. During the lockout, many Avalanche players played in European leagues.[53] David Aebischer returned home with Alex Tanguay to play for Swiss club HC Lugano; Milan Hejduk and Peter Forsberg returned to their former teams in their native countries, HC Pardubice and MODO Hockey. Other nine players of the Avalanche 2003–04 roster played in Europe during the lockout.[53]

After the 2004–05 NHL lockout and the implementation of a salary cap, the Avalanche were forced to let go some of their top players. Peter Forsberg and Adam Foote were lost to free agency to save room in the cap for Joe Sakic and Rob Blake.[54] Although the salary cap was a blow to one of the highest spenders of the league,[55] the Colorado Avalanche finished the 2005–06 regular season with a 43–30–9 record for 95 points, good enough to finish second in the Northwest division, seven behind the Calgary Flames and tied with the Edmonton Oilers. The league stopped in February for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. The Avalanche sent an NHL leading 11 players from eight countries.[56] Finnish Antti Laaksonen got the silver medal, while Ossi Vaananen ended up not playing because of an injury; Czech Milan Hejduk won a bronze medal.[27] In the NHL playoffs, Colorado beat the team with the 2nd best record in the Western Conference, the Dallas Stars, in a five game series. In the Conference Semifinals, the Avalanche were swept for the first time ever, by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The day after the loss, Pierre Lacroix, who had been the General Manager of the franchise since 1994 when they were in Quebec, resigned and Francois Giguere was hired.[57][58] Lacroix remains to this day as President of the franchise.[59]

By the beginning of the 2006–07 season Joe Sakic and Milan Hejduk were the only two remaining members from the 2001 Stanley Cup winning squad. Joe Sakic is the only player left from the team's days in Quebec (though Hejduk was drafted by the Nordiques), but Paul Stastny, son of Nordiques legend Peter Stastny, also provides a link to the past. Before the previous season playoffs, in a move reminiscent of Patrick Roy's trade, the Avalanche had sent goalie David Aebischer for Montreal Canadiens' Vezina Trophy winner goalie José Theodore.[60] The move would not turn out to be as successful. Theodore posted a 13–15–1 record in 2006-07, with an 89.1 save percentage and 3.26 goals average and his six million US dollars salary became a heavy burden for the Avalanche in the salary cap era.[61] The Avalanche missed the playoffs for the first time since 1993-94, when they were still in Quebec. The team had a 15–2–2 run in the last 19 games of the season to keep their playoffs hopes alive until the penultimate day of the season. A 4–2 loss against the Nashville Predators on April 7, with Peter Forsberg assisting the game winning goal scored by Paul Kariya, knocked Colorado out of the playoff race.[62] The team won the last game of the season against the Calgary Flames on the following day and finished 4th in the Northwest Division and 9th in the Western Conference with a 44–31–7 record for 95 points, one less than eighth-seeded Calgary. Still, the result was better than expected by hockey pundits: Sports Illustrated previewed before the start of the season that the Avalanche would finish 13th in the Western Conference.[63] During that last game of the season, Joe Sakic scored a goal and two assists and became the second-oldest player in NHL history to reach 100 points, behind only Gordie Howe, who had 103 points at age 40 in the 1968–69 season.[64] During the season, Paul Stastny set an NHL record for longest point streak by a rookie, with 20 games,[65] three more than the previous record, held by Teemu Selanne[66] and Karlis Skrastins set a new NHL record for the longest game streak by a defenseman, with 495 games.[67] Until the Avalanche's 2006–2007 season, no team in the history of the NHL had ever made it to 95 points without earning a spot in the playoffs.[68] In the Eastern Conference, three teams progressed to the playoffs with fewer than 95 points: the New York Rangers (94), the Tampa Bay Lightning (93), and the New York Islanders (92).

For the 2007–08 season, the Avalanche have signed two free agents: Defenseman Scott Hannan and left winger Ryan Smyth. These acquisitions filled the team's needs and are expected to help make an impact in the playoffs.[69]

With a 9 to 5 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, December 9, 2007 the Colorado Avalanche gained their 1,000th franchise victory.

On February 25, 2008, unrestricted free agent Peter Forsberg signed with the Avalanche for the remainder of the 2007-2008 season. A day later, at the trade deadline, they re-acquired popular defenseman Adam Foote from the Columbus Blue Jackets as well as Ruslan Salei from the Florida Panthers.

In the first round of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs the Colorado Avalanche beat the Minnesota Wild 4 games to 2.[70] In the second round the Avalanche lost the series 4 games to none[71] to the eventual 2008 Stanley Cup champion[72] Detroit Red Wings.

On May 9, 2008, the Colorado Avalanche Organization announced that Joel Quenneville will not return to coach the team next season.

On May 22, 2008, Tony Granato was named head coach. On July 9, 2008, Dave Barr was named assistant coach.

Rivalry with the Detroit Red Wings

In 1996, the Colorado Avalanche met the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Finals and won the series 4–2. During game six, as Red Wings player Kris Draper was skating toward the bench, he was checked into the boards face-first by Avalanche player Claude Lemieux.[73] As a result, Draper had to undergo facial reconstructive surgery, and had to have his jaw wired shut for five weeks.[74] After the incident, Lemieux received many threats from Red Wings players and fans, including goalie Chris Osgood.[73] The incident marked the beginning of a rivalry often considered one of the most intense in the NHL by the press and fans.[75]

In the following season, in the last regular season meeting between the Avalanche and the Red Wings on March 26 1997, a brawl known as Brawl in Hockeytown broke out. The game ended with nine fights, 11 goals, 39 penalties, 148 penalty minutes, one hat-trick (by Valeri Kamensky) and a goalie fight between Stanley Cup champion goalies Patrick Roy and Mike Vernon.[74] Claude Lemieux was one of the players singled out by the Red Wings players. The Red Wings ended up winning the game in overtime 6–5.[74] The teams met again in the Conference Finals that season, with the Red Wings emerging victorious, and going on to win the Stanley Cup. In the following five years, the Avalanche and the Red Wings met three times in the playoffs, with Colorado winning the first two encounters and losing the last.

Attendance sellout streak

The Colorado Avalanche have the NHL record for the longest consecutive attendance sellout with 487. The streak began on November 9, 1995, on the Avalanche's eighth regular season home game during the 1995–96 season, with an attendance of 16,061 at the McNichols Sports Arena versus the Dallas Stars. Almost 11 years later, it ended on October 16, 2006, after a reported attendance of 17,681, which is 326 under capacity at Pepsi Center, before a game against the Chicago Blackhawks.[76] The Avalanche recorded their 500th home sellout in their 515th game in Denver on January 20 2007, against the Detroit Red Wings.[77]

Team colors and jersey

Avalanche's alternate logo: the foot of Howler

The Colorado Avalanche logo is composed by a burgundy letter A with snow wrapped around, similar to an avalanche. There is a hockey puck in the lower–right end of the snow and a blue oval on the background.

The team's alternate logo is the foot of Howler, and can be seen on the shoulders of the Avalanche's home and away jerseys.[78]


The team colors are burgundy, blue and white. For the 2007-08 season, the NHL has introduced new-look Rbk EDGE jerseys. The Avalanche debuted their new version of the Rbk EDGE jerseys on September 12, 2007 at an Avalanche press conference. The design is similar to the previous jerseys, with some added striping.

The road jersey from 1995-2003, which became the team's home jersey in 2003 when the NHL decided to switch home and road jerseys,[79] is dominantly burgundy and dark blue in color. Along the jersey, there are two black and white zigzag lines, one in the shoulders, the other near the belly. Between them, the jersey is burgundy, outside those lines it is dark blue. Similar lines exist around the neck. The Avalanche logo is in the center of the jersey. On top of the shoulders, there is the alternate logo, one on each side. The away jersey is similar but with different colors. The burgundy part on the home jersey is white on the away jersey, the light blue part is burgundy and the black and white lines became gray and blue.

The Avalanche introduced a third jersey during the 2001–02 season.[80] It is dominantly burgundy. "Colorado" is spelled in a diagonal across the jersey where the logo is on the other jerseys. From the belly down, three large horizontal stripes, the first and the last being black and the middle one being white. In the middle of the arms, there are five stripes, black, white and burgundy from the outside inside in both sides. On the sholders is the primary "A" logo. The third jersey was not worn by the Avalanche for the 2007-08 season.


See Also List of Colorado Avalanche broadcasters

  • John Kelly TV Play-by-Play
  • Mike Haynes Radio Play-by-Play
  • Peter McNab TV Analyst
  • Sandy Clough TV Studio Analyst (Rotating)
  • Brian Engblom TV Studio Analyst (Rotating)
  • Peter Ruttgaizer TV Studio Host (Rotating)
  • Kyle Keefe TV Studio Host (Rotating)
  • Marc Moser Radio Play-by-Play/Analyst
  • Mike Bertagnoli Radio Studio Host

Seasons and records

Season-by-season record

Stanley Cup Champions Conference Champions Division Champions Playoff berth President's Trophy

Note: GP = Games Played, OTL = Overtime Losses, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Season Team League Conference Finish Division Finish GP Wins Losses Ties OTL Points GF GA Playoff Results
Relocated from Quebec
1995–96 1995–96 NHL Western 2nd Pacific 1st 82 47 25 10 104 326 240 Won Conference Quarterfinals (Canucks) 4–2
Won Conference Semifinals (Blackhawks) 4–2
Won Conference Finals (Red Wings) 4–2
Won Stanley Cup Finals (Panthers) 4–0
1996–97 1996–97 NHL Western 1st Pacific 1st 82 49 24 9 107 277 205 Won Conference Quarterfinals (Blackhawks) 4–2
Won Conference Semifinals (Oilers) 4–1
Lost Conference Finals (Red Wings) 2–4
1997–98 1997–98 NHL Western 2nd Pacific 1st 82 39 26 17 95 231 205 Lost Conference Quarterfinals (Oilers) 3–4
1998–99 1998–99 NHL Western 2nd Northwest 1st 82 44 28 10 98 239 205 Won Conference Quarterfinals (Sharks) 4–2
Won Conference Semifinals (Red Wings) 4–2
Lost Conference Finals (Stars) 3–4
1999–00 1999–00 NHL Western 3rd Northwest 1st 82 42 28 11 1 96 233 201 Won Conference Quarterfinals (Coyotes) 4–1
Won Conference Semifinals (Red Wings) 4–1
Lost Conference Finals (Stars) 3–4
2000–01 2000–01 NHL Western 1st Northwest 1st 82 52 16 10 4 118 270 192 Won Conference Quarterfinals (Canucks) 4–0
Won Conference Semifinals (Kings) 4–3
Won Conference Finals (Blues) 4–1
Won Stanley Cup Finals (Devils) 4–3
2001–02 2001–02 NHL Western 2nd Northwest 1st 82 45 28 8 1 99 212 169 Won Conference Quarterfinals (Kings) 4–3
Won Conference Semifinals (Sharks) 4–3
Lost Conference Finals (Red Wings) 3–4
2002–03 2002–03 NHL Western 3rd Northwest 1st 82 42 19 13 8 105 251 194 Lost Conference Quarterfinals (Wild) 3–4
2003–04 2003–04 NHL Western 4th Northwest 2nd 82 40 22 13 7 100 236 198 Won Conference Quarterfinals (Stars) 4–1
Lost Conference Semifinals (Sharks) 2–4
2004–051 2004–05 Season cancelled due to 2004–05 NHL lockout
2005–062 2005–06 NHL Western 7th Northwest 2nd 82 43 30 9 95 283 257 Won Conference Quarterfinals (Stars) 4–1
Lost Conference Semifinals (Mighty Ducks) 0–4
2006–07 2006–07 NHL Western 9th Northwest 4th 82 44 31 7 95 272 251 Did not qualify
2007–08 2007–08 NHL Western 6th Northwest 2nd 82 44 31 7 95 231 219 Won Conference Quarterfinals (Wild) 4–2
Lost Conference Semifinals (Red Wings) 0–4
2008–09 2008–09 NHL Western 15th Northwest 5th 82 32 45 5 69 199 257 Did not qualify
2009–10 2009–10 NHL Western 8th Northwest 2nd 82 43 30 9 95 244 233 Lost Conference Quarterfinals (Sharks) 2–4
2010–11 2010–11 NHL Western 14th Northwest 4th 82 30 44 8 68 227 288 Did not qualify
2011–12 2011–12 NHL Western 11th Northwest 3rd 82 41 35 6 88 208 220 Did not qualify
2012–13 2012–13 NHL Western 15th Northwest 5th 48 16 25 7 39 116 152 Did not qualify
2013–14 2013–14 NHL Western 2nd Central 1st 82 52 22 8 112 248 217 Lost First Round (Wild) 3–4
2014–15 2014–15 NHL Western 11th Central 7th 82 39 31 12 90 219 227 Did not qualify
2015–16 2015–16 NHL Western 9th Central 6th 82 39 39 4 82 216 240 Did not qualify
2016–17 2016–17 NHL Western 14th Central 7th 82 22 56 4 48 166 278 Did not qualify
2017–18 2017–18 NHL Western 8th Central 4th 82 43 30 9 95 257 237 Lost First Round (Predators) 2–4
2018–19 2018–19 NHL Western 8th Central 5th 82 38 30 14 90 260 246 Won First Round (Flames) 4-1
Lost Quarterfinals (San Jose Sharks) 3-4
Regular season record 1,852 926 695 101 130 2,083 5,423 5,134
Postseason record 182 102 80 Postseason series record: 19–12
1 Season was cancelled due to the 2004–05 NHL lockout.
2 As of the 2005–06 NHL season, all games tied after regulation will be decided in a shootout; SOL (Shootout losses) will be recorded as OTL in the standings.

Franchise leaders

Note: This list does not include stats from the Quebec Nordiques (WHA & NHL). Records as of April 9, 2007.[81][82]

Regular Season
  • Games played: Joe Sakic, 811
  • Goals: Joe Sakic, 376
  • Assists: Joe Sakic, 587
  • Points: Joe Sakic, 963
  • Penalty minutes: Adam Foote, 809
  • Wins: Patrick Roy, 262
  • Shutouts: Patrick Roy, 37

  • Games played: Joe Sakic, 150
  • Goals: Joe Sakic, 75
  • Assists: Peter Forsberg, 93
  • Points: Joe Sakic, 167
  • Penalty minutes: Adam Foote, 266
  • Wins: Patrick Roy, 81
  • Shutouts: Patrick Roy, 18

Franchise records

Note: This list does not include records from the Quebec Nordiques (WHA & NHL). Items in bold are NHL records. Records as of April 9, 2007.[81][27][83]

Regular season

  • Most goals in a season: Joe Sakic, 54 (2000–01)
  • Most assists in a season: Peter Forsberg, 86 (1995–96)
  • Most points in a season: Joe Sakic, 120 (1995–96)
  • Most penalty minutes in a season: Chris Simon, 250 (1995–96)
  • Most game-winning goals in a season: Joe Sakic, 12 (2000–01)
  • Most points in a season, rookie: Paul Stastny, 78 (2006–07)
  • NHL record longest points streak, rookie: Paul Stastny, 20 games (2006–07)
  • NHL record most consecutive games played by a defenseman: Karlis Skrastins, 495 games (2000–2007 - 270 with the Nashville Predators and 225 with the Avalanche)
  • Best +/- record in a season: Milan Hejduk and Peter Forsberg, +52 (2002–03)
  • Most wins in a season: Patrick Roy, 40 (2000–01)
  • Most shutouts in a season: Patrick Roy, 9 (2001–02)
  • Best goal against average in a season: Patrick Roy, 1.94 (2001–02)


  • Most goals in a playoff season: Joe Sakic, 18 (1996)
  • Most assists in a playoff season: Peter Forsberg, 18 (2002)
  • Most points in a playoff season: Joe Sakic, 34 (1996)
  • Most penalty minutes in a playoff season: Adam Foote, 62 (1997)


  • Most consecutive division titles: 9 (1994–95 – 2002–03)[37]
  • Most points in a season: 118 (2000–01)
  • Most wins in a season: 52 (2000–01)
  • Most goals: 326 (1995–96)
  • Largest margin of victory: 10 (December 12, 1995 vs San Jose (12–2))
  • Longest consecutive attendance sellout: 487 (1995–2006)[76]


Current roster

Updated July 25, 2010.[84]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
41 Flag of the United States Anderson, CraigCraig Anderson

G L 41 2009 Park Ridge, Illinois
31 Flag of Slovakia Budaj, PeterPeter Budaj

G L 39 2001 Banská Bystrica, Czechoslovakia
10 Flag of Canada Cumiskey, KyleKyle Cumiskey

D L 35 2006 Abbotsford, British Columbia
9 Flag of Canada Duchene, MattMatt Duchene

C L 31 2009 Peterborough, Ontario
52 Flag of Canada Foote, AdamAdam Foote


D R 50 2008 Whitby, Ontario
39 Flag of the United States Galiardi, TJTJ Galiardi

LW L 34 2007 Calgary, Alberta
22 Flag of Canada Hannan, ScottScott Hannan

D L 43 2007 Richmond, British Columbia
23 Flag of the Czech Republic Hejduk, MilanMilan Hejduk


RW R 46 1994 Ústí nad Labem, Czechoslovakia
54 Flag of Canada Jones, DavidDavid Jones

RW R 37 2003 Guelph, Ontario
28 Flag of the Czech Republic Koci, DavidDavid Koci

LW L 41 2009 Prague, Czechoslovakia
4 Flag of the United States Liles, John-MichaelJohn-Michael Liles

D L 41 2000 Zionsville, Indiana
55 Flag of Canada McLeod, CodyCody McLeod

LW L 37 2007 Binscarth, Manitoba
88 Flag of the United States Mueller, PeterPeter Mueller


C R 34 2010 Bloomington, Minnesota
37 Flag of Canada O'Reilly, RyanRyan O'Reilly

C L 31 2009 Clinton, Ontario
12 Flag of the United States Porter, KevinKevin Porter

C L 36 2010 Detroit, Michigan
27 Flag of Canada Quincey, KyleKyle Quincey

D L 36 2009 Kitchener, Ontario
26 Flag of the United States Stastny, PaulPaul Stastny


C L 36 2005 Quebec City, Quebec
25 Flag of Canada Stewart, ChrisChris Stewart


RW R 34 2006 Toronto, Ontario
29 Flag of the United States Stoa, RyanRyan Stoa

C L 35 2005 Bloomington, Minnesota
44 Flag of Canada Wilson, RyanRyan Wilson

D L 35 2009 Windsor, Ontario
34 Flag of Canada Winnik, DanielDaniel Winnik

C R 37 2010 Toronto, Ontario
18 Flag of Canada Yip, BrandonBrandon Yip

RW R 37 2004 Vancouver, British Columbia

Honored members

See also: List of Colorado Avalanche players and Colorado Avalanche notable players and award winners
Players with most games for the Colorado Avalanche
Player Games Years
Joe Sakic 855 1995–present
Milan Hejduk 701 1998–present
Adam Foote 604 1995–2004 2008–present
Peter Forsberg 542 1995–2004 2008–present
Stephane Yelle 505 1995–2002
Patrick Roy 478 1995–2003
Alex Tanguay 450 1999–2006
Adam Deadmarsh 405 1995–2001
Jon Klemm 393 1995–2001
Eric Messier 385 1996–2003
As of the end of the 2007-08 NHL season — Regular Season data

Retired numbers:

The numbers retired when the franchise was in Quebec were entered back into circulation after the move to Colorado.

Retired Players: (since they've been the Colorado Avalanche)

Jari Kurri (last NHL team to play with before playing in Europe)
Raymond Bourque
Patrick Roy
Vincent Damphousse (never played an official game with the club)
Tommy Salo (last NHL team to play with before playing in Europe)
Pierre Turgeon

Hall of Famers: Ray Bourque played in the NHL for 22 seasons with the Boston Bruins and was traded, by request, to Colorado in 2000 so he could have a chance of winning the Stanley Cup before retiring.[31] In a feat termed Mission 16W, the Avs were able to win the Stanley Cup, thus allowing Bourque the championship he had been seeking for 22 seasons.[85]

Patrick Roy played from 1995 to 2003 in Colorado and won two Stanley Cups with the Colorado Avalanche. Roy recorded 551 career victories, the most career wins for any goaltender in the NHL.[86]

Both Bourque and Roy were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The only other Avalanche player to be inducted is Jari Kurri who played the last season of his career with the franchise, yet his number hasn't been retired by the team, and his jersey does not hang from the rafters at Pepsi Center.[87]

Bryan Trottier, who was an assistant coach when the Avalanche won their second Stanley Cup in 2001, was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame as a player in 1997.[88]


Team captains

Note: This list of team captains does not include captains from the Quebec Nordiques (WHA & NHL).

Nat From To
Joe Sakic Flag of Canada 1995 present

General managers

Note: This list does not include general managers from the Quebec Nordiques (WHA & NHL).

Nat From To
Pierre Lacroix Flag of Canada 1995 2006
Francois Giguere Flag of Canada 2006 present

Head coaches

Note: This list does not include head coaches from the Quebec Nordiques (WHA & NHL).

Records as of the end of the 2007-08 NHL season.[82]

Nat From To Regular Season Playoffs
Marc Crawford Flag of Canada 1995 1998 246 135 75 36 .622 46 29 17 .630
Bob Hartley Flag of Canada 1998 2002 359 193 108 48 10 .618 80 49 31 .613
Tony Granato Flag of the United States 2002 2004 133 72 33 17 11 .647 18 9 9 .500
Joel Quenneville Flag of Canada 2005 2008 246 131 92 10 13 .579 19 8 11 .421
Tony Granato Flag of the United States 2008 [Current] - - - - - - - - - -

See also




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External links