Colorado Avalanche 2000-2009 A look back.
by Bruce Wilkie
If the Colorado Avalanche were to use one word to describe the first ten years of the new millennium, it would be “eventful”. This era featured everything from a Stanley Cup Championship to finishing 28th out of 30. Here are some of the moments that defined the decade:
March 2000 – The Avs acquire Ray Bourque.
After two decades in Boston, Bourque wanted the opportunity to win a Stanley Cup and the lowly Bruins were nowhere near ready to compete. Bourque was traded to Colorado to achieve his dream.
September 2000 – Columbia, MO real estate billionaire Stan Kroenke purchases the Avalanche, the NBA Denver Nuggets and the Pepsi Center.
February 2001 – The Avalanche hosts the 51st NHL All Star game at the Pepsi Center. Due to fan voting, Colorado had 5 players among the 12 starters.
February 2001 – GM Pierre Lacroix acquires All Star defenseman Rob Blake from the LA Kings.
June 2001 – The Avs beat the New Jersey Devils (the former Colorado Rockies) in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals to win their second championship in front of more than 18,000 at the Pepsi Center.
December 2002 – Coach Bob Hartley, who led the Avs to four Western Conference Finals and one Stanley Cup in four seasons is fired and replaced by Tony Granato.
April 2003 – The Avalanche win their NHL record 9th consecutive division title. (1 in Quebec, 8 in Colorado).
April 2003 – Patrick Roy plays his final game for Colorado.
July 2004 – Adam Foote and Peter Forsberg turn down what they consider low contract offers from the Avs. They sign free agent contracts with Columbus and Philadelphia respectively.
2004-2005 Season – When accord on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is not reached, NHL owners lockout the players. It would be the first time in North American professional sports that an entire season would be missed due to a labor action.
October 2005 – Joel Quenneville begins his first season as head coach of the Avalanche. Former head coach Tony Granato stays on as assistant coach.
May 2006 – Pierre Lacroix steps down as GM, but remains as President of the Avalanche. He is replaced by Francois Giguere.
October 2006 – Colorado’s NHL record consecutive home game sellout streak ends at 487.
February 2008 – Adam Foote and Peter Forsberg return to Colorado. Foote is traded from Columbus and Forsberg signs a free agent contract after missing most of the NHL season.
May 2008 – Coach Joel Quenneville is fired. He is replaced by the man he replaced, Tony Granato.
April 2009 – General Manager Francois Giguere is fired. The Avs reportedly offer the dual roles of GM and head coach to Patrick Roy, but when he turns them down the Avalanche hires Greg Sherman as GM.
June 2009 – Joe Sacco replaces Tony Granato as head coach of the Avalanche.
June 2009 – The Avalanche take Matt Duchene with the third overall selection in the NHL draft.
July 2009 – Joe Sakic, the only captain the Colorado Avalanche have ever known, retires after 20 years in the NHL. He is replaced as captain by Adam Foote.