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Colorado Avalanche

Founded:1972GM:Chris MacFarland
Owned By:Kroenke FamilyCoach:Jared Bednar
Home Rink:Ball ArenaCaptain:Gabriel Landeskog
AHL Affiliate:Colorado EaglesECHL Affiliate:Utah Grizzlies

The Colorado Avalanche (colloquially known as the Avs) were founded in 1972 as the Quebec Nordiques and were one of the charter franchises of the World Hockey Association. The franchise joined the NHL in 1979 as a result of the NHL–WHA merger. Following the 1994–95 season, they were sold to the COMSAT Entertainment Group and relocated to Denver.

In the club’s first season in Denver, the Avalanche went on to sweep the Florida Panthers in the 1996 Stanley Cup Final, becoming the first NHL team to win the Stanley Cup in the season following a relocation. In the 2001 Stanley Cup Final, the Avalanche defeated the New Jersey Devils 4–3 to win their second Cup. Then, 21 years later, in the 2022 Stanley Cup Final, they won their third after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2. As a result, they are the only active NHL team that has won all of its Stanley Cup Final appearances.

Deeper Dive

2022-23 Season Roster

ForwardsDefensemenGoaltenders
Anton BlidhBowen ByramPavel Francouz
Andrew CoglianoSamuel GirardAlexander Georgiev
J.T. CompherErik Johnson
Darren HelmKurtis MacDermid
Gabriel LandeskogCale Makar
Artturi LehkonenJosh Manson
Nathan MacKinnonDevon Toews
Alex Newhook
Valeri Nichushkin
Logan O’Connor
Mikko Rantanen
Evan Rodrigues
Lukas Sedlak

Colorado Avalanche Jersey History

In 1995-96, the Quebec Nordiques were relocated to Colorado. Since Colorado didn’t fit the bill as a “northern” city, the team was forced to adopt a new nickname, and with it, new jerseys. Known for its mountainous regions and rugged terrain, the Avalanche were born, and so too were new uniforms. Find out more about the history of the Avalanche jerseys.

Colorado Avalanche 2022 Stanley Cup Champions
Colorado Avalanche coaches and players pose for a photo after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game Six of the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Players

Ray Bourque Colorado Avalanche Joe Sakic
Ray Bourque #77 of the Colorado Avalanche lifts the cup with Joe Sakic #19 after the Colorado Avalanche defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-1 in game seven of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche take the series 4-3. (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)

More Avalanche History

Avalanche Cup Runs Built By Timely Trades From Lacroix

The Colorado Avalanche notoriously won a Stanley Cup in their first year after shifting to Denver from the Quebec Nordiques. The Avalanche won their second championship just five seasons later. While Colorado was tremendously fortunate to inherit a team on the cusp of something great, there were a lot of strings that had to be tugged in the correct sequence to make both of those title runs possible. Pierre Lacroix, who passed away near the end of 2020, was the one pulling those strings as general manager of those early clubs. Read more…

Joe Sakic Patrick Roy Colorado Avalanche
Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche pose with the Stanley Cup. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Team Captains

General Managers History

  • Chris MacFarland: July 11-present
  • Joe Sakic: Sept. 19, 2014 – July 11, 2022
  • Greg Sherman: June 3, 2009 – Sept. 19, 2014
  • Francois Giguere: May 25, 2006 – April 13, 2009
  • Pierre Lacroix: May 24, 1994 – May 25, 2006

Head Coaches History

  • Jared Bednar: Oct. 15, 2016 – Present
  • Patrick Roy: Oct. 2, 2013 – April 9, 2016
  • Joe Sacco: Oct. 1, 2009 – April 27, 2013
  • Tony Granato: Oct. 9, 2008 – April 12, 2009
  • Joel Quenneville: Oct. 5, 2005 – May 1, 2008
  • Tony Granato: Dec. 19, 2002 – May 4, 2004
  • Bob Hartley: Oct. 10, 1998 – Dec. 16, 2002
  • Marc Crawford: Jan. 21, 1995 – May 4, 1998

Sources