Can Avalanche build a dynasty despite harsh economic realities of NHL? – The Denver Post


The first, glorious taste of sweet champagne from the Stanley Cup in 21 years only wet everybody’s whistle.

Avalanche Country thirsts for a big gulp of glory.

With a strong core built to last around defenseman Cale Makar and center Nathan MacKinnon, dare we dream of a hockey dynasty?

The Avs could be the guiding light in the dawning of a new golden age of pro sports in Colorado, with quarterback Russell Wilson throwing touchdown passes for the Broncos when not sitting alongside his Denver peeps, leading cheers for Gabe Landeskog or Nikola Jokic.

As the Cup was waltzed around the ice during giddy moments immediately after a 2-1 victory against Tampa Bay clinched the championship on a steamy Monday night in Florida, the newly crowned champs approached franchise owner Stan Kroenke, who has built a sprawling sports empire that spans the globe from Los Angeles to London.

“The minute I came down here,” said Kroenke, surrounded by reporters in Amalie Arena, “the players were coming up to me, saying: ‘This is amazing. Let’s do it again.’”

But before taking a breath, Stan the Man quickly added: “That’s hard to do.”

Even in the middle of a championship party, Kroenke is a no-nonsense businessman, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Billionaires are ultra-competitive by nature. Kroenke keeps score in dollars, as well as trophies, and stubbornly refuses to lose.

Yes, his sharp edges can cut to the quick, as any Denver sports fan who has cursed a TV monitor while futilely looking to watch the Avalanche or Nuggets on Comcast knows far too well.

So before we dream of these Avs becoming the dynasty even the great teams of Patrick Roy and Peter Forsberg never quite were, let’s celebrate in the streets of downtown with thousands of our hockey besties, all united in burgundy and blue. Raise a toast in appreciation of the 16-4 record by a group that dominated the NHL playoffs from start to finish.

“This is something you dream of,” Joe Sakic said.


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