Five thoughts after Colorado broke its 21-year Stanley Cup drought – The Denver Post


Five final thoughts on the Avalanche after the franchise broke its 21-year Stanley Cup drought:

1. How lucky are Denver sports fans? This city/area/region has the two-time NBA MVP in the Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic and a potentially generational player in Makar, who won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman. Both players are in their primes.

2. Among all of the Avalanche’s unrestricted free agents, I would prioritize defenseman Josh Manson. The Avs traded prospect defensemen Drew Helleson (in the Manson deal) and Justin Barron (in the Artturi Lehkonen deal) so their depth chart is thin after, in my order, Makar, Devon Toews, Byram and Girard.

3. What to do at goalie? Darcy Kuemper won the most games (37) among the free-agent goalies. Local hockey people smarter than me will yell me down on this one, but the Avs should approach Marc-Andre Fleury and offer him a one-year deal to finish his career with a Cup run.

4. The Avs have another foundational player in Byram, whose plus-15 total in the playoffs was the highest by a rookie defenseman since 1959-60. All nine of his points were assists, but he showed good offensive instincts and played at least 22 minutes in four of the six games against Tampa Bay. He is a legit top-four defenseman at age 21.

5. Watching winger Mikko Rantanen in person produces a new appreciation for his work. He is relentless below the goal-line in the offensive zone and is physical in creating takeaways and maintaining possession.

— Ryan O’Halloran, The Denver Post

What’s on tap?

  • Avalanche Stanley Cup victory parade, 9 a.m. | Details


Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar ...

Andy Cross, The Denver Post

Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar kisses the Stanley Cup after defeating the Tampa Bay Lighting at Amalie Arena June 26, 2022.

The future is now. The pieces are in place. The Avalanche will again be Stanley Cup-or-bust next season.

The window to win remains open. Wide open. After winning its first Stanley Cup in 21 years, the Colorado Avalanche may just be getting started.

The Avs now aim to follow the Lightning as the NHL’s next back-to-back champions.

Most of Colorado’s core players remain under contract for next season, and many are locked in well beyond that. Among the 13 players under contract for 2022-23 are forwards Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon, Gabe Landeskog and defensemen Cale Makar, Devon Toews, Sam Girard and Bo Byram, Mike Chambers reports. Read more…

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) ...

Andy Cross, The Denver Post

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) hoists the Stanley Cup after defeating the Tampa Bay Lighting at Amalie Arena June 26, 2022.

Avalanche Analysis: For Nathan MacKinnon, Jared Bednar, Joe Sakic, winning Stanley Cup caps long journey

One by one, as if it was choreographed weeks ago, all 28 players and each member of the coaching, training and equipment staffs and front office took their turn with the Stanley Cup in Tampa, Florida, late Sunday night.

Over the next couple days the Avs will share so many stories, about the worst-to-first journey, about the 102 regular season/playoff games this season. So many stories and memories, personalities and relationships.

As the Avs celebrated with friends and family on the ice deep into the night, much of the talk turned toward Nathan MacKinnon, Jared Bednar and Joe Sakic. The superstar. The coach. And the general manager, Ryan O’Halloran reports. Read more…

The Colorado Avalanche pose for a ...

Andy Cross, The Denver Post

The Colorado Avalanche pose for a group photo after defeating the Tampa Bay Lighting to win the Stanley Cup at Amalie Arena June 26, 2022.

Kiszla: Can Avalanche build a dynasty despite harsh economic realities of NHL?

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, Mark Kiszla writes. Read more…

Quick Hits

+ Avalanche to embark on global Stanley Cup Trophy celebration summer tour: “It’s hopefully a day they never forget.”

+ Eight iconic moments during the Avalanche’s skate to the Stanley Cup.

+ Chambers: Avalanche’s grind to winning the Cup was challenging and taxing for all involved.

+ Avalanche by the numbers: Colorado statistically dominant en route to 2022 Stanley Cup.

+ Avalanche’s Logan O’Connor is 33rd player all-time to win NCAA and NHL championships.

+ Kiszla vs. Chambers: Is this Avalanche team better than the 2001 Stanley Cup champions?

+ PHOTOS: Colorado Avalanche return to Denver with Stanley Cup.

+ Colorado Avalanche’s Stanley Cup parade and rally expected to draw more than 200,000 fans.

+ Avalanche celebrates Stanley Cup title at Coors Field before Rockies game.

+ Stanley Cup takes wrong turn, ends up at Gabriel Landeskog’s neighbor’s house.

+ Colorado Avalanche gear flying off shelves after Stanley Cup win.

+ Blink-182 congratulates Colorado Avalanche on Stanley Cup. Now, will they show at the parade in Denver?

+ Coors Light releasing Colorado Avalanche beer made with “champions ice” from Ball Arena.

+ Avs Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Mike Chambers here.

By the Numbers

9 a.m.

What time the Avalanche victory celebration starts on Thursday. Tap here to see the details of the parade and celebration. And check out where to join a watch party.

Parting Shot

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (91) ...

Andy Cross, The Denver Post

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (91) hoists the Stanley Cup after defeating the Tampa Bay Lighting 2-1 in game six of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Amalie Arena June 26, 2022.

Keeler: Avalanche star Nazem Kadri could’ve made excuses. He made history instead. His Colorado relatives couldn’t be prouder.

Before legends are etched in silver, they’re born in brimstone. You’ll tell your grandchildren about Nazem Kadri. Who will tell their grandchildren. And their grandchildren after that, Sean Keeler writes. Read more…

Get in Touch

If you see something that’s cause for question or have a comment, thought or suggestion, email me at or tweet me @joenguyen.


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