A Reunion of Champions

According to the team’s website, the Colorado Avalanche will launch the 2010-11 NHL season by hosting a reunion of Stanley Cup Champions.

Players and coaches from the 1995-96 Colorado Avalanche squad will be on hand for this momentous occasion, which will reportedly be held October 6th & 7th. The apex of the festivities will be a pre-game ceremony before the season opener vs. the defending champions, the Chicago Blackhawks.

11 Jun 1996: Joe Sakic, captain of the Colorado Avalanche, celebrates as he rounds the net after teammate Uwe Krupp scored in triple overtime to defeat the Florida Panthers 1-0 in game four of the Stanley Cup Finals at Miami Arena in Miami, Florida. Sakic

(Joe Sakic behind the net, celebrating Uwe Krupp’s Cup-clinching goal in triple OT, Game 4 vs. the Florida Panthers. Image courtesy: Yardbarker.com)

These pre-game celebrations are becoming a tradition for this franchise, as last year’s opener was preceded by Joe Sakic’s retirement ceremony.

The Avalanche seems to be on the offensive right now, working diligently to establish a strong legacy and history of the team. As most Avs fans will remember, the team hosted a series of Alumni Nights last season, honoring early members of the club. I expect most of those players will attend this reunion, including (hopefully) players like Peter Forsberg. If you read the article, it seems the only confirmed guest of honor will be the 1996 Conn Smythe trophy winner, Captain Sakic.

The one player I’m not expecting to show up is legendary goaltender Patrick Roy. He is still working his tail off in Quebec as the owner/coach of the Quebec Remparts, and he generally doesn’t make special appearances at these types of things.

Nevertheless, the 1996 Stanley Cup was Colorado’s first major sports championship, so this reunion is not only a celebration in honor of hockey and the Colorado Avalanche, but a celebration for all of Colorado and its rich sports tradition.

NOTE: Cameron Gaunce Article

Check out this interesting article on Av-hopeful Cameron Gaunce. If you’ll remember, he was our first pick in the 2008 draft (2nd round, since we traded our first for Adam Foote).

Much like Joey Hishon has been this year, Gaunce was felt to be a reach by the Avs scouting when he was picked. Since then, he’s become a leader on his team, has been a finalist for Most Outstanding Defenseman in the OHL, and perhaps most impressively, has won/been a finalist for awards for both Best Offensive Defenseman and Best Defensive Defenseman.

He’s the epitome of a well-rounded blue-liner, and I’m really hoping for good things from him come training camp.

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