Shark Week: Colorado Avalanche Players & Their Shark Counterpart


Da Dum… Da Dum… DaDumDaDumDaDum Da Da Da!! You know what that sound means, right? It’s Shark Week on Discovery Channel! In honor of the dorsal finned terrors that rule the sea, let’s have a little fun! This post is purely for entertainment, and should not be taken too seriofishly. If you think you can manage, take a deep breath, because we are going under to scout some sharks that remind me of a few Avs! Don’t forget to bring a towel!

Patrick RoyGreat White Shark

Like the great white shark, Patrick Roy is a legend. Great whites are known for their size, measuring up to 26 ft in length and weighing roughly 7,300 lbs, as well as for being ruthless predators. Roy has a lot of cheeseburgers to eat if he is ever going to catch the great white in mass, but you would have a hard time finding a more ruthless competitor than the former Avs netminder. Roy is now the head coach, or head honcho if you will, just like the great white is ruler of the shark kingdom. If you want one more similarity, how about the fact that neither Roy nor a great white seem to have much regard for barriers.

Ryan O’Reilly – Hammerhead Shark

The hammerhead is perhaps the most unique shark, and Ryan O’Reilly is certainly a unique hockey player. O’Reilly and the Avs historically haven’t always seen eye-to-eye on contract negotiations, and I’m sure making direct eye contact is challenging for hammerheads as well. You see, the hammerhead shark is easily recognizable and appropriately named due to the unorthodox shape of its head. The head shape is used as a tool when hunting. O’Reilly also utilizes an unorthodox tool when playing hockey. His stick curve is unlike that of any other player, and probably is a big factor as to why O’Reilly led the league with 83 takeaways last season. Ryan “Factor” O’Reilly is a deadly hunter in his own right.

Semyon VarlamovWhale Shark

The whale shark is the largest known living fish species, with one whale shark reaching a recorded size of 41.5 ft in length and weighing over 21.5 metric tons (47,000 lbs). Talk about a beast, and that is exactly what Varly was for the Avs last season. Varlamov set a franchise record with 41 wins, while posting a 2.41 goals against average and 0.927 save percentage. One of the unique attributes of the whale shark, is its utilization of filter feeding, a rare trait among sharks. This allows the whale shark to accumulate a large quantity of food matter suspended in the ocean for consumption. Varlamov was somewhat of a filter feeding goaltender last season, facing a league high 2,013 shots, and gobbling up 1,867 of them. Mmmm, those stats are tasty!

Cody McLeodBull Shark

Aggressive. Irritable. Unpredictable. These adjectives are equally effective at describing both Cody McLeod and the bull shark. McCleod isn’t shy about dropping the gloves or getting feisty with an opponent, and like the bull shark, he is generally outsized by his rivals. You may also notice McLeod is missing a few teeth. However, in public Cody sports some nice fake pearly whites! The cycle is constant. Lose the teeth for the game, then put them back in to look more tame. Sharks also recycle teeth, and are constantly losing those dagger like chompers and re-growing new ones. Some sharks will go through up to 35,000 teeth in a lifetime, and bull sharks are sure to be near the top of that list due to their aggressive temperament.

Nathan MacKinnonShortfin Mako Shark

If you are like me, you may be unfamiliar with the shortfin mako shark, also called a blue pointer. When you think about this shark, your first thought should be speed. The shortfin has been clocked at consistent speeds of 25 mph with bursts reaching 46 mph, making it the fastest shark in the ocean today. Many scientists believe that shortfin makos can swim even faster, which is a problem many fans and scouts face when watching Nathan MacKinnon. Just how fast is this kid? Vrooooooooom. Maybe that will give you the answer you are looking for.

Jarome IginlaTiger Shark

The tiger shark is notorious for its large appetite. Jarome Iginla has had quite the appetite himself throughout his career. An appetite for goals. Iginla has amassed 560 lamp lighters over his NHL career, good for 25th all-time. The tiger shark isn’t shy about what it eats, with a palette for more types of food than any other species of shark. In fact, tiger sharks are known as “garbage eaters” due to the fact that they often eat human junk and trash. As a power forward in the NHL, Iginla has realized that goals come in all shapes and sizes as well, and he isn’t shy about going to the net and scoring a few garbage goals himself.

Matt DucheneBlacktip Reef Shark

The blacktip reef shark is known for having the smallest home range of any shark species. Another way of saying this, is once the blacktip finds a reef it likes, it is loyal to it. Matt Duchene grew up an Avs fan, pumped his fist in excitement during the 2009 draft when he realized he was Colorado bound, and showed up to sign a contract extension wearing a Colorado shirt and Vail hat. This guy loves Colorado, and is here for the long haul. Reef sharks are also known to be very quick and agile as they move around the reefs they inhabit. Much like Duchene, when an opportunity is seen, they are quick to strike.

Brad Stuart – Wait a second…

He’s not a Shark anymore… He’s an Avalanche now! So long San Jose, welcome to the Mile High City!

Well folks, that concludes (or in shark lingo FINishes) my Avalanche sharkology tribute to #SharkWeek! Hopefully you enjoyed it, maybe you learned something, and if you have any ideas for other potential Av/shark combos leave a post in the comment section. Until next time, land-lovers!