Giving Thanks for the Avs


“How do I love thee, let me count the ways…” Oh, wait, that’s a different post. However, that sappy Shakespearean quote works well in this instance. For I do love the Colorado Avalanche, and that’s why I’m thankful for them.

#1: We have a hockey team.

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Giving away my age here, but I became a hockey fan before Colorado even had an NHL team. (I don’t mean before the Denver Rapids — just early 1990s). I remember dying to go to an NHL game, but Detroit was the closest place!

Then we got the Denver Grizzlies for a minute. They were ok, but… not NHL. Once the rumors started flying that an NHL team was coming to Colorado, I was over the moon.

Lots of places don’t have NHL teams, you know, places like Quebec and Atlanta that used to. Also places like Las Vegas and Cincinnati that never have. I’m glad we’re no longer in that boat.

#2: The Avs have won the Stanley Cup.

And in my lifetime, too! I have fantastic memories of both those Cup wins. Look at places like Toronto that hasn’t won a Stanley Cup since the 1960s. Look at places like St. Louis that have never won a Cup.

#3: Avalanche hockey is exciting.

Sometimes Colorado Avalanche hockey is a little too exciting — they didn’t earn the nickname “Cardiac Kids” because they’re good at maintaining their heart health. The Avs have always played that brand of offense-first, exciting hockey. Of course, that’s why it’s frustrating at times, too.

#4: Patrick Roy is our coach.

I was almost as excited that Roy was coming back to Colorado as our head coach as I was by the Avs coming to Colorado in the first place. He is a winner — and an interesting personality to boot. I’m thrilled that his career will forever be entwined with Avalanche history.

Which reminds me…

#5: Patrick Roy was once our goalie.

I’ll never forget talking to an ex about what it would take to get Roy out of Montreal — we both agreed nothing. Not only were we wrong, but in the most delightful of ways. Patrick Roy is the clutch goalie to end all clutch goalies, and he finished his career here in Colorado.

#7: We’ve had Hall of Famers through the years.

Naturally, in addition to Roy, we’ve been lucky enough to have Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Rob Blake and Ray Bourque play for us. Teemu Selanne, who will eventually make it into the Hockey Hall of Fame, was once in our lineup. Now we have Jarome Iginla.

Again, look at some of the teams around the NHL — it’s been a long time, if ever, since a Hall of Famer was associated with their franchises.

#9:We have attractive colors and a good logo.

The Colorado Avalanche logo gets some flak sometimes because it supposedly looks too 1990s. I love it. It’s dynamic, it epitomizes Colorado and it’s hockey. What’s more hockey than ice, after all?

While the uni-pron jersey is unflattering, the colors are nonetheless attractive — burgundy, blue and silver. Look at what some other teams have to put up with, such as the Nashville Predators’ hideous mustard jerseys. As for the Minnesota Wild, while their third jerseys are fine, their home jerseys make them look like a Christmas tree threw up on them.

#10: We have a fantastic young core of players.

While I may occasionally covet the services of a Patrick Kane or a Bobby Ryan in the lineup, I would be hard-pressed to want to trade any of our young core. Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Tyson Barrie and my favorite, Erik Johnson — I know it’s unlikely, but I want them to spend the rest of their careers here.

What about you, Avs Nation? What are you thankful for in our Colorado Avalanche?

Happy Thanksgiving!