Colorado Avalanche Ranks Low in THN Fan Suffering Index

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Nov 5, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Colorado Avalanche fans in rally caps cheer during the third period against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche may be struggling this season. However, compared to other NHL franchises, Avalanche fans have been relatively lucky over the past few decades.

As hockey fans, we often like to brag about our teams’ accomplishments. For example, just about every conversation between a Colorado Avalanche fan and one of the Minnesota Wild begins with “you losers have never won a Cup” (Avs fan to Wild fan) and ends with “remember what happened in the 2014 playoffs?” (Wild fan to Avs fan. Actually, there is never much in between either.

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However, fans also love to do the exact opposite — especially when their team has been terrible for a long time. A conversation between fans of the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs, for example, could go like this. “It seems like we get the first overall pick every year, but the team still sucks,” the Oilers fan says. “You think that’s bad? We haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967,” the Leafs fan replies. Next, a St. Louis Blues fan comes in and reminds everyone that the franchise was founded that year and has never won a Stanley Cup.

So, it can go either way. The question is, who has the right to cry about their team’s history and who isn’t? The Hockey News writer Matt Larkin wanted to find out, and did so for the THN November 23 issue. But, how do you quantify the misery fans have to endure? Here’s what Larkin did:

"We introduce to you the Fan Suffering Index. We’ve ranked all 30 NHL franchises in six statistical categories to determine the most beaten-down bunch. We use team lineage for clarity’s sake. So Quebec Nordiques fans have “followed” the team to Colorado, for instance. The numbers tracked are from the first post-expansion season, 1967-68 and on."

So, let’s take a look at the categories and how much we Colorado Avalanche fans — or the oldest ones among us — had to endure. For every “won category” (as in, this franchise’s fans had to suffer the most), that franchise gets 1 point. The fans that had to suffer the least get 30 points. Therefore, the club with the lowest point total had to suffer the most. Let’s get to it.

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