Find out which 12 Colorado Avalanche players should be on the 2016 calendar. Note — they are not the same 12 players Turner Licensing chose to feature.
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I got online to re-order my Colorado Avalanche calendar the other day. Altitude Authentics doesn’t put out an Avs calendar, so I just do a Google search. Last year I didn’t really notice who the manufacturer was — I simply paid and had my Avs calendar delivered.
This year, I do know who manufactures the calendar — an entity called Turner Licensing. They actually specialize in licensing and manufacturing sports calendars. Needless to say, when I say “sports” I mean NFL and NBA. The NHL calendars are definitely an afterthought.
How did I come to that conclusion beyond the truth that the NHL is the redheaded step child of pro sports? Here are the players featured in the 2016 Colorado Avalanche calendar:
- Ryan O’Reilly
- Jarome Iginla
- Tyson Barrie
- Alex Tanguay
- Nick Holden
- John Mitchell
- Jamie McGinn
- Gabriel Landeskog
- Brad Stuart
- Matt Duchene
- Semyon Varlamov
- Cody McLeod
Now, some of you may fixate on something immediately: BRAD STUART IS ON THE CALENDAR! No Avalanche fan that I know would want to look at Brad Stuart for a whole month.
Probably most of the rest of you will fixate on my first observation: Ryan O’Reilly hasn’t been a Colorado Avalanche player since June. Now, I understand Turner Licensing might not get the nuances of Stuart’s unpopularity with the fanbase, but including a player that hasn’t been on the team for half the year? (That applies to Jamie McGinn, too — no telling why he was even included considering he didn’t play a game in 2015.)
Hot on the heels of that observation came two notable absences — Erik Johnson and Nathan MacKinnon. Now, again, picking between defensemen might be tough, but how do you overlook Nathan MacKinnon as a sports licensing agency?!?!
So, in honor of Turner Licensing’s complete ignorance of how to choose players for an NHL calendar, I’m going to remake the Colorado Avalanche calendar how I’d like to see it. (And how I’ll probably have it custom made).
Spoiler alert: ROR and Ginner are out, EJ and MacK are in.
Landeskog is an obvious choice. Not only is he the captain, but he’s also one of the most popular players on the team. He tied Jarome Iginla for points at the conclusion of last year. Plus, he’s highly photogenic.
I already remarked in a previous post that I tend to break down Colorado Avalanche history into two periods Before Duchene Draft and After Duchene Draft. Duchene might be the most popular Colorado Avalanche player. He’s certainly one of the most exciting.
Ok, if you’re not sure why center Nathan MacKinnon’s omission from the calendar was such a ridiculous oversight, welcome to Avs Nation. Nathan MacKinnon was our first-overall draft pick two years ago, and he won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year his first season with us. He’s largely heralded as the future of the organization.
Iginla has been struggling a little recently to score, but he’s still a future Hall of Famer. Not only did he lead all Colorado Avalanche players in goals last season with 29, but he’s the alternate captain.
Tanguay makes sense on this list because he’s a top-six forward. Like Iginla, he’s struggling this season. However, he was second in scoring for most of last season. He also won a Stanley Cup with the 2001 Colorado Avalanche team.
Erik Johnson is the Colorado Avalanche’s cornerstone on defense. If you’d like to know why I especially include him on this list, read on:
- Johnson Earns Contract Extension
- Johnson Can Still Have Career Season
- Erik Johnson’s Roller Coaster Career
- TBT: Johnson Earns 1st Avalanche Goal
Francois Beauchemin is the only newbie I’m including on this list. Even though he only joined the organization over the summer, he’s already become an integral figure on the blueline. That was by design — GM Joe Sakic and head coach Patrick Roy selected him to partner Erik Johnson on the top defensive pairing.
Varlamov has laid some real goose eggs this season. However, he’s the Colorado Avalanche’s #1 goalie. He’s also capable of stealing games for the team — he’s done that this season as well.
Tyson Barrie is the Avalanche’s best offensive defenseman. He’s largely heralded as Mr. Clutch because of his ability to score big goals at key moments — like game-tying goals with just seconds left in the game. It seems like he’s been quiet this year, but he’s amassed 22 points to lead all Avalanche defensemen. Also, I think his worried game face is funny.
McLeod is an energy player, know far more for fighting than for scoring. He sees a lot of time on the fourth line, though a little third line play isn’t outside of his purview. However, he’s one of the most popular players both among fans and seemingly among the team and staff. Indeed, he’s the alternate captain along with Iginla.
John Mitchell is a little like Cody McLeod, only with more scoring and without the letter. He’s a solid center who’s even made his way to the first line. He hits, he can skate and he plain plays hockey the right way, as Joe Sakic would say.
Ok, Patrick Roy isn’t a player. However, would you have me include Stuart, like Turner Licensing did? Or Nate Guenin? Or another newbie? That said, Patrick Roy is the center of the team. I’d want to have Santa Patrick on my calendar for December.
What about you, Avs Nation? Which players would you expect to see on the 2016 Colorado Avalanche calendar?