Colorado Avalanche 10 Reasons to Attend Games: Returning Players

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 11: Mikko Rantanen
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 11: Mikko Rantanen /

Reason number 9 for attending Colorado Avalanche games is to see our favorite returning players in action.

The Colorado Avalanche preseason starts in about three weeks with the regular season just over a month away. Rookie training camp is at the end of next week.

In other words, the offseason is just about over.

With that comes a decision — do you just watch Avs games from home, or do you invest the time and money to go to the game itself at Pepsi Center?

Throughout August, I’ve been running down the list of reasons to attend Avalanche games rather than just watch them from home:

Last time I also pointed out that we have some new players to get a gander at this season:

Well, we’re all Colorado Avalanche fans for our own reasons. A lot of people just support the logo — the Avs are your team, so you support them.

Some of us are people people — we like the players behind the logo. I’m an Avs fan first, but I like to be able to enjoy the players as people.

It’s no secret that defenseman Erik Johnson is my favorite player. It started not long after he got traded to Colorado. People were giving him such a hard time, calling him a bust. I decided to see for myself what kind of player he was.

What I saw was a player struggling to live up to expectations. Every time he made a mistake, he was crucified. And his achievements weren’t celebrated. More so, I saw a young man with amazing talent.

One of the things I love most about him is his skating. I’ve waxed poetic about it more than once:

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I also love what a leader he is both on and off the ice. Just the other day a couple Avalanche players were manning the phone lines to take calls for Red Cross donations, and it came as no surprise to me that EJ was one of them. That is so classic of the classy man he has become.

Now, this one is a little awkward in case he finally does get traded, but Matt Duchene is my second favorite. His breakaways are the beauty in hockey that non-fans don’t understand.

I go into detail about my favorite Dutchy moments here:

However, I was at Duchene’s first-ever NHL game, so he’ll always have a special place in my heart.

I’m really enjoying one of our newbies, Mikko Rantanen. He’s such a goofy kid. I can’t help but share again and again that silly moment when he fell out of the Colorado Avalanche bench:

No matter how many times I watch it, the video makes me laugh. As Avs fan Anthrax Jones puts it, he’s our giant baby deer scoring goals when he’s not sprawled on the ice.

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I got into a Twitter argument over the next statement: I like our current captain, Gabriel Landeskog, over our most celebrated captain, Joe Sakic. (That may be surprising to those of you who consider me nostalgic.)

I’m not in any way saying Landeskog is a better player or even captain. He’s just another really likable young man. He’s made so many fun videos. Plus, I really respect how he advocates against bullying.

That’s not in any way a comprehensive list. The truth is, for the most part, if you’re skating in a Colorado Avalanche uniform, I like you and want to see you succeed. That’s the nature of fandom in my book.

This has been reason #9 to attend Colorado Avalanche games. If you dig some of the players, share who and why below. In any case, next time we’ll conclude the series with the main reason to attend Avs games.