Colorado Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche  

Avalanche Timeline


Quebec Nordiques Team Formation

The Quebec Nordiques formed as one of the original World Hockey Association teams in 1972. The franchise was originally awarded to a group in San Francisco, as the San Francisco Sharks. However, the San Francisco group's funding collapsed prior to the start of the first season, and the WHA hastily sold the organization to a group of six Quebec City-based businessmen who owned the highly profitable Quebec Remparts junior team.

Lindros Draft and Trade

In 1991, the Nordiques once again had the first overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft. They picked junior star Eric Lindros, even though he had let it be known well in advance that he would never play in Quebec. Among the reasons, Lindros cited distance, lack of marketing potential, and having to speak French. After the Nordiques selected him anyway, Lindros then refused to wear the team jersey on Draft Day and only held it for press photographs. Lindros, on advice of his mother Bonnie, refused to sign with the team and began a holdout that lasted over a year. The Nordiques president publicly announced that they would make Lindros the centerpiece of their franchise turnaround, and refused to trade Lindros, saying that he would not have a career in the NHL as long as he held out. Meanwhile, the Nordiques finished with another dreadful season in 1991 - 1992, missing the 70-point barrier for the fifth year in a row.

Because of Lindros' popularity and marketability, the Nordiques soon came under significant pressure from the NHL to trade him. Finally on June 30, 1992, after confusion over whether Quebec had traded Lindros' rights to the Philadelphia Flyers or New York Rangers was settled by an arbitrator, the Nordiques sent Lindros to the Flyers in exchange for forwards Peter Forsberg and Mike Ricci, goaltender Ron Hextall, defencemen Steve Duchesne and Kerry Huffman, "future considerations" which eventually became enforcer Chris Simon, two first-round picks and US$15 million. One of the draft picks was used by the Nordiques to select goaltender Jocelyn Thibault, the other was traded twice and ultimately used by the Washington Capitals to select Nolan Baumgartner.

Colorado Avalanche born

While the team experienced on ice success, it struggled financially. Quebec City was by far the smallest market in the league, and the second smallest to host a team in the four major sports. The changing financial environment in the NHL made things even more difficult, and in 1995 team owner Marcel Aubut asked for a bailout from Quebec's provincial government as well as a new publicly funded arena. The bailout fell through and Aubut subsequently sold the team to COMSAT Entertainment Group of Denver, which already owned the NBA's Denver Nuggets. In May 1995, the COMSAT Entertainment Group announced an agreement in principle to purchase the team. The deal became official on July 1, 1995, and 12,000 season tickets were sold in the 37 days after the announcement of the move to Denver. The franchise was presented as the Colorado Avalanche on August 10, 1995.

Stanley Cup Winners - 2 Stanley Cup Wins

Stanley Cup - 2001
The 2001 Stanley Cup Finals was the NHL championship series of the 2001 Stanley Cup Playoffs contested between the Eastern Conference champion and defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils and the Western Conference champion Colorado Avalanche. It was Colorado's second appearance in the Final, and the first since the team won the Cup in 1996. It was New Jersey's third appearance in the Final and second straight appearance after winning the Cup in the 2000 Final. Colorado defeated New Jersey in seven games to win their second Stanley Cup in franchise history. Colorado's Patrick Roy would win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the 2001 Playoffs. This was the first Stanley Cup Final since 1994 that would be decided in the maximum seven games. This is also the first and, as of 2012, most recent Finals since 1989 that the number one seeds in each conference have met.

Stanley Cup - 1996
The 1996 Stanley Cup Final was the NHL championship series of the 1996 Stanley Cup Playoffs contested between the Western Conference champion Colorado Avalanche and the Eastern Conference champion Florida Panthers, two teams in the Final for the first time and that did not exist only three seasons before. It was Colorado's first appearance in the Final, in only their first season in Denver since moving from Quebec City in 1995. It was Florida's first appearance in the Final, in only the franchise's third season since entering the NHL in 1993. Only two other teams have made their first Stanley Cup Final appearance faster: the St. Louis Blues in their debut season in 1967 - 1968, and the 1928 Cup winning New York Rangers. Colorado defeated Florida in a four game sweep to win their first Stanley Cup becoming the seventh post 1967 expansion team and the second former WHA team after the Edmonton Oilers to win the Cup. Colorado's Joe Sakic earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the 1996 Playoffs.

Stan Kroenke Owner

Mr. E. Stanley Kroenke became owner of the Colorado Avalanche on July 6, 2000. In the team’s first season under his ownership, the Avalanche hosted the NHL All-Star Game, won the Presidents’ Trophy, and defeated the New Jersey Devils to win the Stanley Cup, the second in franchise history (1996).

Under Kroenke’s ownership the team has won four division championships, and during his first five years of ownership the Avalanche sold out every home game and went on to post an NHL-record 487 consecutive game sellout streak.

Avalanche Primary Logo History Avalanche Alternate Logo History No Wordmark Logo History


Team Information Team History

Quebec - Denver

Avalanche - Rockies, the nickname for Colorado's hockey team that left for New Jersey in 1982, had been adopted by Denver's baseball team by the time the Quebec Nordiques left Canada for the Front Range in 1995. Management originally wanted to name the team Extreme, but received all sorts of negative feedback, and justifiably so. Avalanche, which eventually beat out Black Bears, Outlaws, Storm, Wranglers, Renegades, Rapids, and Cougars, drew some criticism, as well, given their deadly nature. A representative from the team replied: "This is the NHL, a rough and tough sport, and Avalanche is something that matches the 'on the edge' feel they want to create. Hey, Cougars and Bears kill people, too. People shouldn't get so excited about Avalanche being a disrespectful name or something. It's just a name."

Pepsi Center
1999 - present
McNichols Sports Arena
1995 - 1999

Colisée de Québec
1972 - 1995

Ann Walton Kroenke
2014 - present
E. Stanley Kroenke
2000 - 2014
Charlie Lyons
1995 - 2000

Marcel Aubut
1990 - 1995
Carling - O'Keefe Brewery
1978 - 1990
Quebec Remparts
1972 - 1978

Established: 1972

League History:
National Hockey League
1979 - present

World Hockey Association
1972 - 1979

Team History:
Colorado Avalanche
1995 - present

Quebec Nordiques
1972 - 1995

Stanley Cups: 2
2000 - 2001, 1995 - 1996

Retired Numbers:
19 Joe Sakic
21 Peter Forsberg
33 Patrick Roy
52 Adam Foote
77 Ray Bourque
99 Wayne Gretzky

Mascots: 2009 - present 1995

The Official Site of the Colorado Avalanche

*Red is this team's history

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