Colorado Avalanche 2005-2006

TEAM NAME: Colorado Avalanche.

TEAM PAYROLL: $37,781,628

GENERAL MANAGER: Pierre Lacroix became the forth general manager on May 24th 1994.

HEAD COACH: Joel Quenneville became the fourth head coach in Colorado Avalanche and 12th in franchise history on July 7, 2004. ( He was also picked up in the off season of 2004 )

FORGOTTEN MOVES: The Avalanche picked up a few “key” players in the off season of 2004. 1). Ian Laperriere. Right wing – 6’1 220lbs, Ian is a dynamic player who can be a solid goal scoring threat to many teams he will put up 15-20 goals and about 20-25 assistant in 2005. Watch him to be a contributor to the avalanche offence. 2). Antti Laaksonen. Left wing 6’0 180lbs. “Lakks” another solid offensive player who should have another good year with the club he should put up good number and be a leader on and off the ice expect him to get about 10-15 goals and 10-15 assist but his presence in the locker room will be his “star” on the team.

TEAM MODE: Avalanche are in the chase for the cup each and every year. With Quenneville the Avalanche should come out crisp and ready to play. I think that he is a perfect choice for coach for the avalanche. They get a man they can respect and a true leader and I think it will show on the ice and how the players conduct them self’s. With the new NHL the Avalanche should be right at home, less clutching, grabbing should make players like Tanguay and Sakic and Hejduk have more room to skate witch will lead to much more points and more wins – Outlook for 2005 – good chance to win the western conference and maybe return the cup the rocky mountains.

TO TAKE CHARGE!: The one and only pick for the team is the caption of captions Joe Sakic one of the most dynamic players in the Avalanche and NHL history. Makes the all-star game almost every year and has been the caption before the move to Colorado. He will be a first ballet hall of fame player and still in his older age is still one of the best players in the NHL. Joe Sakic is in charge and all the players know it … no one crosses him his word is the final word. And he is one of the nicest players I have ever meet. When it come to players who lead the NHL in to a new day Sakic has to be on top of the list.

ON THE RUSH (OFFENSE): If you want offense the Avalanche have a lot of it. Between Joe Sakic, Alex Tanguay , Milan Hejduk , Rob Blake , Steve Konowalchuk , Wojtek Wolski , Andrew Brunette the Avalanche should be able to put up some top offensive numbers. With 8 players over 15 goals in 2004 and 12 players over 10 goals I think that makes for a good offensive line up. Watch for Tanguay and Hejduk and Sakic to all score over 30 goals and with Blake and Liles two very offensive defense men should score 10-15 goals also. Also the Avalanche have two very young and talented forwards in Wojtek Wolski and Marek Svatos they should step up this year and score over 20 goals apices.

COVERING THE D-ZONE: The lose of foote is not going to be easy to fill in but the Avalanche still have a great D. With Blake as the leader and John-Michael Liles and Patrice Brisebois as the other big names the Avalanche D is still in the top 10. Karlis Skrastins and Ossi Vaananen and Curtis Leschyshyn also will contributing factors with good size and good defending abilities the Avalanche D should be solid … But … it is also the weakness piece of the team witch means watch for another big name defender to come to the Avalanche some time this year.

GUARDING THE NET: Since the 1st Stanley cup in Colorado the Avalanche have had great net minders with Roy the greatest of all time and now “Abby” David Aebischer the Avalanche net is covered. In 2004 Abby won 32 games and only lost 19 witch is a really good stat but with the new rules its going to be hard to do that again. With a lot of the new rules going against the net minders I would have to say the Aebischer is still one of the top in the NHL he is young and with youth comes change and this is going to be a big change but I think he will be up for the task. Expect 30-25 wins again I might be over estimating but I think the goals scored for the Avalanche will out weight the ones lost.

TALKING ABOUT MY GENERATION!: Prospects for the team include Wojtek Wolski and Marek Svatos two young and very talented forwards. Wojtek has spent the last three seasons with Brampton of the Ontario Hockey League. He led Brampton in scoring for the second straight season in 2004-05, compiling a career high 73 points (29 goals, 44 assists). A native of Zabrze, Poland, Wolski was named to the OHL’s First All-Star Team in 2003-04 after notching 70 points (29g, 41a). Savtos Colorado’s tenth selection (227th overall) in the 2001 Entry Draft. Has put up some good numbers in 2004 in Hershey he scored (18g, 28a.) he Also came up to Colorado and scored 2 goals in 2 games with the Avalanche witch gives fans a taste of what is to come.

PROJECTED LINES: 1st line – Tanguay – Sakic – Hejduk

2nd line – Brunette – Turgeon – Svatos

3rd line – Konowalchuk or Wolski – Laperriere – Laaksonen

4th line – May – Richardson – Hinote

All of these could change but this is how I think it will got for a while atlases.

Dline1- Blake – Skrastins

Dline2- Liles – Brisebois

Dline3- Vaananen – Leschyshyn

Dline4- Boughner – Sauer

Same goes for D this is how I think it could be but it will change im sure.

Goal – Aebischer

Backup – Budaj or Lawson

EXPECTATIONS: The Avalanche expectations every year is to win the Cup and this year is no exception. I could say that we will win the western conference but who really knows with how good our division is. If things go right and all players are clicking they could win the west an maybe win the Cup. The Avalanche are still one of the best teams in the NHL and they will prove it once again.

PROJECTED: Win the Stanley CUP in 2005 – 2006 !!