NHL Offseason Review: Colorado Avalanche

Free Agency Moves

It feels like ages since the Colorado Avalanche captured its most recent Stanley Cup title. The Avalanche experienced Stanley Cup triumph back in 2001, but since then, this franchise has not been able to put any type of playoff success together. So, with consistency the issue, the Avalanche entered the offseason looking to find players to help them fix that problem.

Carl Soderberg was undoubtedly the biggest addition for Colorado during the off-season, as the former Boston Bruin will bring instant productivity to this Avalanche lineup. This was the type of move that without question put a little bit more excitement into Avs fans heading into the upcoming season.

Graphic via bsndenver

But Colorado was far from done with their offseason maneuvers, as this club then went out and got veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin to fill a gap in their defensive unit. While Beauchemin isn’t going to be the cornerstone of the future for this club, he is going to bring plenty of experience and grit to this Avalanche team.

Colorado also decided to its lineup by picking up the 29-year-old Blake Comeau, who should also prove to be a solid contribution for this squad heading into the season.

Draft Selections

There is really no doubt that the Avalanche scored big with their 10th overall pick in this year’s NHL draft. With center Mikko Rantanen sitting right there waiting on them, Colorado made the easiest selection possible in taking the highly-skilled prospect.

Graphic via zimbio

Rantanen has tremendous upside heading into the league, and he has the potential to be quite the contributor for this squad going forward. There is little concern about his ability to score, as Rantanen has the makeup of a player that can come in and provide scoring value right away if needed.

The Avalanche also added AJ Greer and Nicolas Meloche to the roster in the second round, and while they won’t get the attention that Rantanen will, they are solid selections.

Coaching Changes

Patrick Roy has been in charge of the Avalanche since the 2013 season, and after leading the club to a playoff appearance in his first year, missing the playoffs last season really didn’t hurt him any.

Of course, Colorado fans don’t want missing the playoffs to become a habit, and with an improved roster, Roy will need to have the Avalanche back in the mix this upcoming season in order to stay on the good side of management.

Looking Ahead to the Season

There is reason for optimism for Avalanche fans heading into the 2015-2016 campaign. Colorado has gotten better, but we all know that Stanley Cup trophies aren’t won on paper.

The Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup seems unlikely, but that isn’t the ultimate goal at this very second. Colorado just needs to work its way back into the playoffs, and then build from there. While some believe that this could be a rebuilding campaign for the Avs, that may not be the case given the fact that Colorado addressed some its biggest needs.

Roy and company might not be partying like its 2001 this upcoming season, but a playoff appearance will at least give them hope moving forward.

Graphic via avalanche.nhl


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