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Colorado Avalanche 2011-2012


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AVALANCHE WILL RETIRE FORMER NHL MVP FORSBERG'S NUMBER

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DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche will retire Peter Forsberg's number before the season opener on Oct. 8 against the Detroit Red Wings.

Forsberg's number (21) will join those of Patrick Roy (33), Joe Sakic (19) and Ray Bourque (77) in the rafters at Pepsi Center.

The former NHL MVP attempted a comeback with the Avalanche over the winter, but pulled the plug on his career after a two-game audition because of a chronic foot ailment.

Forsberg was one of the best two-way players in the NHL during his prime, helping the Avalanche to Stanley Cup titles in 1996 and 2001. A foot injury that's hampered him since 2003 robbed him of chunks of his career.

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Congrats on the amazing career Forsberg.

Wish some of it had been in habsville.;)

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Colorado Avalanche

avalanche.gif

Conference: West Division:North WEast

Arena: Pepsi Center

Captain: Adam Foote Headcoach: Joe Sacco

2010-2011 Season Results: 30-44-8-68 Rank:14th in the West

2010-2011 Playoffs: n/a Stanley Cups:1996 2001

If you're a believer in historical trends, then this season will be a beauty for the Avalanche - despite their 28th-overall finish in 2010-11. Over the past four years, the team has alternated between 40-plus-win seasons and lottery picks. So if the trends hold - they're primed and ready for a return to the playoffs.

However, the reality of another transition like that may prove more difficult.

What the Avalanche do have going for them is an outstanding young core, particularly among the forward ranks. Complement that with a big, young and dynamic defence loaded with efficient, if not flashy players and the recipe may be there to catch some of the West's juggernauts napping.

Here's a look at what's in store for this season.

Additions: F Evan Brophey, G Cedrick Desjardins, G Jean-Sebastian Giguere, D Jan Hejda, RW Chuck Kobasew, C Joakim Lindstrom, G Drew McIntyre, D Shane O'Brien, G Semyon Varlamov.

Subtractions: G Jason Bacashihua, G Peter Budaj, C Philippe Dupuis, G Brian Elliott, LW Tomas Fleischmann, D Adam Foote, D John-Michael Liles.

Prospect Report: Part of what allowed the Avalanche to deal a pair of high draft picks for Varlamov is the embarrassment of riches lurking in the team's farm system. For a team already leaning on young studs like Matt Duchene and Erik Johnson, the team still has a crop of top prospects including Calvin Pickard, Joey Hishon and Duncan Siemens.

The crown jewel in the system is Gabriel Landeskog, whom the club selected second overall in June. Landeskog has the body and tenacity that is designed to make the jump to the bigs immediately and the Avs may very well be banking on that as a key part of their attack in 2011-12.

Another name to keep an eye on is Stefan Elliott, who could take a blueline spot right out of junior after being named the WHL's best defenceman last season.

Breakout Player to Watch: Once considered a cornerstone player for the St. Louis Blues, Erik Johnson's trade to the Colorado Avalanche prior to last season's trade deadline was a shock to everyone - especially to Johnson himself.

That said, it should come as no surprise if Johnson comes out playing hard with a big chip on his shoulder. With offseason stories out of Denver talking about his new outlook and new workout regimen, Johnson could be in for a great season in his young NHL career - being that complete all-around blueliner that the Blues hoped for when the drafted him five years ago.

Marquee Match-Up: Oct. 8 vs. Detroit - Forever 21. After a brief comeback attempt with Colorado, Peter Forsberg hung up his skates in the same uniform he wore throughout his glory years. And the Avalanche are returning the favour by retiring his No. 21 on opening night against the Red Wings.

Other Dates To Watch: Nov. 30 - The Avalanche host the Devils in a potential match-up of former World Junior teammates and Top 5 draft picks Gabriel Landeskog and Adam Larsson - if both player make their respective teams. Dec. 2 - Former Avs Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk return to the Pepsi Centre for the first time since last season's blockbuster deal for Johnson.

Reason to Get Excited: The future is now. The Avalanche are bursting with young talent with a core of Duchene, Landeskog, Stastny and Ryan O'Reilly up front, with the hope that Johnson can lead the charge on the blue line.

If the goaltending holds out and Stastny has a rebound season, the team could potentially leap into second-place in the division and challenge for the playoffs. The division is the Vancouver Canucks' to lose, but there's a lot of room for the Avalanche to pick up points if the rest of the Northwest is slow out of the blocks.

Home Hardware: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, if anyone from the June draft is poised to take on the NHL, it's probably Landeskog. If he makes the lineup, pencil him in as a definite Calder candidate.

On The Hot Seat: Semyon Varlamov somehow did enough in the process of losing his starting job in Washington to convince the Avs that he's the pony to which they should hitch their wagon. There's no Michael Neuvirth behind him now to put him on edge, so he'll be the go-to guy and will be expected to finally emerge as an established No. 1 goalie.

With only an aging and injury-prone Jean-Sebastian Giguere behind him, Varlamov may be the one man who's most responsible for how well the Avalanche do this year - for better or for worse.

It's Your! Call: Are the Avalanche looking to the future too soon?

The early progress they saw two years ago from Duchene and O'Reilly proves that some players are quicker studies as pros than others, but will Colorado get burned by relying on a young core so quickly?

The organization has proven itself capable of rebounding from a miserable season before and regrouping around a former No. 1 pick like Erik Johnson may prove to be a stroke of genius in the long run. But if the gamble doesn't pay off, the damage to the future could be substantial.

The team has seen some solid play from role players like Brandon Yip, T.J. Galiardi, Kyle Quincey and Ryan O'Byrne and they could be a vastly improved squad if Stastny and Peter Mueller live up to their potential. But is expecting a team this inexperienced to make another dramatic leap a risky strategy on the part of management?

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Avs send Forsberg's No. 21 to the rafters

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=595147

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NHL.com. Gabriel Landeskog has been NHL rookie for February by vrtue of 7 goals, 6 assists, and a rating of plus 9 in 21 games. For the season, he leads the team and rookies with 18 goals, a rating of plus 22, shots with 204, hits with 167, average time per game at 18:24, and takeaways with 49.

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I'm hoping my Avalanche make it, but that seems like a pipe dream now. The 5-1 loss at San Jose was bad enough, but I can't believe we gave up that two goal lead at home against Vancouver. Our schedule isn't helping us either. Vancouver, Calgary, [Columbus], and Nashville, three of those four teams always destroy the Avalanche. It's going to be very tough, not that it wasn't already before...

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The Colorado Avalanche signed forward Milan Hejduk to a one year, $2 million contract on Friday. Last season, the 36-year-old Hejduk scored 14 goals and added 23 assists for 37 points in 81 games.

I'm hoping my Avalanche make

Sorry about that.<_<

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I'm hoping my Avalanche make it, but that seems like a pipe dream now. The 5-1 loss at San Jose was bad enough, but I can't believe we gave up that two goal lead at home against Vancouver. Our schedule isn't helping us either. Vancouver, Calgary, [Columbus], and Nashville, three of those four teams always destroy the Avalanche. It's going to be very tough, not that it wasn't already before...

Could be worse they could have gone on another 20+ game losing streak :lol:

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The Colorado Avalanche signed forward Milan Hejduk to a one year, $2 million contract on Friday. Last season, the 36-year-old Hejduk scored 14 goals and added 23 assists for 37 points in 81 games.

Sorry about that.<_<

Oh well. :lol: The Hejduk signing is great, but knowing that idiot Sacco he will throw him on the 4th line again...

Could be worse they could have gone on another 20+ game losing streak :lol:

This is true... :P

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