• Last year’s record:  39-39-4 82 points, 5th in the Central
    • Didn’t qualify for playoffs
  • Key losses:  Mikkel Boedker
  • Key additions: Joe Colborne, JT Compher, Patrick Wiercioch

Outlook:  The Colorado Avalanche had quite the off-season.  Not necessarily when it comes to acquisitions and such, but they did lose their head coach.  On August eleventh Patrick Roy resigned as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, stating that he believed he didn’t have enough input when it came to player personnel decisions.  This left the Avalanche without a head coach and training camp was only a month away, not the position you’d like to be in.  On Wednesday August thirty-first, the Colorado Avalanche introduced Jared Bednar as the new head coach.  Bednar spent last season as head coach of the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL where he won the Calder Cup.

The Avalanche are hoping for a bounce back season from former number one pick Nathan Mackinnon, who has yet to eclipse his rookie season numbers.  Lead by Dynamic play-maker Matt Duchene and Captain Gabriel Landeskog, the Avs have plenty of firepower upfront to do some damage.  It also appears that former first rounder Mihail Grigorenko has found the scoring touch that made him one of the best in the QMJHL his draft year.

The Avs blue line is where things get a little worrisome.  The blue line is anchored by former number one overall pick Erik Johnson and shifty offensive defenseman Tyson Barrie.  The former had a career worst rating of minus nineteen last season and needs to have a bounce back season if the Avs have any hope at clinching a post season birth in the wild west.  Barrie, who also had a career worst plus minus rating, did contribute forty-nine points to the Avs cause last season, leading all Avalanche defenseman in points.  Along with Francois Beauchemin and the emergence of young defenders such as Nikita Zadorov, Chris Bigras, and Duncan Siemens, Colorado’s blue line should be much improved this season.

In goal the Avalanche need Semyon Varlamov to return to his Vezina contending form like he was in the 2013-2014 season.  If Varlamov can improve his numbers from last season, which should be easy behind an improved Avalanche defense, the Avs could surprise some folks and make a run at a playoff spot.

Although a postseason birth appears a little unlikely this year, the Colorado Avalanche are heading in the right direction.  Under new coach Jared Bednar, the Avs will finish just outside of the playoff spot in a stacked central division.

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