The Colorado Avalanche has had a remarkable 2013-2014 season. With the return of their former star-goalie, Patrick Roy, as head coach, the Avs started the season with a bang. The 2012-2013 season was less than stellar for the Colorado team. They finished 15th in the Western Conference and 29th in the league. The 2013-2014 couldn't have been more different. Roy's fiery temper and great motivational skills, as well as his aggressive and daring game play has made the young Avs a force to be reckoned with. They finished the 2013-2014 season on top of the Central Division and 2nd in the Western Conference. The loss in game seven of the first playoff round, against the Minnesota Wild, was heartbreaking for a team which had been dominant all season. Roy was awarded the Jack Adams for his success as a rookie coach. What can we expect for the 2014-2015 season?
Paul StasnyThe star of this year's post-season (10 points, 5 goals) will be testing the free-agent market this summer. The 28-year-old center is a key player for the team and would be a great loss. But Avs fans need not to despair, there's still hope. Stasny has promised the Colorado organization the right of first refusal. The team could then match any offer Stasny receives from another team. With seemingly still room on the salary cap, the team is expected to match any offers (now earning 6.6 million per year) might receive. We expect to see Stasny in an Avs jersey in 2014-2015, but if he were to leave, he would most likely be replaced by Ryan O'Reilly or Nathan McKinnon as first center.
Nathan McKinnonAfter a lackluster season in 2012-2013, the Colorado Avalanche got the first choice overall in the 2013 draft. They chose Nathan McKinnon, a brilliant young center. McKinnon comes from Cole Harbour, same as Sydney Crosby. There's definitely something in the water in Cole Harbour because McKinnon has been phenomenal in his rookie year in the NHL. He closed the regular season with 24 goals and 63 points (35th in the league) and the playoffs with 10 points and 2 goals. This has earned him the Calder Trophy, awarded to the best rookie in the league. With such a great first season in the NHL, we can only guess what McKinnon will do in 2014-2015. He is off to a great start and fits well with the team's play style and rooster.
Defensive needsAlthough the team has a brilliant offense and a top-tier goalie, it is in need of a good defense man to bulk up its defensive line. Some have suggested that trading Ryan O'Reilly (Lady Byng trophy winner in 2014) for an established defense man, in the line of Eklbad, Larsson, McDonag or Vlasic. The Avs could also have to add their 23rd 2014 draft pick to sweeten the deal.
We can expect an existing 2014-2015 from the Colorado Avalanche. With Roy as head coach and a young and talented roster, the team has a promising future. Don't miss out the pre-season game and the first game of the season, because the Avs will face of the Minnesota Wild which is sure to give us some amazing, inspired hockey.