It took over twenty years for the Colorado Avalanche to capture their third Stanley Cup championship after last hoisting Lord Stanley’s mug in 2001. With a 4-2 series victory over the back-to-back champion Tampa Bay Lightning, the Avalanche appear primed for a repeat title run of their own in the 2022-23 season.
During the 2021-22 playoffs, Colorado went 16-4 with a pair of series sweeps over the Nashville Predators and the Edmonton Oilers, while the St. Louis Blues were sandwiched in between in a 4-2 series.
Over the course of their twenty-game post-season, Colorado was nearly unstoppable as they defeated star-studded teams such as the Oilers and Lightning, never trailing in a series during each of the four rounds, becoming NHL betting favorites.
Predictions For Upcoming Season
While the Avs have all of their major pieces in place, with Joe Sakic now the president of hockey operations and Chris MacFarland the new GM, a front-line superstar in Nathan MacKinnon and a defensive superstar in Cale Makar secured under contract, Colorado is going to be tough again. But will they have Nazem Kadri?
Last season Kadri earned $4.5 million, but his 15 points in the playoffs, including seven goals will undoubtedly bring in a payday in the neighborhood of $7-to-$8 million. While his career season was impressive and he played a huge role in the Avalanche’s championship run, at thirty-one years old with his previous best season being 61 points in 2016-17, that might be too much to shell out. With 25 goals and 52 points in 62 games, Nichushkin provided the Avalanche with a two-way, top six player.
Earning just $2.5 million last season, Nichushkin got an eight-year, $49 million deal with the Avs. He has a presence at both ends of the ice, combining strong forechecking and a scoring presence.
Can Georgiev cut the mustard?
Swapping a championship veteran goalie for one who has been a backup for his first five seasons may be a little scary, but Georgiev showed during his last nine games of his run with the New York Rangers that he may be ready for a heavier workload with an impressive 8-1-0 record which included two shutouts. Look for Francouz to start the season between the pipes in what could be a 60-40 split.
Avalanche fans will likely riot if the Colorado front office does not back up the Brinks truck for Nathan MacKinnon. While Gabriel Landeskog is the team captain and Mikko Rantanen has led the team in scoring the past two seasons, MacKinnon is a combination of the two, providing both leadership and stats, causing nightmares for opposing teams.
Although he is signed for the 2022-23 season, locking the 26-year-old forward into a contract extension during the offseason will settle any potential distractions from media and fans during the season. Pocketing $6.85 million in 2022-23 is a steal for a player of MacKinnon’s talents.
Over the course of the past three seasons, the Colorado Avalanche have been steadily climbing towards the mountain peak, recording the best overall record in the NHL during that period, so it comes as no surprise that the team captured the 2022 Stanley Cup. Although they fell three points short of having the best regular-season record last year, the Avs finished off with a 16-4 playoff record that is tied for the second-best championship run since the Edmonton Oilers went 16-2 in 1988.
For fans of the Colorado Avalanche, it comes as no surprise that the team is once again the odds-on favorite to become back-to-back champions in the 2022-23 season. If the team can answer questions between the pipes and bring back some of their key free agents, the combination of star power, coaching and front office management are all in place for planning another Stanley Cup parade in June 2023.