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Reminders Of The Dark Years For Avalanche Remain At World Championships




I know Avalanche fans are frustrated at the first round exit at the hands of the Seattle Kraken, and the team has to find a way to maneuver around the cap crunch they’re being hit with.

But just remember, it could be worse.

A lot worse.

Does everyone remember the truly dark years for the Colorado Avalanche? I’m talking the Tony Granato, Joe Sacco, Patrick Roy, and yes, even the first year for Jared Bednar.

Sure, there were some fun times mixed in during that time. The 2013-14 season was a heck of a lot of fun, even if all the signs were there that it wasn’t going to last. Even Joe Sacco’s first year, when the Avalanche snuck into the playoffs, was a good time. But for the most part, it was ugly to watch. The 2017 season was the beginning of a nice run for Colorado, but don’t ever forget what it’s like to follow some real bad teams.

Some of those reminders are still present to this day, and if you’re watching the World Championships, you’ll see some familiar names.

Remember Andreas Martinsen?

The gigantic winger played 110 games for the Avalanche from 2015 to 2017, before he was dealt to Montreal for Sven Andrighetto. The diminutive Andrighetto, of course, scored the big “guts all over the place” goal to win Game Five against Nashville back in 2018.

Martinsen was pretty forgettable on the ice in an Avalanche uniform, picking up just 18 points. After his brief stint in Montreal, he played just 33 games for Chicago, then went back to Europe. He’s currently representing Norway in the World Championships, and scoring goals against Canada, of all teams.

How about another? Because Dennis Everberg is playing for Sweden, and he is also scoring goals at the World Championships. He’s got three goals in the tournament.

I’ll admit, I had a soft spot for Everberg. He was a smart player, but not overly talented. In 70 NHL games, he registered just three goals. He signed again with Winnipeg a few years later, but didn’t last long, and never played another NHL game after leaving Colorado. A sure sign that the Avalanche were in the middle of some truly dark years is how many players from those teams never got another chance in the NHL. They just weren’t good enough. The 2016-17 team is full of them.

Rocco Grimaldi, who the Avalanche famously protected in the 2017 expansion draft, is playing for Team USA in the tournament. He’s still a very respectable AHL player.

If Russia was allowed in the tournament, I’m sure Mikhail Grigorenko would be in their lineup as well.

So yes, the Avalanche have some very tough decisions to make this summer. The window is still open, as all the elite talent is signed, but the rest of the roster needs work. Still, it could be worse. These names are a reminder of that.

Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Evan Rawal, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

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