RALEIGH NC - JANUARY 30: Team Lidstrom players Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins and Matt Duchene #9 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrate after the defeated Team Staal 11 to 10 in the 58th NHL All-Star Game at RBC Center on January 30 2011 in Raleigh North Carolina. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The Colorado Avalanche used to be seen as a "stacked" team. Since the CBA Colorado's elite talent pool has dwindled, they no longer get as many representatives to the All Star games.
If I were to ask you: "What year did the Avalanche send the most hockey players to the All Star games?" Would you say 1996? Or how about 2001? While those two years the Avalanche were able to procure Lord Stanley's Cup, they weren't the years that the Avalanche had the strongest representation. The 1998 season would be the one that saw the most Avalanche players in All Stars gear. What follows is the players that the Avalanche have sent, per year, with a short blurb about each player and their season that earned them the nod. You'll notice that it's often the same guys that went to the games, and if you are anything like me, you'll youtube some of these guys and revel in what they brought to the team.
It should come as no surprise that in their inaugural year, the Avalanche managed to send two players to the All Star event. Both Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg made their first appearances as Avalanche representatives that year.
Some things to note about these players, and other Avalanche players, during the 1996 season:
Peter Forsberg dressed for all 82 regular season games. In those 82 games he managed a meager 30 goals, but a whopping 86 assists, for a total of 116 points! Not too shabby! He had 47 penalty minutes and was a +25. He played in 22 playoff games and had 21 points during the postseason.
Joe Sakic, also played in all 82 games, he had a solid 51 goals and 69 assists for a total of 120 points. He had to out do Forsberg, right? He also played in 22 post season games, but he was able to easily surpass Forsberg's numbers with 18 goals and 16 assists for a total 34 points.
It's safe to say that both of these men deserved their spot in the All Star match that season.
Aside from the glory of having their names written on the Cup, they also won the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl, Joe Sakic won the Conn Smythe trophy. Joe Sakic was third in overall scoring in the league, and Peter Forsberg was fifth. During the playoffs Sakic was the points leader and Forsberg was once again fifth in overall scoring. As a side note Valeri Kamensky, Sandis Ozolinsh, Mike Ricci, and Adam Deadmarsh - along with Sakic and Forsberg- all rounded out the Top Ten Playoff scoring leaders that year.
1996 - 1997
Once again the Avs sent two players to the All Star weekend; however, it was two completely different men. That year Sandis Ozolinsh and Patrick Roy were chosen to represent the burgundy and blue.
Some things to note about these, and other Avalanche players, during the 1997 season:
Sandis appeared in 80 games and amassed 68 points during the regular season. He played in all 17 Avalanche playoff appearances and had a point per game during the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Patrick Roy - a legend between the pipes- started a massive 62 games - and a total 3698 minutes! His G.A.A. was 2.32 and his save percentage was 0.923.
The awards that the team earned this year was: the President's Trophy. It should be notes that Sandis was actually named to the starting All Star team that year. There was no Avalanche in the top ten scoring during the regular season. However, they did manage to have 5 guys in the top 11. There were actually three guys that tied with 17 points (good for 9th-11th in the scoring positions): Joe Sakic, Claude Lemieux, Valeri Kamensky, Peter Forsberg and Sandis Ozolinsh.
This is the year that the Avalanche dominated the All Star roster. They had a massive six men representing the Avalanche logo during the All Star break: Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic, Sandis Ozolinsh, Peter Forsberg, Jari Kurri and Valeri Kamensky.
Some things to note about these, and other Avalanche players, during the 1998 season:
In 1998 Jari Kurri reached the 600 goal milestone. Finishing his career with 601 goals. Colorado didn't win any awards this year, although Peter Forsberg was named to the starting roster at the All Star games.
During the '98 season Roy started an astounding 65 games, with a GAA of 2.39 and a save percentage at .916. Peter Forsberg netted enough points to earn himself second place in the points leader race with a respectable 91 points in 72 games played (25 goals, 66 assists). This year wasn't one of Sakic's best. He only made it to 64 games, however, in those games he was still able to earn 63 points. As for Sandis, he also missed a few games. He played in 66 games and was able to get himself 51 points during those matches. Valeri Kamensky played 75 games and had 66 points. As for Kuri, this was his last year playing in the NHL. He made it to 70 games and had 22 points. As a side not, Kurri made it into the Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2001.
One lonely player went to represent the Avalanche at the All Star game that year, at least they made it a spectacular player: Peter Forsberg
Some things to note about Forsberg, and other Avalanche players, during the 1999 season:
Chris Drury, then a member of the Avalanche, won the Calder Memorial Trophy. Forsberg was once again named to the starting line up of the All Stars game. Both he and Joe Sakic placed in the Top Five for scoring leaders that year. Forsberg had 97 points in 78 games (and over a hundred penalty minutes) and Sakic had 96 points in 73 games. This was also the first year that the world got to experience Milan Hejduk, and the last time that Dale Hunter laced his skates for an NHL game, in Avs gear no less.
This year the Avalanche sent three representatives: Joe Sakic, Sandis Ozolinsh and Milan Hejduk.
Some things to note about these, and other Avalanche players, during the 2000 season:
Joe Sakic only appeared in 60 contests but amassed an impressive 80 points (28 goals, 53 assists) during that short time. Ozolinsh, also a seasoned All-Star rep, finished the season with 82 games played and 52 points (16 goals, 36 points). Hejduk also appeared in all 82 games and had 72 points (36 goals, 36 assists).
This year is the first time that no player had 100
goals points or more. Aside from lockout years, that's the first time since the 1968 season.
The biggest Avalanche news of the year? It happened March 6th. Colorado acquired Ray Bourque and Dave Andreychuk from the Boston Bruins. The Avs gave up Brian Rolston, Samuel Phalsson, Martin Grenier, and their 2000 first round draft pick. The Bruins used that pick to draft Martin Samuelsson.
2000-2001 - Played in Denver
The Avalanche sent five players to the All Star events: Joe Sakic, Patrick Roy, Ray Bourque, Peter Forsberg and Milan Hejduk. It should be noted that Bob Hartley was sent there as an assistant coach. It should also be noted that Rob Blake was also there, but wasn't an Avalanche player until a few weeks later.
Some things to note about these, and other Avalanche players, during the 2001 season:
Some stats for you. Sakic played in all 82 games, and totalled 118 points (54 goals, 64 assist). This is his second time reaching over 100 points as an Avalanche player. Roy started 62 games, had a 2.21 GAA and a 0.913 save percentage. While Bourque played in 80 games and had 59 points ( 7 goals, 52 assists) in his last NHL season. Forsberg played in 73 contests and managed to net 89 points (27 goals, 62 assists). Hejduk had 80 games played with 79 points (41 goals, 38 assists).
Mission 16W was accomplished, after many years without raising the Cup, Bourque was able to finally get his name engraved on the Holy Grail of hockey. The memory of Joe Sakic taking the Cup, being ever-so-careful not to raise it and then handing it to Bourque so he could be the first to raise it will be on that stays with many hockey fans.
The Avs won the President's Trophy as well as the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl in 2001. When Patrick Roy won the Conn Smythe, he etched a name for himself as winning that particular, and prestigious award, three times in three different decades. Sakic got himself a number of awards this season: Hart Memorial Trophy, Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, Lester B. Pearson Award and the NHL Plus/Minus Award (shared with Patrick Elias). But they weren't the only two to get awards. Shjon Podein won the King Clancy Memorial Trohpy.
The year after their stunning Stanley Cup victory the Avalanche sent three representatives to the games: Rob Blake, Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic.
Some things to note about these, and other Avalanche players, during the 2002 season:
Blake played in 75 games (16 goals, 40 assists), Roy played in 63 games and had a 1.94 GAA and a 0.925 save percentage. Sakic appeared in all 82 regular season games and had 70 points (26 goals, 53 assists). Patrick Roy won the William M. Jennings Trophy.
Another year that the Avalanche sent three players to the event: Rob Blake, Patrick Roy and Peter Forsberg.
Some things to note about these, and other Avalanche players, during the 2003 season:
Rob Blake played in 79 games and had 45 points (17 goals, 28 assists). Patrick Roy played in 63 games, including his last one, had a 2.18 GAA and a 0.920 save percentage. Peter Forsberg played in 75 games and had 106 points ( 29 goals and 77 assists). Pretty incredible for a man who hadn't played the previous year. It's no surprise to see that Forsberg won the Art Ross Trohpy, the Hart Memorial Trophy and tied with Milan Hejduk for the NHL Plus/Minus Award. Speaking of Hejduk, this is the year that he won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy.
Yet again, the Avalanche sent three players to the festivities: Rob Blake, Joe Sakic and Alex Tanguay.
Some things to note about these, and other Avalanche players, during the 2004 season:
Blake played in 74 games and had 46 points (13 goals, 33 assists). Sakic played in 81 games and had 87 points (33 goals, 54 assists). Tanguay played in only 69 games, but managed 79 points (25 goals, 54 assists).
No competition. Dang Lockout. Somethings to note. This is the end of the Avalanche's abundance of representation at the matches. In fact, if you include the representation, or lack thereof this year, the Avs have gone twice without sending a guy to play during the All Star game.
No Competition - Due to the Olympics
Joe Sakic was the only Avalanche player at the All Star weekend.
Some things to note about Sakic, and other Avalanche players, during the 2007 season:
For the second year in a row Sakic laced up for all 82 regular season games, and for the first time since the 2001 season hit the 100 point plateau. He scored 36 goals and notched 64 assists. With this, Sakic became the third player to net himself 600 career goals, and the 11th player to get 1,500 career points.
Paul Stastny broke a record in his rookie year. He managed to get a point in 20 consecutive games. The previous record was 17 games.
Milan Hejduk represented the burgundy and blue at the All Stars weekend.
Some things to note about these, and other Avalanche players, during the 2009 season:
Hejduk played in all 82 regular season contests and had 59 points (27 goals, 32 assists).
Winter Olympics - No Competition
Two players took part of the festivities: Paul Stastny and Matt Duchene. Although, due to the newly instated draft, neither played together.
Some things to note about these, and other Avalanche players, during the 2011 season:
Kevin Shattenkirk was there as part of the rookie team. During the 2011 season Stastny played in 74 games, and notched 57 points (22 goals, 35 assists). Duchene, for his part, played in 80 games and had 67 points (27 goals and 40 assists).
No Representative in the actual game, although Gabriel Landeskog was named to the rookies team.
Stats and information, unless otherwise stated, come from HockeyDB.com and wikipedia.org.