News recently surfaced last month that the Colorado Avalanche
would be a part of a new division called the Mid-west Division along with the Chicago Blackhawks
, Minnesota Wild
, Winnipeg Jets
, St. Louis Blues
, Nashville Predators
and the Dallas Stars
starting in 2014. So now I felt it is a great time to look back on the History of the Colorado Avalanche in the Northwest Division from its beginning in 1998 through the current 2013 season.
Although we have suffered much heartache as fans of the Colorado Avalanche since the end of the 2004-2005 lockout; Colorado Avalanche fans have a lot to be thankful for (in terms of overall success in the Northwest Division.) Here are some statistics to consider:
List of Colorado Avalanche major accomplishments in the Northwest Division 1998-2013
* Comparison to other NW division rivals listed in parenthesis
Stanley Cups: 1 (VAN 0, EDM 0, MIN 0, CGY 0)
Stanley Cup Appearances: 1 (VAN 1, EDM 1, MIN 0, CGY 1)
President's Trophies: 1 (VAN 2, EDM 0, MIN 0, CGY 0)
Western Conference Finals Appearances: 4 (VAN 1, EDM 1, MIN 1, CGY 1)
Conn Smythe Winners: 1 (VAN 0, EDM 0, MIN 0, CGY 0)
Calder Trophy Winners: 2 (VAN 0, EDM 0, MIN 0, CGY 0)
Division Championships: 5 (VAN 6 but on pace for 7 in 2013, EDM 0, MIN 1, CGY 1)
The Hindsight- Quick takes on each team:
Though the Vancouver Canucks have won two President's Trophies and took the Northwest Division 6 times (with the probability of taking it a 7th time in 2013) they have failed to win a Stanley Cup as a member of the Northwest Division (or of any division in the NHL.)
Years of having powerhouse power forward Jarome Iginla
captaining their team did little to increase the fortunes of the Calgary Flames. The Flames have only reached the Stanley Cup Finals once in the span of time between 1998 and 2013 where they lost a heartbreaker to the Tampa Bay Lightning
When times seem bleak in Avalancheville, just be thankful that you don't live in that micro-metropolis with a very big mall hugging the Arctic Circle called Edmonton, Alberta. Despite having a Colorado Rockies (MLB) like miracle run with Brian Rolston
in 2006 which landed the Edmonton Oilers into a Stanley Cup final with the Carolina Hurricanes
; the Edmonton Oilers have been in a constant state of "rebuilding" since. You could swear by Peter McNabb that the Oilers are "just one more piece from being a dynasty" but so far that has not been the case. The Oilers have had lottery picks in consecutive years which heralded players called "once a generation" talent, yet they have failed to meet expectations so far. It is no surprise that they are once again in the running to acquire more "once a generation" talent this year.
This team is the epitome of mediocrity... bad jerseys, bad logo, bad name (or adjective) and bad players. Besides the fluke of a year where they played and lost in the Western Conference Final to the Mighty Ducks
in 2003, this team only had to spend 200 million on two players in the 2012 offseason in order to hold on to a solid second place in the Northwest Division.
Yes my fellow MHHer's, times do suck in Avalanche country... But take heart, if Avs management wants to continue to do things the head scratching way they have been doing things they will have to learn the hard way from their stubbornness. I think we all have a feeling that there will be some changes at the top. As much as Josh Kroenke cares less about the Avalanche, he doesn't desire the Can to be empty. Fans are pissed, and season ticket holders are dwindling. Change will come...and hopefully it will come soon. The Mid-west division will be chock full of powerhouse and emerging teams. But as the curtain closes on the Northwest Division at the conclusion of this season we look back at the success the Colorado Avalanche enjoyed from 1998-2013. The Avalanche won when it counted most...The Stanley Cup. It is clear to me just from that fact the Avs are clearly the kings of the Northwest.
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