Good Morning Avs Nation,
The days are beginning to get colder and the calendar is slowly creeping to the end of 2020 and ever so close to the new year - apparently a lot closer to new NHL season as well.
Yesterday we got word that the NHL and NHLPA are getting close to finalizing a return to play plan that will see us get a 56 game season starting on January 13th.
From an NHL team exec this monrning, FWIW: "NHL is season is starting Jan 13th. Confirmed last night. We are going to be playing 56 games."— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) December 8, 2020
The deal still has to be voted on by both sides but for right now, it seem as though we’ve taken a giant leap towards getting the 2021 NHL season under way.
With the NHL season delayed, there is still some very good hockey to watch coming up towards the end of this calendar year. The 2021 IIHF World Junior Championships begin on December 25th (Christmas gift for us hockey fans) - hopefully. Yesterday we got news that Sweden’s coaching staff had to leave the team due to positive COVID tests. Add that to the growing number of players who have been forced to withdraw and there is becoming a thought that the IIHF might be better off postponing the tournament.
Besides there being some high level hockey returning for this annual tournament, there are some big names that will be participating.
From the Avalanche prospect pool, Bowen Byram is perhaps the biggest name on Team Canada. Joining him to don the Canadian maple leaf is ultra prospect Alex Newhook. These two guys will be must watch TV for this tournament for Avs fans everywhere. In addition, 2020 Avalanche 1st Round pick, Justin Barron is expected to compete for a spot on Team Canada. For the USA, prospect Drew Helleson (Farmington, Minn.) should add to a good looking Team USA roster.
Just a few days ago marked another trade anniversary throwback that have greatly impacted the Colorado Avalanche franchise. 25 years ago on December 5th, The Montreal Canadiens traded Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy to our Colorado Avalanche alongside Mike Keane for Andrei Kovalenko, Martin Rucinsky, and Jocelyn Thibault. Besides this being a huge trade for the NHL, it became another monumental deal for the Avs, as they would reap the benefits winning the Stanley Cup that same season he arrived. We all know what happened after that, as Roy turned the franchise into a powerhouse for the rest of the 90’s and again winning the cup again in 2001.
One of the biggest power moves I’ve ever seen. In a sense it changed hockey history with Colorado winning their first cup the next season with Roy in between the pipes. 5 years later Ray Bourque gets his Cup in a large part to Roy still dominating in Colorado. Stay hot Montreal https://t.co/IHP2Wc8msA— Ryan Whitney (@ryanwhitney6) December 2, 2020
All hail St. Patrick!
Have a great rest of the week Avs Nation!