As the NHL takes their holiday break now is a good time to gather my hopes and dreams for the rest of the season and in the coming year. In addition to best wishes to every Colorado Avalanche player and staff member as they are hopefully on the mend after their COVID-19 forced shut down here’s what I’m wishing for to appear under the Christmas tree.
Good health for all
As the NHL navigates more pandemic uncertainty the most important thing is everyone’s well being.
A Bowen Byram return
Nothing brings me more joy than watching Byram play the game of hockey. Here’s hoping he can return to the game soon because he’s just getting started. The game needs Byram on the ice.
A Sweden World Junior Championship gold medal
Sorry USA and Canada fans, time for Sweden to win their first gold since 2012. Hopefully Oskar Olausson will be a big part of any success Sweden enjoys as the only Avalanche prospect participating in the tournament.
A young stars All-Star game
Bring back the wildly successful Team North America but in all-star form. Showcase the league’s best 23-and-under players and freshen up the stale all-star format at the same time. Who wouldn’t immensely enjoy a North America vs. World
In-division series scheduled
The NHL made a mistake eliminating all two or more game “series” played against the same team in the 2021-22 schedule after the shortened season. Now with dozens of games to reschedule the NHL should keep the reasons why they utilized that practice last season in mind — reduced travel burdens and potential COVID-19 exposure between teams.
More opportunity for prospects
Its very likely the Avalanche will need reinforcements when they return from their break as injuries and illness absences could unfortunately continue. It was great to see Justin Barron get in his first couple NHL games and the same should happen for Shane Bowers who has recently returned from injury. Martin Kaut has scored five goals in his 10 AHL games and has earned another look, the same goes for Sampo Ranta who is working on his game as a power forward. Now is the time to give these players more games should a need arise in the future.