NHL Colorado Avalanche

5 Questions The Colorado Avalanche Must Answer By October

5 Questions the Colorado Avalanche Must Answer By October

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The Colorado Avalanche made one of the best turnarounds in NHL history last season, but after a vigorous offseason, there are many questions that need to be answered before next season begins.

5. Can Zach Redmond Crack the Lineup?

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5. Can Zach Redmond Crack the Lineup?

The former Ferris State Bulldog has spent most of his time in the minors and suffered a serious injury in 2013 when he lacerated his right femoral artery and vein in his mid-thigh region after he was cut by a teammate's skate; however, when called up to the NHL, he's shown he can play. His first career NHL goal shows the versatility of the 26-year-old, which will hopefully be on display in camp and ascend him into the opening night lineup.

4. Can Nathan MacKinnon Avoid a Sophomore Slump?

Nathan MacKinnon
Ron Chenoy - USA TODAY Sports

4. Can Nathan MacKinnon Avoid a Sophomore Slump?

Nathan MacKinnon
Ron Chenoy - USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 Calder Trophy winner ended the season with 63 points in 82 games, and it didn't take long for MacKinnon to become a household name around the Colorado area. After such a productive rookie campaign, there's always a chance that he slips in his second full year with the big boys, but the first overall selection of the 2013 NHL Draft has so far lived up to the hype.

3. Can the Avs Improve Their Penalty Kill?

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Chris Humphreys - USA TODAY Sports

3. Can the Avs Improve Their Penalty Kill?

Avalanche John Mitchell
Chris Humphreys - USA TODAY Sports

The Avalanche were the fifth-best team in the NHL last year in terms of power play percentage, but they struggled when they were a man down. They have one of the best penalty killers in the league in Max Talbot, and adding Danny Briere to the lineup can only help their cause, but they'll need to implement a new system that can improve their 80.7 penalty kill percentage from last season.

2. Who Will Jarome Iginla Play With?

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2. Who Will Jarome Iginla Play With?

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The obvious option is to put Iginla on the right side of Matt Duchene with Gabriel Landeskog on the left, but that might make the forward lines too top heavy. The Landeskog-Duchene-Iginla pairing would be one of the scariest lines in the Western Conference, but it doesn't leave much for Nathan MacKinnon on the second line. Ryan O'Reilly and Alex Tanguay are no slouches, but Iginla on the top line might not be best in terms of depth up front.

1. Can Paul Stastny Be Replaced?

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1. Can Paul Stastny Be Replaced?

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The Avalanche made some great moves this offseason, but replacing Paul Stastny is going to be no easy task. Stastny was not only an assistant captain last year, but he also finished fifth on the team in scoring with 60 points. To make matters worse, Stastny signed a contract with the St. Louis Blues – one of the Avalanche's biggest rivals.

Shane Darrow is an NHL writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @ShaneDarrow for up-to-date information, predictions and much more on the NHL offseason.