When a team struggles during the regular season, its fans can’t wait for the last game to be done with, so that the all-important offseason can finally begin. Well, the Colorado Avalanche fan base suffered all year long in 2013 as the Avs were a woeful 16-25-7. However, the Mile High City has been blessed with a wonderful offseason that has been full of action.
For starters, the Avalanche improved mightily when the 2013 NHL Draft rolled around as No. 1 overall pick Nathan MacKinnon is now a part of the Avs. Drawing comparisons to Sidney Crosby, MacKinnon is already being heralded as the next star in Colorado.
In addition to a very productive draft, the Avalanche also improved by giving last year’s captain Gabriel Landeskog a seven-year deal reportedly worth $39 million. That is a ton of cash for a still unproven 20-year-old left winger, yet this way the Avalanche won’t have to worry about the former second-overall pick leaving town any time soon.
Despite scoring just nine goals in a shortened 2013 campaign, Landeskog excelled the year before and was actually honored with the Calder Memorial Trophy, which recognizes the NHL’s best rookie. Even still, the left winger won’t be able to live off of that accomplishment for long and with this new deal comes a boatload of responsibility for the still immature Swedish star.
Look for the Avalanche to make waves in the near future as MacKinnon, Landeskog and Matt Duchene are all former-top three overall picks, who have the chance to combine and make Colorado into Stanley Cup contenders before the end of the decade.