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AJ Haefele

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There were a lot of star turns in the Colorado Avalanche’s quest for the Stanley Cup last year. Notably, Nazem Kadri stepped out of the shadows of his own career full of frustrations and into the brightest spotlight imaginable as he thrived in a way he never before had. That success paved the way for Kadri to secure the kind…...

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The NHL offseason is essentially over and the Colorado Avalanche’s title defense will begin in the next week when rookies begin officially reporting for camp and the annual rookie tournament. Before getting to that, I want to look back on the offseason and see how it all went for the Avalanche. With a limit on resources, there was only so…...

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Nathan MacKinnon agreed to a new contract with the Colorado Avalanche this morning that should keep him with the organization until the twilight of his career, if not all of it. The eight-year pact worth $100.8 million makes MacKinnon the highest-paid player in the NHL with an annual average value of $12.6M, beating the deal for Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor…...

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In what seemed like a most destined to happen from the start of free agency, the Colorado Avalanche reached an agreement with forward Evan Rodrigues on Monday morning. The 29-year-old, right-shooting Rodrigues gets a one-year deal from the Avs for $2M after choosing not to sign for basically all of the offseason. There were a number of teams reportedly vying…...

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Part of the wider appeal of free agency across all sports is finding out which players you’ve definitely heard of have decided to come to play for the team you root for/cover/occasionally watch and how they’ll fit into the conversation. Free agency is uniquely fascinating because not all teams have the same goal. Some teams are in the heart of…...

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It’s been two weeks since the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup. There have already been significant changes to the group that doesn’t seem interested in stopping the celebration anytime soon. There has been some big news sprinkled in with some smaller bits of news so let’s catch up on everything that’s happened in the last couple of weeks. First,…...

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Normally, this is the kind of piece I would write a couple of weeks after Colorado’s season ended, whenever that may be. Because the Avs dared to win the Stanley Cup, however, I have to get to it a touch earlier than usual. You might have heard the Avalanche have a lot of pending free agents, opening the door for…...

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Well, Joe Sakic and Co. are at it again with the goaltending market. Instead of waiting it out and being forced into paying a premium for the best remaining option, the Sakic got out ahead of the game this year and made a big-time bet in trading two third-round picks (this year and next) and this year’s fifth-round pick to…...

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Watching Gabe Landeskog this week has been a fun ride. From throwing out the first pitch at a Colorado Rockies game to working the register at a local Raising Canes, Landeskog is the radiant face of joy. By the time you read this, he’s probably already had plenty to say during the Avalanche parade. From where I’m sitting, this feels…...

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The journey is over. The Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup last night with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The win gave the Avalanche a 4-2 series victory over the two-time defending champion Lightning and ended their big for the NHL’s first “three-peat” since the 1980s New York Islanders won four in a row. It wasn’t…...

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The NHL Awards took place tonight between Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Colorado Avalanche weren’t heavily involved in most of the awards voting but the one major award an Av was a finalist was Cale Makar for the Norris Trophy. After finishing second last year behind Adam Fox, Makar barely squeaked by Nashville Predators defenseman…...

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You know those annoying people that like to bring up the weather during casual conversation? Well, I’m one of them. I obsessively check the day’s forecast throughout the day and want to know what I’m facing anytime I decide to leave the house. So imagine my amusement when I checked the forecast before leaving my house and seeing that the…...

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The Avalanche finally have their opponent for the Stanley Cup Final. The two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning won their 11th consecutive playoff series in dispatching the overmatched New York Rangers in six games. This gives the NHL a highly-anticipated matchup between the Avalanche and Lightning, two teams with striking parallels in their journey to this moment. You have the…...

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This entire season has been about waiting. Following a 56-game sprint of a season that saw the Avalanche dominate a bad division and emotionally crumble in a playoff series against Vegas, trusting this Avalanche team again was going to be difficult. So we waited. We kept waiting for the thing that was going to derail the Colorado Avalanche. Despite dealing…...

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Ahhh, yes. The backup goaltender storyline, we meet again. Backup goalies and quarterbacks are often joked about as the most popular players in town because while the number one guy is in the spotlight, there’s always that section of people clamoring for the next guy in line. The grass is always greener, you know? Well in a conference finals with…...

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Where in the world do you even start trying to break down the Western Conference Finals between the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers? The star power between Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar alone is absurd. Consider that had NHL players gone to the Olympics this past February, three of those four players easily could’ve been on…...

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Now that. That was a playoff series worth remembering. While it has been eye-rollingly stupid to watch Colorado’s detractors the last few years pretend like getting out of the first round is some given (“But they only beat the x-ranked team! How hard is that?” they asked while ignoring the Avs were the only team in the NHL to accomplish…...

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