5 Things To Know About Colorado Avalanche, The Stanley Cup Favorites

The Avalanche lead the Lightning 1-0 headed into Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Ray Bourque and Joe Sakic led the Colorado Avalanche to the team’s most recent Stanley Cup win in 2001
(Getty Images)

It’s the Stanley Cup matchup hockey fans have been waiting for. The Colorado Avalanche are taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL’s championship series. The Lightning are looking to extend their dynasty with a third straight Cup win. However, Avalanche fans have watched them build momentum over the past few years to become the powerhouse team they are today, and—at the very least — the odds tend to agree. 

The Avs have had an interesting history, too, especially when it comes to the coveted Stanley Cup. Think you know the team? Check out these 5 facts first. 

The Avalanche Were Once A Canadian Team

Although they’re Colorado’s hockey darlings now, the Avalanche were actually founded in 1972 in Canada. As the Quebec Nordiques, they were one of the founding teams of the Western Hockey Association, which merged in 1979 with the NHL. In 1995, the team was sold to the COMSAT Entertainment Group, and they moved to Denver.

The Avalanche Were Almost Named The Rocky Mountain Extreme

Several names were considered for the team before they eventually became the Avalanche. Names such as the Blizzards and the Black Bears were apparently bandied about. COMSAT also debated whether to name the team for Denver, Colorado, or even the entire Rocky Mountain region. According to reports, they apparently had settled on the Rocky Mountain Extreme, but when the news was leaked, there was a huge backlash from fans. On August 10, 1995, it was revealed the team would now be called the Colorado Avalanche. 

They Made History In Their First Year In Denver

The Denver team’s first season in 1996 was history-making. They won the Pacific Division and finished second in the Western Conference. They went on to play the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup Finals, sweeping the series 4-0 to claim their first championship. Not only was it the first major professional championship win for a Denver team, but it was the only time an NHL team won the Cup after relocating. In fact, the Avs are only one of two professional sports teams ever to win a championship their first season after a relocation.

The Avs Have Won The Stanley Cup Every Time They’ve Reached The Finals

The Avalanche reached the Stanley Cup finals again five years later in 2001 after a phenomenal season. They faced off against the defending champion New Jersey Devils. The Avalanche incredibly came back from a 3–2 series deficit to win the series 4–3. With that win, the Avs are the only active NHL team to have been victorious every time they make the Stanley Cup Finals. 

It’s Been More Than 20 years Since They Went For The Cup

Despite their history-making early seasons, the Avs haven’t fared well recently. They haven’t reached the Finals in more than 20 years, but fans have been rewarded for staying loyal as their team has built steam, culminating in this year’s run for the Stanley Cup. And it makes for a great cup headline: the two-time defending champs versus the comeback contenders. 

If the Avs are your team for this year’s Cup, make sure to take advantage of MaximBet’s Stan’s the Man promo. Just bet $60 or more on a Colorado Avalanche player prop market and get $20 in Free Bet Credits. Open to Colorado residents only.