The Colorado Avalanche are officially world champions. The team was able to take down the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game 6 to close the series out on the road. It’s been a long journey to get here, and their current general manager almost didn’t accept the job at first.
Joe Sakic was offered the job of general manager and executive vice president of hockey operations back in 2013. At the time of the offer, Colorado had missed the postseason three straight years. This consistent failure caused him to shy away from the job at first. However, he wound up opting in and here they are almost a decade later, champions.
How Did The Colorado Avalanche Get Here
Colorado was the number one seed in the Western Conference and won their division with a 56-19-7 overall record. They faced almost no competition in the first round of the playoffs, sweeping the Nashville Predators. They advanced to play the St. Louis Blues, a team that they beat in six games. Then finally, they went on to play the Edmonton Oilers in the Conference Finals before sweeping them as well.
This couldn’t have been made possible if it weren’t for a handful of horrible seasons. After all, there was a reason that they were able to build up so much talent in the draft. For example, they drafted Cale Makar with the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. They also grabbed Bowen Byram with the fourth pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and then Nathan MacKinnon with the first selection in the 2013 draft. All of these guys were crucial pieces to their championship run.
Sakic himself said it best, sometimes you have to endure the bad years in order to build something special like this. Colorado certainly hopes that they can be back here again next year. The Lightning are a team with that same expectation after a tough loss.
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