Western Conference preview: Colorado Avalanche

Western Conference preview: Colorado Avalanche
August 12, 2013, 6:30 pm
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Minnesota Wild left wing Jason Zucker (16) battles for control of the puck with Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) during the third period at the Pepsi Center. The Wild won 3-1.

(Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports)

COLORADO AVALANCHE

2012-13 Record: 16-25-7, 39 points

Where they finished: 5th in the Northwest; 15th in the West; 21st in NHL

Coach: Patrick Roy (1st season)

Key additions: RW Alex Tanguay

Key departures: F David Jones, D Shane O’Brien

Projected lineup

Forwards

Gabriel Landeskog – Paul Stastny – Alex Tanguay

Ryan O’Reilly – Matt Duchene – P.A. Parenteau

Jamie McGinn – Nathan MacKinnon – Steve Downey

Patrick Bordeleau – Brad Malone – Cody McLeod

Defensemen

Erik Johnson – Jan Hejda

Ryan Wilson – Cory Sarich

Matt Hunwick – Tyson Barrie

Stefan Elliott - Andre Benoit

Goalies

Semyon Varlamov

Jean-Sebastian Giguere

Our take: The past is new again in Colorado. Former stars Roy (coach) and Joe Sakic (vice president of team operations) are running the show. But can they bring back the magic of the team’s first decade in Denver?

It doesn’t hurt to start with the No. 1 pick and Colorado passed on hometown defenseman Seth Jones to go with Nathan MacKinnon, who adds another huge piece to a group of talented young forwards with Duchene, O’Reilly and Landeskog.

But the rebuilding isn’t finished yet even if Colorado rebounds with a playoff push this season. Stastny is an obvious trade candidate given the team’s depth at center and that he’s in the last year of his contract.  

Former Caps goalie Semyon Varlamov regressed last season (3.02 goals-against average, .903 save percentage), but he’s shown flashes of star potential in recent years and the Avs brought in legendary goalie coach Francois Allaire to work with the 25-year-old Russian.

Offseason Grade: C

Will they make the playoffs in 2013-14: No.