Expectations High for Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche began Training Camp this week, and they do so with plenty of expectations and hype surrounding the team.
Colorado was one of the betting favorites to win the Stanley Cup a season ago, and they are right back in the same position this season.
The Avalanche are the consensus pick to win the Stanley Cup in 2021 with odds set right around +600. Winning the Stanley Cup is one of the hardest things to do in sports, but this team has all of the talent to get the job done.
There are currently 59 players in training camp with the Avalanche, but there aren’t many roster spots that are left up for grabs. The top line remains intact heading into the 2021-22 season, and nearly all of the other roster spots have been claimed as well.
Nathan MacKinnon is once again back to lead the Avalanche, and the team will only go as far as he is able to lead them. Colorado did lose out on Brandon Saad this offseason, but they have some younger players that could easily step into that role.
The Avalanche weren’t completely at full strength to begin training camp as a pair of players were out with COVID-19. Colorado was a team that was hit hard by the virus a season ago, and the team needs to find a way to avoid those concerns this season.
The Avalanche are back to a normal schedule in 2021-22, and the divisions are once again back to how they used to be. That means that Colorado will be back in the Central Division, and this should be one of the toughest divisions in the NHL.
Colorado hasn’t had much trouble reaching the playoffs or playing well in the regular season, but there is pressure on the team to deliver in the playoffs this time around. Racking up regular season wins won’t be good enough for the front office or the fan base as they are both hungry for another Stanley Cup championship.
O’Connor Gets an Extension
The Avalanche have most of their star players locked up for the foreseeable future, but they have ensured that one of their best depth pieces will be around longer as well. It was recently announced that Logan O’Connor has received a three-year contract extension from the team.
Not only will O’Connor be receiving some additional job security, but he is also set to get a nice pay raise from the team. He is set to make $725,000 this season, which is the last one of his initial two-year deal.
This three year contract extension will come at a cap hit of $1.05 million, giving the forward a nice bump in pay for his performance on the ice. O’Connor might not be one of the biggest names on the Avalanche roster, but he remains a major key to the success.
The Avalanche were without O’Connor for the final 21 games of the 2021 season, but he did return to the lineup in the playoffs.
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