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Denver needs a winner and the Avalanche have to deliver

As the dog days of summer draw shorter towards fall, the 2013-14 NHL season can’t come fast enough for some sports fans of the Colorado Avalanche in Denver.

Beaten down by the beat downs the Colorado Rockies of the MLB have taken, the fans of Denver sports haven’t had much to be excited about since April when the Rockies were the winningest team in the game. Since then the team has nosedived and the ballclub’s front office is indifferent as usual to the struggles of the team. The Denver Nuggets of the NBA was handed a quick first round exit from the NBA Playoffs after a franchise best 57 win season and quickly lost their GM to the Toronto Raptors and fired long time head coach George Karl.

Denver at large is anxiously waiting for the NFL season to get underway where the Denver Broncos are Las Vegas favorites to win the Super Bowl. Then there is the Avs.

Denver fans have one more team to hold some hope for. Stanley Cup doubtful, the Avs would be thought of highly if they could make the playoffs or at least come close to it. The city could probably settle for a .500 or better record even. The point is, Denver needs a winner and a team to be hopeful about that isn’t in the NFL.

The Avs could easily be that team if they can capture the hopes and hearts of Denver sports fans. Denver used to be a pretty good hockey town from 1996-2004 … then the 2004-05 lockout happened and wiped out the entire season. Hockey in Denver hasn’t been the same since.

Denver needs a winner and the Avalanche have to deliver
Matt Duchene will be an integral piece to building successful seasons in Denver. The Avalanche have a golden opportunity to stand up and deliver to downtrodden Denver sports fans.
(Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Since the lockout the Avs have been one of the most miserable teams in town. They made a brief cameo in the 2009 Playoffs in Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly’s rookie season and haven’t sniffed an above .500 record since.

During the four year span that the Avs have fallen apart the MLS Colorado Rapids won an MLS Cup title, the Nuggets made the playoffs every year and the Broncos have had two postseason appearances.

The Pepsi Center ice though has been melted down and the floor tray prepped to be put away for the season on schedule after the final regular season game.

The re-invigoration of the Avs sounds good and looks good on paper, the town is buzzing about Avalanche hockey and have high hopes that Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy can turn the franchise around from their new positions.

They have to deliver because Denverites have been beaten down by the losing ways of the Avs, the ineptness of the Nuggets in the playoffs and the struggling Rockies. The Broncos have been an exciting team the last two years and great things are expected of them this season, but most star players are on one or two-year deals which means the Broncos will be broken up next season or the one after. What happens to Denver fans after that?

The Avs have to be there to pick up the pieces and bring some hope back to the Mile High.

Cory Whitmer

Cory Whitmer

Cory is a 27-year old aspiring sportswriter and Convergent Journalism student at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Some could call him a cynic, he likes to think of himself as a sports realist. An avid Denver sports fan, he doesn't hold back, even on his home teams. Check out his Colorado Rockies blog: http://throughthefencebaseball.com/author/cory-whitmer/
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