Yes! I love the Avs! Like with baseball, I didn't grow up watching
or playing much hockey. However, I began taking an interest
about 10 years ago, just when the Avalanche started up in
Denver. It just so happened that I was doing several weeks of
work in Denver during the playoffs of that first season ('95-'96),
and all of the guys I was working with would drag me (as if I
needed it) to the local sports bar to watch the Avs against the
Red Wings. Well, that was a baptism by fire, and I've never lost
my passion for the Avalanche since.
Last season's lockout was a real bummer, and we felt that the
NHL (or more precisely, the player's union) shot themselves in
the foot and thumbed their noses at the fans. We'll forgive them
for now, as I really love the game and hope that they show us
fans that they've learned a few lessons. Only time will tell.
As for this years Avs, they aren't the same powerhouse team
we're used to seeing. Without familiar stars like Peter Forsberg
and Adam Foote, this season looks to be quite a challange. But
I'm no fair-weather fan, so I'll be just as proud to support the
Avs this year as always.
The Utah Grizzlies started out as the Colorado
Grizzlies in Denver just one year before the Avalanche
came down from Quebec and replaced them.
Colorado's loss was our gain, and they've been
playing their hockey here in Salt Lake City ever since.
Their arena, The E Center, is actually located in West
Valley City, and was the venue for the hockey played
at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Thanks to my
brother Brian I was able to attend the Gold Medal
game of the USA vs. Canada there.
The Grizzlies have been associated with a number of
parent teams over the year, but now play as the minor
league team to the Phoenix Coyotes. The Grizzlies
have won a couple of Turner Cup Championships
since playing in Utah, but have been lackluster for a
few seasons now. We're hoping the newly secured
deal with the Coyotes will help change that.