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Avalanche of change in Denver this season Written by Seymour Buttz - March 17th, 2010

Coming into this season the Colorado Avalanche were a bit of an enigma. Were they really better than the team that finished last in the league just a season ago? Those questions have been answered in a season that has seen more turnover than a roasting spit.

In a season where it seems the only constant has been change, GM Sentinel20 has done an amazing job turning this team around all things considered. The team is where they wanted to be, in a playoff hunt and currently sitting second in their division. But how did they get here? Most of the off season acquisitions have been traded away and the team sits with only very late round draft picks, yet there is more optimism in this teams future than ever before. Why? Consider this: Coming into the season it was looked upon as another futile effort as the changes that were made werent seen as drastic enough. The free agent signings (save Jay McKee) were pretty much all busts and the team was squeezed against the cap. Now the team sits with more top notch prospects than ever before. They have four solid lines, though no superstars per se and the defence could go up against any in the league, while their goaltending has been stellar most of the year.

"We are on the path we want to be on."Says GM Sentinel20. "We have some great young kids in this organization now. We have a defence second to none and we have for lines rolling. The pieces are in place, its like a puzzle you find one piece you think is it and it doesnt quite work so you have to keep looking for the one that does"

The team came into the season having Michael Del Zotto, Jamie Arniel, Carter Ashton, James Wright and Brayden McNabb as draftees that were considered top notch. Since then the have added this season Michal Frolik, Colin Wilson, Kyle Cumisky, Anton Khudobin, Ty Wishart, Greg Niemisz, Gilbert Brule, Zack Smith and the Santorelli brothers, Mike and Mark. Its a far cry from where this prospects pool was a year ago.

"I am very happy with what we have accomplished this season. We have good young guys which this team is built around and gys like Wolski, Frolik, Cogliano, Brule, Del Zotto will only get better. My goal all along this year was to make playoffs, id say that is quite an accomplishment for this group considering last season."

As well as the youth they have had great comtributins from Marco Sturm, Mattias Ohlund and probably most surprisingly Jay McKee. May people though they overpaid for and underachieving d man but he has been a rock this seaosn and has formed a fromidable pairing with vet Ohlind all year. Add now the wily old veteran in Mathieu Schneider, whos acquisiton raised a few eyebrows, and this team could surprise in playoffs.

A season of change has turned out quiet nicely. Lets hope the ending is even happier.

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