- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

COLORADO AVALANCHE

LAST SEASON: 52-22-8, 112 points. Won the Central Division. Lost to Minnesota 4-3 in first round of playoffs.

COACH: Patrick Roy, 2nd season with Colorado, 52-22-8; 2nd overall in NHL.

ADDED: RW Jarome Iginla, D Brad Stuart, C Daniel Briere, C Jesse Winchester.

LOST: RW P.A. Parenteau, F Paul Stastny, G Jean-Sebastien Giguere, D Andre Benoit, D Cory Sarich.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Nathan MacKinnon. As hard as this may be to believe, the speedy 19-year-old may have even gotten faster in the offseason working out with the likes of Matt Duchene and Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby. MacKinnon was the league’s rookie of the year in 2013-14 after scoring 24 goals and dishing out 39 assists. Roy isn’t concerned with a sophomore jinx with MacKinnon, saying, “I think Nate’s going to do a very good job this year despite the way people think about a second-year player.”

OUTLOOK: The Avalanche surprised the hockey world by winning the Central Division in Roy’s first season. Now, Roy’s eager to see his squad take the next step, which is to go even deeper into the postseason. The team added more veteran leadership by signing Iginla, along with trading for Briere and Stuart. They also have Alex Tanguay back after he missed most of the season with knee and hip injuries. Colorado boasts two formidable lines that will include some combination of Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly, captain Gabe Landeskog, Iginla, Tanguay and MacKinnon. Roy is still tinkering to find the best pairings.

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