The Colorado Avalanche just won their first Stanley Cup championship since 2001 and third in franchise history. They did so in impressive fashion, defeating the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning in six games. On Friday, the Avalanche took the first step in trying to repeat as champions themselves. They re-signed veteran forward Andrew Cogliano to a one-year contract,
— Denver Post – Avs (@avsnews) July 5, 2022
Cogliano was not an offensive force, but he provided something the team needed; veteran leadership. Colorado is unbelievably skilled and talented, but did not have a ton of playoff experience. Cogliano, the 35-year-old, had previously played in 100 playoff games exactly entering this year’s postseason.
He chipped in with three goals and three assists during these playoffs, but it’s what he showed his teammates that made a big difference. ESPN captured Colorado GM Joe Sakic’s thoughts on what he meant to the Avalanche this season.
“Andrew was such a big part of our Stanley Cup championship with his leadership and veteran presence… He battled back from various injuries throughout the playoffs and played key minutes for us when we needed it the most. He’s a great teammate who works hard on and off the ice and sets a great example for the rest of the group… We’re excited to have him back for another season.”
Cogliano mostly played as a fourth line winger but was very useful on the penalty kill.
Colorado still has a number of big decisions to make this offseason. Nazem Kadri, Valeri Nichushkin, Darcy Kuemper are each unrestricted free agents. If the Avalanche want to repeat and attempt to build a dynasty, some more work will need to be done.