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2005-06 Finish: 43-30-9, 7th West
General Manager: Francois Giguere (1st Season)
Head Coach: Joel Quenneville (2nd Season)
2005-06 Goals For: 283
2005-06 Goals Against: 257
2005-06 Power Play: 18.8% (9th)
2005-06 Penalty Killing: 84.6% (5th)
Points Leader: Joe Sakic (87)
Goals Leader: Joe Sakic, Marek Svatos (32)
Assists Leader: Joe Sakic (55)

Offseason Moves: Acquired defenceman Michael Vernace from the San Jose Sharks for a conditional sixth-round pick in either 2006 or 2007; acquired defenceman Jordan Leopold, a 2006 second-round pick and a conditional second-round pick in either 2007 or 2008 from the Calgary Flames for left wing Alex Tanguay; signed centre Tyler Arnason, who had been with the Ottawa Senators, to a one-year contract; agreed to terms with right wing Ben Guite, who had been with the Boston Bruins; agreed to terms with left wing Matt Murley, who had been with the Pittsburgh Penguins; agreed to terms with right wing Mark Rycroft, who had been with the St. Louis Blues; agreed to terms with defenceman Ken Klee, who had been with the New Jersey Devils.

Goaltending: Jose Theodore arrived in Denver last season with a lot of baggage, not to mention a broken heel. He struggled on the ice with the slumping Canadiens and had to deal with the controversy of testing positive for a drug masking agent from his hair-growing tonic. His short stint with the Avs was decent at best. He didn't stand out in the team's first-round playoff victory over Dallas and looked human in the second-round matchup with Anaheim. But Theodore has a clean slate to start the 2006-07 season and will get every chance to prove that he's the same goaltender who won the Hart Trophy four years ago. With a $5.5 million salary this year, the pressure's on.

Defence: The Avalanche took a hit when veteran blueliner Rob Blake went back to the L.A. Kings via free agency, but have confidence in John-Michael Liles as their top point man. Karlis Skrastins can play the body and block shots, and the arrival of Jordan Leopold from Calgary - once he recovers from hernia surgery - adds another good puck-moving defenceman to compliment Ossi Vaananen and Patrice Brisebois. The Avs were also looking to add a bit more toughness, and veteran Ken Klee may be the remedy.

Forwards: Keeping the top lines intact hasn't been easy for the Avalanche in a salary capped NHL. Peter Forsberg left via free agency last summer, and Alex Tanguay made his way out via trade in June. But former GM Pierre Lacroix did a pretty decent job trying to plug in the holes. Andrew Brunette was a good pickup last year, and Pierre Turgeon put up decent numbers as a second-line centre when he was penciled into the lineup. New GM Francois Giguere hopes Tyler Arnason can find his scoring touch in Denver, and that rookie sensation Marek Svatos puts up similar numbers from last season with a full campaign. Captain Joe Sakic signed a one-year contract over the summer, and it will be interesting to see if his 18th season will be successful enough for him to stick around for a 19th season.

Welcome to the NHL: In nine NHL games last season, Brampton Battalion winger Wojtek Wolski didn't look out of place. He scored two goals and six points before being returned to the OHL and made another big impact in the Stanley Cup playoffs with four points in eight games. He has one year of junior eligibility left, but would have to take a huge step back for the Avs to consider leaving him off the opening day roster.
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