The Colorado Avalanche are a professional ice hockey franchise based in Denver, Colorado. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League. Their home arena is the Pepsi Center. The head coach is Joe Sacco and the general manager is Greg Sherman.
The Avalanche were founded in 1972 as the Quebec Nordiques in the World Hockey Association. The Nordiques became members of the NHL in 1979 with the NHL–WHA merger. Following the 1994-95 season, the Nordiques were sold to the COMSAT Entertainment Group of Denver and relocated there, where they were renamed the Avalanche. In their first year in Denver, the Avs won the Pacific Division and went on to sweep the Florida Panthers in the Finals, becoming the first NHL team to win the Stanley Cup in the season following a relocation. Among teams in the four major American professional sports leagues, only the National Football League's Washington Redskins have accomplished the feat. This was the first major professional sports championship a Denver based team would bring to the city. In the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals, the Avalanche defeated the New Jersey Devils 4–3 to win their second and most recent championship. Coincidentally, the Devils had preceded the Avalanche in Denver; they were called the Colorado Rockies.
The Avalanche have won eight division titles and they qualified for the playoffs in each of their first ten seasons in Denver; the streak ended in 2007.