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New GM hopes to steer Avs back to relevance

The Colorado Avalanche have shown a special kind of futility in Eastside's Hockey Elite Collide, missing the playoffs for the first 10 years of the league's existence.

They've hired a new GM who hopes to turn that around.

Veteran EHM hack Josh Lewis was announced as the new hand at the Avs' rudder at a press conference last week, halfway through the season.

With Colorado firmly in the bottom 10 teams in the league this year, it remains to be seen how much of an impact Lewis can make until the off-season. But he said he's focused on long-term success rather than any quick fixes.

"Despite this team's recent history, there is actually a decent core here, when you consider some good players who have inexplicably been playing in the AHL," Lewis told the Denver media. "This isn't a team that's at the bottom of the barrel. There will be more pain before long-term gain, but we're not that far away from icing a solid team. I see this club returning to the playoffs within a year or two and we hope to set ourselves up to contend on a perennial basis."

Lewis has already made his first trade, shipping defenceman Michael Downing to the Montreal Canadiens for defenceman Jacob Larsson and a fourth round pick in 2020.

"We have a major glut of defencemen on the roster and none of them are exempt from waivers, so it's preventing us from calling up a couple of forwards who should be on this roster," Lewis said.

"Larsson can be sent down without waivers, allowing us to call up Jake Virtanen or Mackenzie Entwistle. Once we clear a couple of spots on the blueline, Larsson can then join the team."

Downing has a goal and 11 assists in 53 games with the Avs this year.


Colorado Avalanche
Posted: 2020/02/03

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