Alberta is a western province of Canada. With an estimated population of 4,067,175 as of 2016 census, it is Canada's fourth most populous province and the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces, its area is about 660,000 square kilometres. Alberta and its neighbour Saskatchewan were districts of the Northwest Territories until they were established as provinces on September 1, 1905; the premier has been Rachel Notley since May 2015. Alberta is bounded by the provinces of British Columbia to the west and Saskatchewan to the east, the Northwest Territories to the north, the U. S. state of Montana to the south. Alberta is one of three Canadian provinces and territories to border only a single U. S. state and one of only two landlocked provinces. It has a predominantly humid continental climate, with stark contrasts over a year. Alberta's capital, Edmonton, is near the geographic centre of the province and is the primary supply and service hub for Canada's crude oil, the Athabasca oil sands and other northern resource industries.
About 290 km south of the capital is the largest city in Alberta. Calgary and Edmonton centre Alberta's two census metropolitan areas, both of which have populations exceeding one million, while the province has 16 census agglomerations. Tourist destinations in the province include Banff, Drumheller, Sylvan Lake and Lake Louise. Alberta is named after the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. Princess Louise was the wife of Marquess of Lorne, Governor General of Canada. Lake Louise and Mount Alberta were named in her honour. Alberta, with an area of 661,848 km2, is the fourth-largest province after Quebec and British Columbia. To the south, the province borders on the 49th parallel north, separating it from the U. S. state of Montana, while to the north the 60th parallel north divides it from the Northwest Territories. To the east, the 110th meridian west separates it from the province of Saskatchewan, while on the west its boundary with British Columbia follows the 120th meridian west south from the Northwest Territories at 60°N until it reaches the Continental Divide at the Rocky Mountains, from that point follows the line of peaks marking the Continental Divide in a southeasterly direction until it reaches the Montana border at 49°N.
The province extends 660 km east to west at its maximum width. Its highest point is 3,747 m at the summit of Mount Columbia in the Rocky Mountains along the southwest border while its lowest point is 152 m on the Slave River in Wood Buffalo National Park in the northeast. With the exception of the semi-arid steppe of the south-eastern section, the province has adequate water resources. There are numerous lakes used for swimming, fishing and a range of water sports. There are three large lakes, Lake Claire in Wood Buffalo National Park, Lesser Slave Lake, Lake Athabasca which lies in both Alberta and Saskatchewan; the longest river in the province is the Athabasca River which travels 1,538 km from the Columbia Icefield in the Rocky Mountains to Lake Athabasca. The largest river is the Peace River with an average flow of 2161 m3/s; the Peace River originates in the Rocky Mountains of northern British Columbia and flows through northern Alberta and into the Slave River, a tributary of the Mackenzie River.
Alberta's capital city, Edmonton, is located at about the geographic centre of the province. It is the most northerly major city in Canada, serves as a gateway and hub for resource development in northern Canada; the region, with its proximity to Canada's largest oil fields, has most of western Canada's oil refinery capacity. Calgary is about 280 km south of Edmonton and 240 km north of Montana, surrounded by extensive ranching country. 75% of the province's population lives in the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor. The land grant policy to the railroads served as a means to populate the province in its early years. Most of the northern half of the province is boreal forest, while the Rocky Mountains along the southwestern boundary are forested; the southern quarter of the province is prairie, ranging from shortgrass prairie in the southeastern corner to mixed grass prairie in an arc to the west and north of it. The central aspen parkland region extending in a broad arc between the prairies and the forests, from Calgary, north to Edmonton, east to Lloydminster, contains the most fertile soil in the province and most of the population.
Much of the unforested part of Alberta is given over either to grain or to dairy farming, with mixed farming more common in the north and centre, while ranching and irrigated agriculture predominate in the south. The Alberta badlands are located in southeastern Alberta, where the Red Deer River crosses the flat prairie and farmland, features deep canyons and striking landforms. Dinosaur Provincial Park, near Brooks, showcases the badlands terrain, desert flora, remnants from Alberta's past when dinosaurs roamed the lush landscape. Alberta has a humid continental climate with cold winters; the province is open to cold arctic weather systems from the north, which produce cold conditions in winter. As the fronts between the air masses shift north and south across Alberta, the temperature can change rapidly. Arctic
Chris Neil is a Canadian former professional ice hockey right winger. Neil was drafted in the sixth round, 161st overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators, played his entire NHL career with the Senators organization. Neil started out playing minor hockey in the town of Ontario, he played for the Grey-Bruce Highlanders of the South-Central Triple A Hockey League before getting his junior start with the Junior "B" Orangeville Crushers. He played three successful major junior seasons with the Ontario Hockey League's North Bay Centennials. In his final junior season in North Bay, Neil had a career year and gave an indication that he could be more than a physical presence, amassing 72 points in 66 games. Neil was drafted by the Senators in the sixth round, 161st overall, of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. Ottawa management prized his toughness and work ethic and saw Neil as a player who would fill a much needed role on the team for years to come. Neil spent two seasons with Ottawa's then-American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, where he posted back-to-back seasons of 300+ penalty minutes and established himself as a solid team player at the professional level.
Leading up to the 2001 -- 02 season, Neil made the Ottawa line-up. He made his NHL debut on October 2001, against the Toronto Maple Leafs; the next night, he recorded his first NHL point in a game against the Montreal Canadiens. On October 30, he scored his first NHL goal, against the Atlanta Thrashers. In his rookie season, Neil appeared in 72 games and scored 17 points, while accumulating 231 penalty minutes and establishing himself as a fearless combatant. During the 2002–03 season, Neil had ten points in 68 games and led the Senators with 147 penalty minutes; the next year, he again led the Senators in penalty minutes, with 194. The 2005–06 season saw Neil's role with the Senators expand; when Brian McGrattan made the Ottawa line-up out of training camp, much of the responsibilities as "team enforcer" were lifted off Neil's shoulders, he was given the opportunity to contribute in a more offensive role. He responded, posted the best offensive totals of his NHL career with 16 goals and 33 points.
The following season, Neil posted similar numbers with 12 goals and 28 points while leading the NHL in hits. The coaching staff rewarded him with special teams assignments, he received regular power play shifts; as the 2007–08 season unfolded, Brian McGrattan saw limited ice time, Neil was once again called upon to act as the Senators' enforcer and primary physical presence on many nights. As a result, his offensive production declined, though he did finish the season with a respectable 20 points. Neil had a disappointing 2008–09 season, registering only ten points, his lowest total since his rookie season, the Senators missed the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time during his tenure in Ottawa. After the season, Neil became an unrestricted free agent, there was speculation that he would sign elsewhere. Instead, however, he signed a four-year, $8 million contract with the Senators. Neil received offers from three other clubs, but ended up accepting less money to remain in Ottawa; the 2011–12 season was a good one for both Neil and the Senators.
During the regular season, Neil registered 13 goals and 28 points in 72 games, his best offensive totals since 2006–07. Picked by many analysts to finish at or near the bottom of the standings, the Senators made the 2012 playoffs and came within one game of upsetting the first-seeded New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. In the series, Neil knocked forward Brian Boyle out of the series with a hit in Game 5 that inflicted a concussion on the player. After the season, after enforcers Matt Carkner and Zenon Konopka departed Ottawa via free agency, the Senators subsequently re-signed Neil to a three-year contract worth $5.75 million. During the 2012–13 NHL lock-out, Neil elected not to play in Europe, as several of his teammates did, instead remained in Ottawa and practised with the Carleton Ravens, who were coached by his ex-Senators teammate Shaun Van Allen. Acknowledging his leadership role with the organization, the Senators named Neil an alternate captain on September 14, 2013.
He scored his 100th career regular season NHL goal on January 23, 2014, against Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning. As the 2014–15 season unfolded, Neil was hampered by a hamstring injury that kept him out of the line-up for several games, he recorded just four goals and seven points in his first 38 games; as the team slipped out of the 2015 playoff picture, General Manager Bryan Murray approached Neil to gauge his willingness to accept a trade to a contending team. As many as ten teams contacted Murray to inquire about Neil's availability as the NHL trade deadline approached. On February 14, 2015, the trade rumours were quieted as Neil suffered a fractured thumb in a fight with Edmonton Oilers winger Luke Gazdic, the Senators subsequently announced that he would be out of the Ottawa line-up indefinitely as a result. On February 28, 2016, Neil signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract extension with the Senators to return for the 2016-17 season. Neil played in his 1000th NHL game on December 10, 2016, against the Los Angeles Kings in Los Angeles.
Neil was honored with a pregame ceremony prior to the Senators' December 14 home game against the San Jose Sharks. In June 2017 it was announced that Neil and the Senators mutually separated due to Neil being displeased with his limited role under head coach Guy Boucher, allowing Neil to become an unre
Wade William Belak was a Canadian professional ice hockey forward and defenceman. He was drafted 12th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, he played for the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers, the Nashville Predators in the National Hockey League. Belak made his WHL debut with the Saskatoon Blades as a 16-year-old during the 1992–93 season, getting no points in seven games, along with 23 PIM. In seven playoff games, Belak had no points, he made the Blades as a full-time player in 1993–94, scoring four goals and 17 points in 69 games, while recording a team high 226 PIM. In 16 playoff games, Belak had two goals, four points and 43 PIM. After the season, Belak was drafted in the first round, 12th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. In 1994–95, Belak appeared in all 72 games, scoring four goals and 18 points, while finished fourth in the league with 290 PIM. In the playoffs, Belak had no points in nine games, while recording 36 PIM.
He returned to the Blades for the 1995–96 season, scoring three goals and 18 points in 63 games, while getting a team high 207 PIM. In four playoff games, Belak had nine penalty minutes. Belak made his professional debut during the 1994–95 AHL playoffs, when the Quebec Nordiques assigned Belak to the Cornwall Aces. In 11 playoff games, Belak had a goal and three points, while getting 40 PIM. During the 1995 off-season, the Nordiques relocated to Denver and became the Colorado Avalanche. In the 1995–96 season, Belak appeared in five regular season games with the Aces, getting no points, followed by two playoff games, where he had no points. Belak spent most of the 1996–97 season with the Hershey Bears, where in 65 games, Belak had a goal and eight points, as well as a team high 320 PIM. In 16 playoff games, Belak had an assist and 61 PIM, he made his NHL debut during the 1996–97 season with the Colorado Avalanche on December 21, 1996, getting no points in a 6–2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Overall, Belak appeared in five games with Colorado, going pointless with 11 PIM.
Belak began the 1997–98 with the Avalanche, on October 22, 1997, Belak had a goal and assist against Olaf Kolzig of the Washington Capitals to record his first NHL points in a 4–3 win. Belak had an injury plagued season, appearing in eight games with Colorado, getting two points and 27 PIM, while in 11 games with Hershey, Belak had no points and 30 PIM, he began the 1998–99 in Colorado, in 22 games with the Avalanche, Belak had no points and 71 PIM. He appeared in 17 games with Hershey, getting an assist and 49 PIM. On February 28, 1999, the Avalanche traded Belak, Rene Corbet, Robyn Regehr, the Avalanche's second round draft pick at the 2000 NHL Entry Draft to the Calgary Flames for Theoren Fleury and Chris Dingman. Belak began his Calgary Flames career with the teams AHL affiliate, the Saint John Flames in the 1998–99 season, appearing in 12 games with Saint John, getting two assists and 43 PIM, he made his Calgary debut on March 27, 1999, as Belak had no points in a 2–1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes.
Belak earned his first point as a Flame on April 1, 1999, getting an assist in a 4–1 loss to the Coyotes, that being his only point in nine games with Calgary. At the conclusion of the regular season, Belak was sent back to Saint John for the playoffs, where he had an assist in six games, along with 23 PIM. Belak spent the entire 1999–2000 season in the NHL, where he appeared in 40 games with Calgary, recording two assists and a team high 122 PIM, he suffered a shoulder injury on February 10, 2000 against the Colorado Avalanche that caused him to miss six weeks of action. He began the 2000–01 season with the Flames, where in 23 games, Belak had no points and 79 PIM. On February 16, 2001, the Toronto Maple Leafs claimed Belak off waivers. Belak made his Toronto Maple Leafs debut on February 17, 2001, getting no points in a 5–5 tie against the Colorado Avalanche, he scored his first goal and point as a Maple Leaf on February 25, 2001, scoring against Jocelyn Thibault in a 6–4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
It was Belak's first goal since October 1997, when he was a member of the Avalanche. He finished the season appearing in 16 games with Toronto, scoring a goal and an assist, as well as 31 PIM. Belak played in 63 games with Toronto during the 2001–02 season, scoring a goal and four points, while recording 142 PIM, second to Tie Domi on the team. Belak made his playoff debut on April 18, 2002, getting no points in a 3–1 win over the New York Islanders, he scored his first playoff goal and point on April 28, 2002, scoring against Chris Osgood in a 5–3 loss to the Islanders. Belak appeared in 16 playoff games for Toronto, getting one goal and 18 PIM, he had his most productive season during 2002–03, as Belak had three goals and nine points in 55 games, as well as a team high 196 PIM. In the playoffs, Belak appeared in two games, getting four penalty minutes. Belak had an injury plagued 2003–04 season, as he suffered an abdominal injury on November 20, 2003 against the Edmonton Oilers and a knee injury on January 6, 2004 against the Nashville Predators.
He appeared in 39 games, getting a goal and two points, along with 110 PIM. In four playoff games, Belak had no points and 14 PIM. During the 2004-05 NHL lock-out, Belak signed with the Coventry Blaze of the EIHL. In 42 games with the Blaze, Belak had seven goals and 17 points and 178 PIM. In the playoffs, Belak had two points in eight games. After the season, Belak was named to the EIHL Second All-Star Team. Belak returned to the Maple Leafs for the 2005–06 season, as in 55 games, he had three assists and 109 PIM, second highest on the team. In 2006–07, Belak appeared in 65 games with Toronto, getting three assists
Western Hockey League
The Western Hockey League is a major junior ice hockey league based in Western Canada and the Northwestern United States. The WHL is one of three leagues that constitutes the Canadian Hockey League as the highest level of junior hockey in Canada. Teams play for the Ed Chynoweth Cup, with the winner moving on to play for the Memorial Cup, Canada's national junior championship. WHL teams have won the Memorial Cup 19 times since the league became eligible to compete for the trophy. Many players have been drafted from WHL teams, have found success at various levels of professional hockey, including the National Hockey League; the league was founded in 1966, as the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League, with seven western Canadian teams in Saskatchewan and Alberta. From 1967, the league was renamed the Western Canada Hockey League, before the admission of American based teams in the league and renaming as the Western Hockey League commencing in 1978, up to present day; the league was the brainchild of Bill Hunter, who intended to build a western league capable of competing with the top leagues in Ontario and Quebec.
Considered an "outlaw league" by the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, the WCHL was sanctioned as the top junior league in Western Canada when junior hockey was reorganized in 1970. Today, the WHL comprises 22 teams, divided into two conferences of two divisions; the Eastern Conference comprises 12 teams from Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, while the Western Conference comprises ten teams from British Columbia, the US states of Washington and Oregon. Despite winning the 1966 Memorial Cup, the Edmonton Oil Kings' owner, Bill Hunter, was growing concerned about the state of junior hockey in western Canada; each of the West's four provinces had its own junior league, Hunter felt that this put them at a disadvantage when competing nationally against the powerful leagues in Ontario and Quebec. Desiring stronger competition, Hunter's Oil Kings competed in the Alberta Senior Hockey League rather than the Alberta Junior Hockey League; the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association informed the Oil Kings that they were required to play in a junior hockey league for the 1966–67 season or would be held ineligible to compete for the Memorial Cup.
This led Hunter to form a new league with five former members of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, the Estevan Bruins, Regina Pats, Saskatoon Blades, Moose Jaw Canucks, Weyburn Red Wings, to leave the SJHL and join the Oil Kings and the Calgary Buffaloes in a new league known as the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League. Despite concerns that this new league would see the demise of the Alberta and Saskatchewan leagues, the governing bodies in both provinces sanctioned the new league; the CAHA did not, declaring the CMJHL to be an "outlaw league" and suspending all teams and players from participation in CAHA sanctioned events. The new league accused the CAHA of overstepping its boundaries and with the support of the players and their families, chose to play the season regardless; the new league deliberately avoided including the term "Western" in its moniker, as some of its founders wanted to keep open the possibility of inviting top Eastern junior clubs to join in a national elite junior league in case negotiations with the CAHA reached a complete impasse.
The CMJHL renamed itself the Western Canada Hockey League in 1967, adding four new teams to total 11 as the league stretched east into Manitoba. Concerns over the WCHL's relationship with the CAHA led the Pats and Red Wings to withdraw before the 1968–69 season, returning to the SJHL; when the CAHA reorganized junior hockey in 1971, it named the WCHL one of three Tier I Major-Junior leagues, along with the Ontario Hockey Association's Tier I division and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The first decade of the WCHL saw constant expansion and franchise movement as the league spread throughout the West; the Flin Flon Bombers became the league's first powerhouse team, led by future NHL stars Bobby Clarke and Reggie Leach. The Brandon Wheat Kings and Swift Current Broncos joined in 1967, the Medicine Hat Tigers in 1970; the WCHL became a western league in 1971 when Estevan moved to B. C. to become the New Westminster Bruins, joined by expansion franchises the Victoria Cougars and Vancouver Nats.
In the mid 1970s, the New Westminster Bruins became the WCHL's first true dynasty, capturing four consecutive championships between 1975 and 1978. The Bruins won back-to-back Memorial Cups in 1977 and 1978. In 1976, the Oil Kings succumbed to the competing Edmonton Oilers of the World Hockey Association and relocated to Portland to become the Winter Hawks, the WCHL's first American franchise. With the addition of American teams in Seattle and Billings a year the WCHL shortened its name to the Western Hockey League; the 1980s were marked by several brawls that involved police intervention, one of the most bizarre trades in hockey history, the tragic deaths of four players in a bus crash. Early in the 1980–81 WHL season, Medicine Hat Tigers GM/Coach Pat Ginnell traded blows with a linesman during a bench clearing brawl against the Lethbridge Broncos. Ginnell was found guilty of assault, fined $360, suspended for 36 games by the WHL. In March 1982 a violent brawl between the Regina Pats and Calgary Wranglers saw the two teams collectively fined $2250 and players suspended for 73 games combined.
Pats coach Bill LaForge would end up in a courtroom that season when he got into an altercation with a fan. LaForge was acquitted when the judge noted that it was hard to convict a man for assault when faced with "an obnoxious person trying to get into the coach's area." LaForge resigned following the sea
The Calgary Flames are a professional ice hockey team based in Calgary, Alberta. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League; the club is the third major-professional ice hockey team to represent the city of Calgary, following the Calgary Tigers and Calgary Cowboys. The Flames are one of two NHL franchises in Alberta; the cities' proximity has led to a rivalry known as the "Battle of Alberta". The team was founded in 1972 in Atlanta as the Atlanta Flames until relocating to Calgary in 1980; the Flames played their first three seasons in Calgary at the Stampede Corral before moving into their current home arena, the Scotiabank Saddledome, in 1983. In 1985–86, the Flames became the first Calgary team since the 1923–24 Tigers to compete for the Stanley Cup. In 1988 -- 89, the Flames won their only championship; the Flames' unexpected run to the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals gave rise to the Red Mile, in 2011 the team hosted and won the second Heritage Classic outdoor game.
The Flames have won two Presidents' Trophies as the NHL's top regular season team, have claimed seven division championships. Individually, Jarome Iginla is the franchise leader in games played and points and is a two-time winner of the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's leading goal scorer. Miikka Kiprusoff has the most wins by a goaltender in a Calgary Flames uniform. Nine people associated with the Flames have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Off the ice, Calgary Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Flames own a Western Hockey League franchise, a National Lacrosse League franchise and a Canadian Football League franchise. Through the Flames Foundation, the team has donated more than CA$32 million to charity throughout southern Alberta since the franchise arrived; the Flames were the result of the NHL's first pre-emptive strike against the upstart World Hockey Association. In December 1971, the NHL hastily granted a team to Long Island—the New York Islanders —to keep the WHA's New York Raiders out of the brand new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Needing another team to balance the schedule, the NHL awarded a team to an Atlanta-based group that owned the National Basketball Association's Atlanta Hawks, headed by prominent local real estate developer Tom Cousins. Cousins named the team the "Flames" after the fire resulting from the March to the Sea in the American Civil War by General William Tecumseh Sherman, in which Atlanta was nearly destroyed, they played home games in the Omni Coliseum in downtown Atlanta. The Flames were successful early on. Under head coaches Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, Fred Creighton and Al MacNeil, the Flames made the playoffs in six of eight seasons in Atlanta. In marked contrast, their expansion cousins, the Islanders, won only 31 games during their first two years in the league combined. However, this relative success did not carry over to the playoffs, as the Flames won only two post-season games during their time in Atlanta. Despite the on-ice success, the Atlanta ownership was never on sound financial footing.
Longtime general manager Cliff Fletcher said years that Cousins' initial financial projections for an NHL team did not account for the WHA entering the picture. The Flames were a poor draw, never signed a major television contract. In 1980, Cousins was in considerable financial difficulty and was forced to sell the Flames to stave off bankruptcy. With few serious offers from local groups, he was receptive to an offer from Canadian entrepreneur Nelson Skalbania, he was fronting a group of Calgary businessmen that included oil magnates Harley Hotchkiss, Ralph T. Scurfield, Norman Green and Byron Seaman, former Calgary Stampeders great Norman Kwong. A last-ditch effort to keep the team in Atlanta fell short, Cousins sold the team to Skalbania for US$16 million, a record sale price for an NHL team at the time. On May 21, 1980, Skalbania announced, he chose to retain the Flames name, feeling it would be a good fit for an oil town like Calgary, while the flaming "A" logo was replaced by a flaming "C".
Skalbania sold his interest in 1981, the Flames have been locally owned since. Unlike the WHA's Calgary Cowboys, who folded three years earlier, the Flames were embraced by the city of Calgary. While the Cowboys could manage to sell only 2,000 season tickets in their final campaign of 1976–77, the Flames sold 10,000 full- and half-season ticket packages in the 7,000 seat Stampede Corral. Led by Kent Nilsson's 49-goal, 131-point season, the Flames qualified for the playoffs in their first season in Calgary with a 39–27–14 record, good for third in the Patrick Division; the team found much greater playoff success in Calgary than it did in Atlanta, winning their first two playoff series over the Chicago Black Hawks and Philadelphia Flyers before bowing out to the Minnesota North Stars in the semi-finals. This early success was not soon repeated. After a losing record in 1981–82, Fletcher jettisoned several holdovers from the Atlanta days who could not adjust to the higher-pressure hockey environment and rebuilt the roster.
Over the next three seasons, he put together a core of players that would remain together through the early 1990s. Fletcher's efforts to match the Oilers led him to draw talent from areas neglected by the NHL; the Flames were among the earliest teams to sign large numbers of U. S. college players, including Joel Otto, Gary Suter and Colin Patterson. Fletcher stepped up the search for European hockey talent, acquiring Hakan Loob and other key players, he was am
Winger (ice hockey)
Winger, in the game of ice hockey, is a forward position of a player whose primary zone of play on the ice is along the outer playing area. They work by flanking the centre forward; the name was given to forward players who went up and down the sides of the rink. Nowadays, there are different types of wingers in the game — out-and-out goal scorers, checkers who disrupt the opponents, forwards who work along the boards and in the corners, they tend to be smaller than defenseman. This position is referred to by the side of the rink that the winger takes, i.e. "left wing" or "right wing." The wingers' responsibilities in the defensive zone include the following: getting open for a pass from their teammates intercepting a pass to the opposing defenceman attacking the opposing defencemen when they have the puckWingers should not: play deep in their defensive zone help out their teammates along the boards Wingers should be playing high in the zone, always be vigilant for a breakout pass or a chance to chip the puck past the blue line.
When wingers receive a pass along the boards, they can exercise a number of options: Bank the puck off the boards or glass to get it out of the zone Redirect or pass the puck to a rushing forward Shoot the puck out to the centre line to another forward who can either set up an attack, or dump the puck into the offensive zone to summon a line change Carry the puck themselves into the offensive zone to attempt a breakaway or an odd man rush Wingers are the last players to backcheck out of the offensive zone. On the backcheck, it is essential. Once the puck is controlled by the opposing team in the defensive zone, wingers are responsible for covering the defenceman on their side of the ice. Prior to the puck being dropped for a face-off, players other than those taking the face-off must not make any physical contact with players on the opposite team, nor enter the face-off circle. After the puck is dropped, it is essential for wingers to engage the opposing players to prevent them from obtaining possession of the puck.
Once a team has established control of the puck, wingers can set themselves up into an appropriate position. Some wingers are employed to handle faceoffs. Rover Centre Defenceman Forward Goaltender Power forward List of NHL players
The Colorado Avalanche are a professional ice hockey team based in Denver, Colorado. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League; the Avalanche are the only team in their division not based in the Central Time Zone. Their home arena is Pepsi Center, their general manager is Joe Sakic. The Avalanche were founded in 1972 as the Quebec Nordiques and were one of the charter franchises of the World Hockey Association; the franchise joined the NHL in 1979 as a result of the NHL–WHA merger. Following the 1994–95 season, they were sold to the COMSAT Entertainment Group and relocated to Denver. In the club's first season in Denver, the Avalanche won the Pacific Division and went on to sweep the Florida Panthers in the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals, becoming the first NHL team to win the Stanley Cup in the season following a relocation. Among teams in the major North 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; as a result, they are the only active NHL team that has won all of its Stanley Cup Final appearances. The Avalanche have won nine division titles and qualified for the playoffs in each of their first ten seasons in Denver; the Quebec Nordiques were one of the World Hockey Association's original teams when the league began play in 1972. Though first awarded to a group in San Francisco, the team moved to Quebec City when the California deal soured because of financial and arena problems. During their seven WHA seasons, the Nordiques won the Avco World Trophy once, in 1977 and lost the finals once, in 1975. In 1979, the franchise entered the NHL, along with the WHA's Edmonton Oilers, Hartford Whalers and Winnipeg Jets. After making the postseason for seven consecutive years, from 1981 to 1987, the Nordiques started to decine.
From 1987–88 to 1991–92, the team finished last in their division every season, three of those times they finished last in the league. This included a dreadful 12-win season in 1989–90, still the worst in franchise history; as a result, the team earned three consecutive first overall draft picks, used to select Mats Sundin, Owen Nolan and Eric Lindros. Lindros made it clear he did not wish to play for the Nordiques, to the extent he did not wear the team's jersey for the press photographs, only holding it when it was presented to him. On advice from his mother, he refused to sign a contract and began a holdout that lasted over a year. On June 30, 1992, he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for five players, the rights to Swedish prospect Peter Forsberg, two first-round draft picks and US$15 million; the Eric Lindros trade turned the moribund Nordiques into a Stanley Cup contender overnight, in hindsight is seen as one of the most one-sided deals in sports history. In the first season after the trade, 1992–93, the Nordiques reached the playoffs for the first time in six years.
Two years they won the Northeast Division and had the second best regular-season record during the lockout-shortened season. While the team experienced on-ice success, it spent most of its first 23 years struggling financially. Quebec City was by far the smallest market in the NHL, the second-smallest to host a team in the four major sports; the changing financial environment in the NHL made things more difficult. In 1995, team owner Marcel Aubut asked for a bailout from Quebec's provincial government as well as a new publicly funded arena; the bailout fell through, Aubut subsequently began talks with COMSAT Entertainment Group in Denver, which owned the National Basketball Association's Denver Nuggets. In May 1995, COMSAT announced an agreement in principle to purchase the team; the deal became official on July 1, 1995, 12,000 season tickets were sold in the 37 days after the announcement of the move to Denver. Though the team was losing money, it was sold so that outgoing owner Marcel Aubut could make a profit off the franchise.
COMSAT considered several names for the team, including Extreme and Black Bears. It debated whether to brand the team as a Denver team or as a regional franchise representing either Colorado or the entire Rocky Mountain region. COMSAT filed copyright protection for "Black Bears", but decided to name the team Rocky Mountain Extreme. However, when The Denver Post leaked the new name, fan reaction was so negative that COMSAT reversed course and decided to name the team the "Colorado Avalanche." The new name was revealed on August 10, 1995. With the move, the newly relocated team transferred to the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. After buying the team, COMSAT organized its Denver sports franchises under a separate subsidiary, Ascent Entertainment Group Inc. which went public in 1995, with 80% of its stock bought by COMSAT and the other 20% available on NASDAQ. The Avalanche played their first game in the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver on October 6, 1995, winning 3–2 against the Detroit Red Wings.
It marked a return of the NHL to Denver after an absence of 13 years, when the Colorado Rockies moved to New Jersey to become the New Jersey Devils. Valeri Kamensky scored the first goal as the Avalanche. Led by captain Joe Sakic, forward Peter Forsberg and defenseman Adam Foote on t