NHL Central Division: What can the new Utah Hockey Club learn from the Colorado Avalanche?

NHL hockey can thrive in Utah if the franchise follows the footsteps of division rival, the Colorado Avalanche.
Utah Hosts NHL Welcome Party
Utah Hosts NHL Welcome Party / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

The new Utah Hockey Club has the potential to build an impressive legacy, one surrounded by winning and maintaining a loyal fan base.

It's easier said than done, but Utah can look to the Colorado Avalanche as an example for success in the NHL.

The Colorado Avalanche showed everyone how it's done in relocation

The Quebec Nordiques had an impressive following and a rich history. However, they didn't win the Cup, something the Colorado Avalanche did their first year after relocating from Quebec to Denver in the 1995-96 season.

Adding insult to injury for Quebec fans, Colorado won the Cup in their first year in Denver.

Utah has the opportunity to achieve similar success. After only making one divisional championship appearance in their entire time in Arizona, Utah's new hockey team has consistently struggled and almost embodied a losing team with a struggling fanbase.

Losing certainly doesn't fill arenas, and once losing becomes the expected form of play, fanbases rapidly depart any interest in such a team.

Utah is a fresh start centered on a community that has proven itself to root for professional sports. Utah Jazz fans are some of the most loyal and dedicated in the league. This remains the case even though they have yet to win their prized first championship, losing back-to-back appearances against Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

The Avalanche created a fan base based on star players (Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy) and, most importantly, an expectation centered on winning.

Like the fairly new Vegas Golden Knights, the Avalanche took the league by storm, putting a competitive roster on the ice and setting a new standard.

Today, both the Avalanche and Golden Knights continue to be examples of how to build NHL rosters around the league.

New ownership, a new fanbase, and a new home will assist Utah in forming a different legacy. While Utah may not experience the same quick success as Colorado, it has the potential to change its franchise narrative and improve its play.

Winning solves everything. With new draft picks and a change of scenery, the existing roster finally gets a fresh start, long overdue.

The Salt Lake City area has all the elements to provide for an excellent show; from the mountains, snow, and proven NBA fanbase, it's up to the hockey team to start and create their legacy.

The Central Division is both talent-filled and competitive, making it a prime example with some of the league's most talented teams.

Utah can be one of the best stories in NHL history, they just need to win.