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Sakic says Avs ownership gave ‘green light’ to ‘make this team win’

Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic

FILE - In this May 28, 2013 file photo, Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy, left, and Joe Sakic, pose together at a news conference in Denver. After another disappointing season, the Avalanche shook up the team, bringing in Roy, and giving Sakic, the longtime face of the franchise, more responsibility in the front office. Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog and the rest of the Avs kick off training camp on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)


Coming off their first playoff appearance since 2010 -- and with a whole crop of exciting young talent, headlined by the explosive Nathan MacKinnon -- the Colorado Avalanche are hoping they can keep the momentum going on the ice in 2014-15.

At the same time, the club’s ownership is hoping for a bit more off-ice success, since there’s still a long ways to go in the ticket-sales department, and the Avs are back up among the NHL’s payroll leaders.

“We’re a cap team now, despite us being in the bottom five of the league in ticket revenue,” president of hockey ops told the Denver Post. “Even knowing that, [ownership] still want to win a championship and gave us the green light to do whatever we can to make this team win.”

A pair of NHL sources told the Post that the Avs’ season-ticket base is “around 6,500,” leaving no shortage of seats to sell on an individual game basis.

The Avs averaged 16,295 fans in 2013-14, ranking them 22nd in league attendance. That was an increase over the previous season (15,444), and it was a big increase compared to 2009-10, when the club bottomed out at 13,947. But attendance was still significantly below the level of the league’s top spenders, most of whom play to capacity crowds on a nightly basis, with high ticket prices to boot.

For Sakic, ownership’s willingness to increase spending (yes, the Avs lost Paul Stastny to free agency, but they also brought in Jarome Iginla) will mean added pressure to avoid a regression in 2014-15 -- something, it should be noted, that many are predicting for Colorado.

Related: Avs hope to learn from ‘nightmare’ playoff finish