Artturi Lehkonen and the Avalanche are a match decades in the making, from a Hahl jersey to a Rantanen connection – The Athletic

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Colorado would possibly’ve acquired Artturi Lehkonen solely final month, however the left winger bought his first gear from the membership 20 years in the past.After the Avalanche misplaced the 2001-02 Western Convention finals to the Crimson Wings, middle Riku Hahl returned to his native Finland for the offseason. Whereas again residence, he visited Ismo Lehkonen, one among his outdated coaches, and introduced items: a Patrick Roy Avalanche hat for Ismo’s 6-year-old son, Artturi, in addition to one among Hahl’s personal No. 32 jerseys, signed by Colorado teammates. Hahl then spent hours out again taking part in road hockey with Artturi, who’d already taken a fascination with the game.So when Avalanche basic supervisor Joe Sakic — Hahl’s captain for all three of his NHL seasons — traded for Lehkonen hours earlier than the March 21 deadline, Hahl reached out to Ismo, reminding him of how shut he got here to a Cup Ultimate with the Avalanche.“Now Artturi has to complete the job,” he instructed his former coach.The 26-year-old Lehkonen was Colorado’s greatest commerce deadline acquisition — a well-rounded participant Sakic hopes can take his workforce from Stanley Cup competition to a Stanley Cup championship. And as a pending restricted free agent, Lehkonen will probably keep in Denver past this 12 months. He’s a two-way, middle-six ahead who can complement the workforce’s high-end offensive stars.When Colorado bought Lehkonen from Montreal, administration instructed Avalanche coach Jared Bednar he was getting a 5-foot-11 model of

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