DENVER — There was Nathan MacKinnon jumping off the fire truck so he could walk the streets and shake hands with the swarm of Avalanche fans.

Later, Erik Johnson took the stage and got the crowd to participate in a giant sing-along to the team’s adopted anthem, “All The Small Things” by blink-182.

From “A” (alcohol, lots of alcohol) to “Z” (Zamboni drivers taking the road), the parade held Thursday to celebrate Colorado’s Stanley Cup title offered a little bit of everything.

That included dogs wearing Avalanche gear, young defenseman Bowen Byram being momentarily confused for a fan by security, the crowd chanting “We Got The Cup,” and a shirtless Gabriel Landeskog hoisting the Cup they secured by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was Nazem Kadri who delivered the line of the day on stage as rain fell and thunder boomed.

“Lightning? Thunder? It don’t matter. We come with the Avalanche, baby,” screamed Kadri, whose team dethroned the two-time defending champion Lightning in six games for the franchise’s third Stanley Cup title.

Kadri made sure to savor the moment. This may have been his farewell party, too. An unrestricted free agent, he’s not sure if he will be wearing an Avalanche jersey next season. A conversation for later.


“We’re going to be celebrating for a while,” Kadri said. “We’re going to enjoy it. This stuff doesn’t come around too often. So you’ve got to make sure you soak it all in.”

Byram sure did. The 21-year-old was running around the streets like a kid in a candy store as he greeted fans. He was also mistaken for a fan himself, before the crowd pointed out he was a player and he rejoined the parade.

It was a sea of burgundy and blue at Civic Center Park, where the parade ended and the speeches took place.

“I can’t even see toward the end,” Kadri commented.

That’s what happens when a team wins its first Cup in 21 years.

“It just shows how great of a sports city Denver is,” Byram said. “Unbelievable.”


The parade also honored the NCAA champion University of Denver hockey team, the Denver East High School squad that won a national prep title, and the Colorado Mammoth, the National Lacrosse League champions.

RED WINGS: The Detroit Red Wings hired Derek Lalonde to coach their rebuilding team, hoping the two-time Stanley Cup-winning assistant can make all the right moves to make the franchise relevant again.

Lalonde spent the past four years on Jon Cooper’s staff with the Tampa Bay Lightning, a stretch that included championships in 2020 and ’21 and, most recently, a third consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

“He has proven himself as an excellent coach at every level and has spent the last four seasons in the National Hockey League as part of a very successful program in Tampa Bay,” General Manager Steve Yzerman said in a statement. “We feel he is ready to take the next step in his career as the head coach of the Detroit Red Wings.”

Yzerman was GM of the Lightning when he promoted Cooper to his first NHL head-coaching job in 2013. It’s the first time an active assistant of Cooper’s has jumped to a head job in the NHL.

Lalonde, 49, like Cooper won a United States Hockey League title with the Green Bay Gamblers. He coached in the ECHL and American Hockey League before joining the Lightning.


SABRES: Goalie Craig Anderson is putting off retirement for now, returning to the Sabres for a one-year contract.

The 41-year-old Anderson also played for Buffalo last season, going 17-12-2 and leading the team in wins despite missing a lengthy stretch with a neck injury.

The Illinois native has 308 career victories, ranking fifth among American-born goalies, heading into his 20th NHL season.

Citing family and health, Anderson was uncertain about his future following the season by saying he had not determined whether he would retire or return to Buffalo.

After opening the season as the Sabres’ starter last year, Anderson is projected fill the backup spot behind Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who spent last season developing in the minors.

OBIT: Jim Pappin, the former NHL forward credited with the Toronto Maple Leafs’ last Stanley Cup-winning goal, has died. He was 82.


The Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks announced the death Wednesday on social media.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jim Pappin,” the Maple Leafs said. “Jim played five seasons in Toronto, winning the Stanley Cup in 1964 & ’67. Named one of the 100 Greatest Leafs, he scored the Cup-winning goal and led the team in scoring in ’67. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Later, the Blackhawks said: “The `P’ in the MPH Line tallied 444 points in 488 games in Chicago and ranks 17th all time for franchise scorers with 216 goals. Our hearts go out to Jim’s family and friends.”

Pappin was given credit for Toronto’s second goal in a 3-1 series-ending victory over Montreal in Game 6 on May 2, 1967. Linemate Pete Stemkowski deflected it in, but allowed Pappin to take credit to earn a contract bonus.

Pappin also played on Toronto’s 1964 Stanley Cup championship team, spending part of five seasons with the Maple Leafs.

Traded to Chicago in 1968, he had his biggest offensive seasons with the Blackhawks with MPH Line mates Pit Martin and Dennis Hull, finishing with career highs of 41 goals, 51 assists and 92 points in 1972-73.


After seven seasons with Chicago, he spent the 1975-76 season with the California Seals and followed the franchise to Cleveland the following year for his final NHL season.

In 767 regular-season games in 14 seasons in the NHL, Pappin had 278 goals and 295 assists. In 92 playoff games, he had 33 goals and 34 assists.

CAPITALS: Emily Engel-Natzke wanted to make the National Hockey League as a video coach.

When the Washington Capitals named Engel-Natzke video coordinator, she not only accomplished that goal, but she also became the first woman to hold a full-time position on an NHL coaching staff.

“I’ve never kind of really looked at myself in that lens, and I think if you may have asked me a week ago, I wouldn’t have wanted it to be a big deal,” Engel-Natzke said. “But with everything that’s going on kind of geopolitically, I think I’m more so just honored to be, I guess, the first. Hopefully that just opens the door even further for people who want to get into this job and this profession.”

It’s the latest in a series of promotions for women around the NHL in recent months after decades of slow progress in diversifying the sport in the coaching and executive ranks.

“This was earned and deserved,” Coach Peter Laviolette said. “We feel like we hired really a qualified person that we brought into the organization two years ago and came in and did an outstanding job, and that’s what development is all about. For me, we got the best person and that’s the most important thing.”

Engel-Natzke’s path to Washington began in earnest in 2017 when she began working as the full-time video coach for University of Wisconsin men’s hockey coach Tony Granato following several years assisting with the men’s and women’s programs there.

Engel-Natzke, 31, came from the Hershey Bears, Washington’s top minor league affiliate, where she was the first woman to be a full-time member of a coaching staff in the American Hockey League.

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