NHL logo rankings No. 29: Colorado Avalanche

We continue rolling out our logo rankings this summer with what we voted the second-worst look in the league: the Colorado Avalanche. From Quebec to Colorado, some thought it was slick, others, too cartoony. Can you design a better one?

We’re on Day 2 of our NHL logo rankings, which brings us to No. 29, the Colorado Avalanche. There was some debate among the seven THN staffers involved on this one – much more than the Carolina Hurricanes, who were almost
unanimously ranked last. For some, the Colorado colors and rocky mountain tie-in with snow and a puck running off the “A” is slick enough for this to be considered one of the top logos in the league. While others think it’s too cartoony for the big leagues. Those in the latter camp really miss the minimalist, old school Nordiques look. Think you can do a better job with the Colorado Avalanche logo? Get creative and artistic and draw up a new one for the team – perhaps even using the brighter Quebec Nordiques colors – and send your submission to After we roll out all of our NHL logo rankings, we’ll show the best reader recreations. (All logos below are from
Chris Creamer’s website.)
HISTORY OF THE AVALANCHE LOGO Just like the No. 30 team, Colorado is also a relocated franchise with WHA origins. And in fact, the origins of this team go a little further back than the Quebec Nordiques.
When the WHA was formed, 10 cities were awarded franchises, one of which was San Francisco. The team that would have been called the Sharks moved to Quebec before the season started and the rest is history. The Nordiques started out with their famous red igloo logo enclosed in a red circle with “Nordiques” and “Quebec” spelled out around it. This is their official first logo although the words and circle didn’t appear on the jersey.
Quebec’s WHA jersey started out with a light blue color that was later changed to the royal blue we all came to know and love.
nordiques-wha After the move to the NHL, Quebec’s official primary logo was refined. By now, the colors had been spruced up too, forging the sharp blue and white look that us older chaps still see Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg wearing. In fact, why don’t I own any Nordiques paraphernalia? I need a bright blue hoody, or something, STAT.
nordiqueslogo When the Nordiques up and left for Denver following the 1994-95 season, naturally their logo changed, too. The red was changed to a burgundy and the blue was darkened as well. The mountainous “A” stands prominently, with a streaking avalanche that wraps around and over, led by a puck at the end. This logo had a little shade added to it a few years later, but the actual logo hasn’t changed.
avalanchelogo And here’s a bonus round for you. What if the Nordiques had stayed in Quebec instead of moving to Denver? Their red igloo logo was going to change either way, it seems. If the team stayed, it was ready to go with a new look anyway, changing to a darker looking husky that would have had a touch of teal to it. Not really a fan of this one – the original Nords would have ranked higher on my list than the fantasy post-1995 look.
Nordiques alternate
Dissenting opinion: “The design of the Colorado Avalanche logo is one of the most dynamic and exciting in the NHL. Introduced during the Avs inaugural season of 1995, the design marries together not only an iconographic representation of the Rocky Mountains, but also the ‘A’ letterform in the name ‘Avalanche’. Through the use of its cool color palette, the logo is truly memorable and feels like it belongs in the Rockies.
– Shea Berencsi, THN designer  

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Once again, if you think you can design a better logo for the Avalanche, in whichever color scheme you think is best, send your submission to At the end of our logo ranking release, we will post our favorite redesigns from all 30 teams. Which Nordiques/Avalanche logo do you like most?

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