The Avalanche won the Stanley Cup only five years removed from recording an NHL-low 48 points.

General manager Joe Sakic — the architect of Colorado’s championship rebuild — beamed with pride in Tampa on Sunday night following a 2-1 victory over the Lightning to clinch the series in Game 6. His patience and roster decisions all paid off with a third title for the franchise.

Sakic lifted the Stanley Cup high into the air just as he did as an Avalanche player back in 1996 and 2001.

“This is something you dream of,” Sakic said. “I’m so proud for the players, especially the older guys that have been around. Our group, ever since last year, when we were coming into training camp, they were committed. Nothing fazed them this year.

“They were prepared every day to get better. The coaches got them prepared and every player bought in. It’s a great group. A close group. They competed and battled for each other all year.”



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