Best Sports Team -- Professional - 2001
Readers' Choice: Avalanche
No contest: All year, the Colorado Avalanche has been a juggernaut, leading the National Hockey League in wins, goals scored and points. Bob Hartley's playoffs-bound club is a brilliant collection of All-Star experience (Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Raymond Bourke, Patrick Roy) and talented youth (Milan Hejduk, Chris Drury, Martin Skoula) with all the tools to bring Denver its second Stanley Cup. Old nemeses like the Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars may stand in the way, but this is likely the best Avs team of all -- which was even better before the injury to star defenseman Rob Blake. No wonder they hosted the NHL All-Star game this year: it just made sense, since so many Avs played in that game, too.