Colorado Avalanche win Stanley Cup

The 1996 Stanley Cup Final NHL championship series was contested by two teams that had not existed three seasons before, the Colorado Avalanche and the Florida Panthers.

The Avalanche won the Cup in a four game sweep to win the franchise's first Stanley Cup, in their first season in Denver since moving from Quebec City in 1995. It was Florida's first Final series appearance, in only the team's third season in the NHL. Colorado's Joe Sakic was named playoff MVP.

Colorado defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4–2, the Chicago Blackhawks 4–2 and the Detroit Red Wings 4–2 to advance to the final. Florida defeated the Boston Bruins 4–1, the Philadelphia Flyers 4–2 and the Pittsburgh Penguins 4–3.

In the summer of 1995, the Quebec Nordiques moved to the Rocky Mountains and became the Colorado Avalanche. Trading for Montreal goaltender Patrick Roy in mid-season proved to be the move that put them over the top in the National Hockey League. Although the Detroit Red Wings had a record breaking regular season, the Avalanche came away with the Stanley Cup. With the help of stars Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Claude Lemieux and the aforementioned Roy, the Avalanche were able to bring the Red Wings back down to earth, defeating Detroit in the Conference championship. After a four-game sweep of the third-year expansion Florida Panthers, the Avalanche captured their first Stanley Cup in their first season in Colorado.