It’s been two decades since the sound of skates slicing over ice has echoed through the Denver Coliseum. As the owner of the Denver Cutthroats, Boulderite John Hayes is reigniting a hockey tradition that began in 1958 with the Denver Mavericks. Starting this fall, the Cutthroats will be the newest member of the Central Hockey League, a midlevel professional league; the team’s affiliation with the Colorado Avalanche means that players can move between both squads depending on needs. Local hockey fans can look forward to more affordable games ($15 tickets and free parking), more interaction with players, and hard-hitting action. “The games at this level tend to be feistier than what NHL fans are used to,” says Cutthroats president Brad Lund.

With former NHL center Derek Armstrong coaching and former DU captain (and short-lived Avs player) Aaron MacKenzie on defense, the Cutthroats are setting the stage for an exciting season. The puck drops on opening night, October 19, at 7:05 p.m., when the team battles the Missouri Mavericks.