The Colorado Avalanche are a professional ice hockey franchise based in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche were founded in 1972 as the Quebec Nordiques as a member of the rival World Hockey Association. The Nordiques became members of the NHL in 1979 with the NHL–WHA merger. Following the 1994-95 season, the Nordiques were sold to the COMSAT Entertainment Group of Denver and relocated there, where they were renamed the Avalanche. In their first year in Denver, the Avs won the Pacific Division and went on to sweep the Florida Panthers in the Finals, becoming the first NHL team to win the Stanley Cup in the season following a relocation. In the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals, the Avalanche defeated the New Jersey Devils to win their second championship.