The Colorado Avalanche fell to the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night dropping their record on the season to 13-31-2 heading into the All-Star break. To make matters worse, Colorado has decided to shut down starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov for the season in order for him to have hip surgery to repair his injured groin.

It is safe to say things have been difficult for the Avalanche this season. Colorado is dead last in points in the NHL with just 28. In fact, the Avs are easily on pace to have their worst season since moving to Denver and one of the worst in franchise history.

If you are asking yourself whether or not the Avalanche are going to set any NHL records as far as all-time worst seasons, the answer is no. The 1992-93 Ottawa Senators have a strong claim to the worst team ever, finishing an unthinkable 10-70-4. The Avs/Nordiques franchise low mark came in 1989-90 when the (then) Nordiques went 12-61-7.

So with this year’s team in the conversation among the all-time lows, it is time to ask the question whether or not the Avalanche are having the worst professional season in the history of Colorado sports.

For starters, let’s compare this year’s Avalanche team with the old NHL team in town: the Colorado Rockies. That team, which left Denver for New Jersey, was really not impressive. The Rockies worst season came in 1978-79, when the team finished just 15-53-12. This team finished with just 42 points. The current Avs team is at 28 points, with 36 games to play. It is safe to say that this year’s Avalanche club isn’t even Denver’s worst NHL team ever.

The baseball Colorado Rockies have had their share of difficult seasons as well. The worst season in franchise history came in 2012, when Colorado finished 64-98. Pitching was a complete disaster, Todd Helton was at the back end of his career and Troy Tulowitzki was battling injuries.

When the Rockies have really struggled, they have been just on the fringe of really bad. It is worth noting that the Rox have never lost 100 or more games in a season. In fact, the Rockies are the only team in Major League Baseball, other than the Los Angeles Angels, to never lose 100 or more games. I am going to predict that this Avalanche will be worse than any Rockies team ever by the end of the season.

The Denver Nuggets have also experienced their fair share of lows throughout their history. The worst of it came between 1997 and 1999. Denver won just 11 games during the 1997-98 season, which is tied for the second-fewest wins all-time when all 82 games were played. Things did not get much better during the following season for the Nuggets. In the 1998-99 campaign, they won just 14 times.

Talk about bad. It does not get much worse than winning just 25 times over two seasons; however, what do you expect when the only recognizable names on the roster to average fans were an injured LaPhonso Ellis and Bobby Jackson? As bad as things are going for the Avalanche, it is not reasonable to compare them with the Nuggets teams during this particular time frame.

The franchise in the Mile High City that has experienced the fewest losing seasons over a long period of time is the Denver Broncos. Their worst full season (since the AFL-NFL merger) was in 2010, when the team finished just 4-12. (They had a worse winning percentage in the strike-shortened 1982 season, going 2-7.) The 2010 season was a complete trainwreck for the Broncos under Josh McDaniels. The team started 2-2 and won just twice more during the next 12 weeks. McDaniels was fired after at 10-6 loss at the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 13. Eric Studesville was named interim had coach and went 1-3 during his tenure. The Avalanche and the 2010 Broncos are comparable. The Broncos won just a third of their games, and Colorado is around that pace. The good news is that miserable Broncos’ season produced the high draft pick that landed Denver Von Miller.

While things are pretty miserable for Avalanche fans right now, this current team is nowhere near as bad as some historic NHL stinkers, nor are they anywhere near having the worst season in Denver for any professional sports team. The Avs are however, having the worst season they have ever encountered since leaving Quebec. Right now, that honor belongs to the 2008-09 campaign. In that season, the burgundy and blue finished with just 32 wins and 69 points.

Ranking Denver’s all-time worst professional sports season is not that difficult. The worst stretch was the one the Nuggets had from 1997 through 1999. Those seasons rank first and second. The third-worst is the Rockies of the NHL in 1978-79. The fourth-worst would be this current Avalanche team, if things keep going the way they are going. Following this list, you can put the 2012 Rockies or the 2010 Broncos in any order, as those seasons were not historically bad.

As the Avalanche try to turn things around in this, the lowest point in their history in Denver, remember fans, things can and have been much worse.