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Category: Colorado-Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche Know They Are Good

from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,

Catch the Avs, if you can.

They’re furiously fast. They’re freakin’ good. And they know it.

“We feel like we can beat any team,” Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon told me Wednesday. “If we play our best, we feel like we can beat anybody, which is something we’ve never really felt before on this team.”

As MacKinnon plopped down at his locker, removing his practice gear, he was surrounded by hockey speed that can kill and talent Colorado has not enjoyed since Joe Sakic was skating instead of sitting in the team’s front office.

Led by MacKinnon, the world’s best hockey player on any given night, the big “A” on the team’s sweater is now surrounded by an unspoken but unmistakable “S,” “W” and “G.”

For the first time in a long time, the Avalanche hits the ice with the swag of talented players who have not only have arrived but are itching to knock down the door. I think it’s safe to say Colorado has never put a faster team on the ice.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Nazem Kadri Would Have Preferred To Stay In Toronto

from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,

New Avalanche center Nazem Kadri, no stranger to criticism, has indirectly fanned the flames in the club’s rivalry with Calgary.

The Flames have lost five consecutive games to Colorado dating to last season, including the last four in a first-round playoff series in April in which the Western Conference regular-season champion fell to the No. 8-seeded Avs. And now Flames’ fans are upset with Kadri, Colorado’s new second-line center and power-play specialist who adds much-needed toughness to the forward corps.

Before Thursday’s season-opener for both teams at the Pepsi Center, Kadri said that he nixed an off-season trade to Calgary. The Flames were among the 10 NHL destinations on his no-trade list. The former Toronto standout, 28, was traded to Colorado July 1, after he told the Maple Leafs he wouldn’t adjust his no-trade demands and go to Calgary.

Though Colorado was not among the 10 teams on Kadri’s no-trade list, he didn’t want to become an Avalanche, either. He wanted to remain in Toronto, the franchise that selected him with the seventh pick of the 2009 draft.

“My initial feeling was to stay in Toronto. That’s kind of why that whole situation panned out the way it did,” Kadri said.  “It was nothing against Calgary. I obviously love that city and love going there as a visiting team. I just had aspirations to staying put.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nazem+kadri

Mikko Rantanen And The Colorado Avalanche Have Reached A Deal



added 8:10pm, Avs release is below.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mikko+rantanen

The Contending Colorado Avalanche

from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,

Inside the Avalanche dressing room, nameplates of the team’s all-time greats — from Patrick Roy to Peter Forsberg – have been affixed to the wall above locker stalls, as a reminder of a proud championship tradition.

And you know what? Right here, right now is the Avalanche’s best chance to hoist the Stanley Cup since Joe Sakic handed it to Ray Bourque way back in 2001.

“It’s nice to have some pressure. We’re not just the ‘bad Avs’ or whatever anymore. We’re a contender,” superstar Nathan MacKinnon said Thursday, as his teammates reported to training camp with expectations for this season through the Pepsi Center roof. “I think we all want pressure. It’s no fun coming in as an underdog. It got kind of old.”...

So what’s essential to note from this edition of the Avs? Well, Philipp Grubauer must show he can not only get hot when it matters most, but stand tall in goal every night. It’s a lot to ask a 20-year-old defenseman to ascend straight to superstardom, but let’s see how quickly Cale Makar can make the climb. Although Sakic did not break the bank in free agency, he wagers there was sufficient investment in secondary scoring to take some pressure off his big guns.

But maybe the best measure of this franchise’s championship worthiness will be the maturity essential to treating the regular season as serious practice for a long playoff run. That task is harder than it sounds. Why? Anyone can focus on results reinforced by the scoreboard, but the nuts-and-bolts process of building a champion is meticulous and sometimes tedious detail work.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Mikko Rantanen Has No Interest Playing Elsewhere

from NHL.com,

Mikko Rantanen has no desire to play anywhere but the NHL this season, the forward told Russia's Sport Business Online.

The 22-year-old became a restricted free agent July 1 and has yet to reach an agreement on a contract with the Colorado Avalanche. He set NHL career highs in goals (31), assists (56) and points (87) last season and had 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

When questioned about a report this summer that Ak Bars Kazan had offered him $4 million to play in the Kontinental Hockey League this season, Rantanen reaffirmed his desire to stay in the NHL.

"Whether that team got in touch, it's better to check with my agent. I personally haven't heard anything," Rantanen told the website in comments translated by NHL.com. "The only option for me is the NHL. And you never know what the future holds."


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mikko+rantanen

Colorado Avalanche Sign UFA Valeri Nichushkin

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed forward Valeri Nichushkin to a one-year contract for the upcoming 2019-20 season.

Nichushkin, 24, played his fourth NHL season with the Dallas Stars in 2018-19 where he tallied 10 points (0g/10a) in 57 games. The right wing has registered 74 points (23g/51a) in 223 career NHL regular-season contests and has recorded three points (1g/2a) in 17 career games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Stars’ first pick in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft (10th overall), Nichushkin has also appeared in five career contests (0g/4a) with Dallas’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Texas Stars, and has dressed in 104 career KHL games (31g/26a) in Russia with Traktor Chelyabinsk and CSKA Moscow. The Chelyabinsk, Russia, native has registered 23 points (10g/13a) in 53 career KHL postseason contests.

“Valeri is a big, young winger who adds depth to our roster and brings competition to our training camp,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President / General Manager Joe Sakic.  “He brings NHL experience to our team and we are excited to have him with our organization.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Season Preview For The Colorado Avalanche

from Rick Sadowski at NHL.com,

The Colorado Avalanche want to put themselves in the best position to compete for the Stanley Cup this season. That makes earning home-ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Playoffs an important goal after qualifying each of the past two seasons as the second wild card from the Western Conference.

"Playoffs [are] the priority," Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said. "Try in the regular season to get home-ice advantage. Our goal is to win the Stanley Cup, that's the end game. We want to be better and be more consistent during the regular season."


Video preview of the Avs can be watched below.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Samuel Girard Signs A Seven-Year Extension With The Colorado Avalanche

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed defenseman Samuel Girard to a seven-year contract extension through the 2026-27 season.

\Girard, 21, appeared in all 82 games for the Avalanche this past season, extending his ironman streak to 150 consecutive regular-season contests (longest active streak on the team).  He finished second among Colorado defensemen with 27 points (4g/23a), surpassing his rookie season total (23) from 2017-18.  The Roberval, Quebec, native finished sixth on the club in average ice time (19:53) and third in even-strength ice time (17:44).  He added two assists (0g/2a) in nine playoff contests.

Selected by Nashville in the second round (47th overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft, Girard was acquired by Colorado from Nashville as part of a three-team deal with Ottawa on Nov. 5, 2017.

“Samuel has been one of our best all-around defensemen since joining the Avalanche,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President / General Manager Joe Sakic. “He plays important minutes and is someone our coaches count on to play against other teams’ top lines.  He has an exceptional ability to skate and move the puck.  As a member of our core, we felt it was important to sign him to a long-term deal and we are excited to announce this extension.”

added 11:27am, Breakdown is below.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: samuel+girard

Who Said It?

“I never got the feeling it was personal against me, and in fact Gary Bettman told me a number of times that he knew that the decision had come down from Dave and ownership and that he had no problem with me.

“Those rumors about Gary blackballing me from the league because of Sakic weren’t true. But there was a lot of resentment against the Rangers. I don’t regret what I did, I gave them my best advice that it wouldn’t work, but I regret that ownership made us do that.”

-Who said it? An interesting read.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Four-Year Deal For J.T. Compher In Denver

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed forward J.T. Compher to a four-year contract through the 2022-23 season.

Compher, 24, finished fifth on the Avalanche with 16 goals and tied for the team lead with three shorthanded tallies in 66 games during the 2018-19 campaign.  His 16 goals, 16 assists and 32 points all surpassed his rookie season totals from 2017-18.  The Northbrook, Illinois, native was one of eight NHL players with at least three shorthanded, power-play and game-winning goals in 2018-19, joining Sebastian Aho, Cam Atkinson, Patrice Bergeron, Blake Coleman, Leon Draisaitl, Brad Marchand and Brandon Saad.  Compher was the first Avalanche player to accomplish that feat (at least three SHG, PPG and GWG in a season) since Joe Sakic in 2000-01.

Compher added six points (4g/2a) in 12 playoff games, with his four goals tying for third on the team.  He set a playoff career high with two goals and three points in Game 6 of Colorado’s second-round series against San Jose on May 6, becoming the first Avalanche player to record three or more points in an elimination game since Alex Tanguay in Game 7 of the 2001 Stanley Cup Final.  The 6-foot, 193-pound forward finished with two goals and three points during the first round series against Calgary, with both tallies coming in the third period of overtime victories (Games 2 and 4).

“J.T. has been one of our most versatile forwards over the past two years,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President / General Manager Joe Sakic. “He plays on our power play, kills penalties and has played up and down our lineup.  He has scored some big goals late in games and we are counting on him to have an even more expanded role moving forward.  We are excited to have him under contract for the next four seasons.”

Numerous reports is the AAV is $3.5M

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: j.t.+compher

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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