Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,
The Avalanche will buy out veteran defenseman Brad Stuart and not replace him or recently traded defenseman Nick Holden with marquee free agent defensemen, general manager Joe Sakic said Monday.
Because of Stuart’s age, 36, his buyout won’t provide salary-cap relief, leaving $3.6 million on the books. But the Avs will save $1.2 million in cash, according to GeneralFanager.com...
Before trading Holden to the New York Rangers on Saturday, Sakic said the Avs won’t make a big splash when free agency begins, and he said that remains the plan after informing Stuart that he will not be with the team next season.
Sakic reiterated his plan to give increased ice time to 21-year-old defensemen Nikita Zadorov and Chris Bigras and offer 2011 first-round draft pick Duncan Siemens “every opportunity to try and make this team.” In addition, the Avs have high hopes for defenseman Eric Gelinas, who was acquired from New Jersey in March.
read on including a contract staus on Nathan MacKinnon...
NEW YORK, June 25, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has acquired defenseman Nick Holden from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for their own fourth round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Holden, 29, skated in 82 games with Colorado this past season, registering six goals and 16 assists for 22 points, along with 24 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in several categories in 2015-16, including games played, assists, average ice time (21:52), hits (217), and blocked shots (118). Holden ranked second on Colorado – and led Avalanche defensemen – in hits, ranked third in average shorthanded ice time (2:20) and blocked shots (118), and ranked fourth in average ice time this past season. In addition, he was one of five players on Colorado – and one of two Avalanche defensemen – who skated in all of the team’s 82 games in 2015-16.
The 6-4, 210-pounder has skated in 221 career NHL games over parts of five seasons (2010-11; 2012-13 – 2015-16) with Columbus and Colorado, registering 21 goals and 40 assists for 61 points, along with a plus-one rating and 74 penalty minutes. Holden established career-highs in goals (10), assists (15), points (25), and plus/minus rating (plus-12) in 2013-14. In his three seasons with the Avalanche (2013-14 – 2015-16), he led Colorado defensemen in hits (491), and he ranked third among Colorado defensemen in goals (21), assists (40), and points (61).
The St. Albert, Alberta, native was originally signed by Columbus as an undrafted free agent on March 28, 2008.
added 3:01pm, Florida release is below...
“We’re not going to be looking that day. As the summer goes on, we’ll see what good fits are. But on the July 1, don’t expect us to go after any big long-term deals. Within our own, we’re going to discuss what we have within, but outside on July 1 we’re not going to go after a big splash.”
-Joe Sakic, GM of the Colorado Avalanche. More from Sakic by Mike Chambers of the Denver Post.
from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,
In an exclusive interview Thursday, Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic swept away rumors that young defenseman Tyson Barrie will be traded and discussed a handful of other issues including Nathan MacKinnon’s pending contract extension and next week’s NHL draft in Buffalo....
“I’d like to do a long-term deal with Tyson. If that doesn’t work out, it’s expected he’ll go to arbitration,” Sakic said. “Either way, he’ll be here.”
Barrie was Colorado’s fifth-leading scorer last season with 49 points (13 goals) in 78 games. Among all NHL defensemen, he was 13th in scoring.
MacKinnon, 20, is also a restricted free agent, but coming off his three-year, entry-level contract. Sakic said the No. 1 selection in the 2013 draft will be signed by training camp in September but isn’t sure if it will be a long-term deal with unrestricted free agency at the end of it or a bridge deal taking him to another RFA situation.
"... Sometimes you want to go fast track, but that would be the wrong thing to do. The problem is we got 112 points the first year and that's where everybody thought we made the turn. But let's not forget that the year before, we were second-to-last overall. There's a reality between that year and what's going on.
"Last year, 90 points. This year, less points. Obviously, it's not something we're proud of, not something we're happy about. I am very frustrated about it, but at the time time, I think we need to find ways to make this franchise better and it's not just for one year. It's for a longer term, and that's what we want."
-Patrick Roy, head coach of the Colorado Avalanche. More from Roy by Terry Frei of the Denver Post.
Roy needs to prove to everybody that he is capable of leading that team. Until he does, the Avs will serve as an unhappy reminder that the regular season really does matter in the NHL.
Denver fans would love to have the STL’s playoff worries today.
-Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch where you can read more on the Avs.
via Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
The Avalanche was down to five defensemen after Nikita Zadorov took a high hit from the Capitals' Tom Wilson to Varlamov's left and, with trainer Matt Sokolowski attending to him, stayed down for a minute or two. He then came to the bench and straight to the dressing room, and was done for the night. The Avalanche said he suffered a head injury.
Someone did yell heads up...
from Mike Chambers of All Things Avs,
I met with Avalanche GM Joe Sakic after Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild to specifically talk about rookie Mikko Rantanen, who had just played in his ninth NHL game. He will not play in his 10th this season, Sakic told me, to preserve the first year of his entry-level contract (three years). His ELC-slide will be used.
The expansion draft plays into the move, Sakic said, but Saturday’s loss did not.
Rantanen, 19, is still looking for his first NHL point. But he has torn up the American Hockey League, leading the San Antonio Rampage with 52 points (21 goals) in just 44 games. In addition to playing for the Avs, the AHL all-star captained Finland to the World Junior Championship gold medal. Rantanen will finish the season with San Antonio and become a full-fledged Avs winger in September.
“We’re not going to burn a year, first of all. He will start next year,” Sakic said. “(Expansion rules) can change, its got to be negotiated, but in his first two years he would be treated like a junior player. From our understanding, but not 100 percent, the first two years he won’t be exposed so you don’t have to protect them.
DENVER (March 26, 2016) – The Colorado Avalanche announced today that forward Mikko Rantanen has been reassigned to the San Antonio Rampage.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Was Thursday the night the Western Conference wild-card race shifted for good?
The Minnesota Wild won their fourth in a row, crushing the Calgary Flames 6-2, while the Colorado Avalanche dropped a 4-2 home decision to the Philadelphia Flyers that must have felt like a gut shot to the Avs, who now trail the Wild by three points in the race for the final playoff spot in the West.
Plenty of hockey left, of course -- Colorado has eight games remaining to Minnesota's seven, but the Avs have little room for error now. The beauty for Colorado?
The Wild visit them Saturday afternoon in a perfect opportunity to reclaim momentum in the race. It's a must-win, really, for the Avs, because after that they face the St. Louis Blues at home followed, by road games in Nashville and Dallas and a regular-season finale at home against Anaheim. All tough games.
What say you on this Good Friday, gang?
more on the race in the West from the ESPN hockey writers...
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.
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