Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,
Sakic and Roy discussed other developments and challenges with the team, including:
• Signing forward Ryan O'Reilly to a contract extension before next season begins remains a priority, Sakic said, but a trade is possible. The Avs have been negotiating with O'Reilly's agents.
"We know where they are and like I said (in April), I'd like to have him signed by the start of the season, hopefully, but right now is a time where we're focusing on the draft and free agency," Sakic said.
O'Reilly is a pending unrestricted free agent in 2016.
"I like Ryan a lot. He's a very valuable player and part of our corps," Sakic said. "My first priority would be to sign him. Obviously, we'll see where it all goes."
• Sakic declined to comment on the rumor recruitment of Russian forward Alexander Radulov, a former NHL first-round draft pick who most recently has played in his homeland.
Ryan O'Reilly appears to be on the trade block once again.
TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie told TSN Radio 1040 Vancouver Tuesday the Colorado Avalanche are testing the market for the centre, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2016.
McKenzie says the odds are in favour of O'Reilly being traded, though a potential deal could hinge on a new contract.
"I think it's more likely O'Reilly will be traded at some point here he'll be traded," McKenzie said. "But at the same time, it will depend on what the deal is and the financial negotiations that go on with any contract."
McKenzie cautioned, however, a trade is not imminent ahead of the draft.
more on this topic plus additional trade talk...
from Jared Clinton of The Hockey News,
Alexander Radulov, the former Nashville Predator and current captain of the KHL’s CSKA Moscow, could be on his way back to the NHL in time for the 2016-17 season.
According to a report from Russian website Champion.at, Radulov’s agent, Yuri Nikolaev, said that not only would Radulov be eligible to return to the NHL in 2016-17 but that he has already been contacted by Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy regarding the possibility of coming back to North America.
“Who was his coach (in the QMJHL?)” Nikolaev told Champion.at. “Patrick Roy, who now coaches Colorado. So, Roy phoned (Radulov) and says that he is waiting for the next season. Yes, (Radulov) can leave after next season.”
That is, indeed, the connection for Radulov and Roy, as he coached the Russian winger during his tenure in the QMJHL with the Quebec Remparts.
On Denver as a hockey market:
“I think it’s fantastic. I think our attendance is coming back up. The most exciting thing for me to see really is the evolution of our fans. When I first started coming to games back when I moved here in 2007, the (jerseys) were Joe, Patty, Adam, it was the greats of Stanley Cup teams past. And now when I look down, I see a lot of MacKinnon, a lot of Duchene, a lot of Landeskog. So I think the fans are evolving with our group, and I think there’s a really good team out there that competes for the city, represents the city well, and it’s fun to see the fans moving towards our new guys as well.”
-Josh Kroenke, president of the Colorado Avalanche. More from Kroenke by Terr Frei of All Things Avs.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Before the game, Sakic reprised some of the themes his second-year coach, former teammate Patrick Roy, discussed recently, including that the Avs — especially judged in retrospect — weren't primed for the season.
"I actually thought training camp, the first three days, went really well," Sakic said. "I thought the guys were flying and excited. As it went on, you could almost sense that guys weren't quite ready for what to expect coming into the season. We had so much success and smooth sailing the year before, you could see — I won't say it was a letdown — but we weren't expecting how other teams were going to play against us. The pressures, the expectations were up there this year, where last year at the start of the year there weren't a lot of expectations. ...
"We had a tough start, faced a lot of adversity and it took some time for our core guys to learn to deal with it."
Was there something that could have been done at the time, when he and others "sensed" that reality?
"I went through it as a player," Sakic said. "We talked to the players about it. We talked to the players at the end of last season about how much harder it was going to be. You have to go through it. I will say I'm pretty proud of the way the guys dealt with it. I know it took longer than we were hoping, but you could see the smiles, the excitement the last couple of months, where we played much better as a team, more confident, kind of learning to deal with what it's going to take to get to that next level."
added 11:42pm, video is below...
So absolutely, this season is a disappointment, and it was destined to be considered that long before the Saturday afternoon confirmation that the Avalanche wouldn't make the playoffs.
For the sixth time in the past nine seasons, there will be no postseason hockey at the Pepsi Center.
This will be the biggest test for Joe Sakic and Roy.
They must avoid denial.
Denial would entail assuming that the run of injuries — including to Erik Johnson and Nathan MacKinnon — explains too much.
-Terry Frei of the Denver Post where you can read more on the Avalanche.
from Jeff Simmons of Sportsnet,
While the NHL will hand out its share of awards at the end of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Sportsnet’s NHL web team decided to hand out some awards of our own.
Winner: Patrick Roy, Colorado Avalanche
A year after winning the Jack Adams Award, Patrick Roy and the Colorado Avalanche have taken several steps back this season.
Even with a deep core of young talent (Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan O’Reilly, etc), the Avalanche have fallen back to earth after a breakout season in which they won the Central Division with 112 points and pushed the Minnesota Wild to seven games in the opening round of the playoffs.
Despite that, Roy’s team was a wildly popular regression candidate heading into 2014-15.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Complacency, even short-lived and subconscious, and even when not obvious, is a fatal flaw in the NHL.
"All my years, and it's not been 100 years, but the last 10 years as a coach and a coaching staff, I think we always like to evaluate our work," Roy said Thursday in Vancouver before coaching the Avalanche to a 4-1 victory over the Canucks.
"We did that least year, we're doing it this year. We're always going to learn something. Talking to other coaches, there are years you're going to be learning more than others. This year was a year that I thought I learned a lot more, compared to, say, last year.
"Last year we were playing with confidence, we were playing with such a good mind-set, it was kind of a lot easier. This year, we had to try to find ways to get the team going, find ways to help the power play, working at it, changing the structure of the team, working harder on details of our neutral-zone forecheck. These are things I feel that we learned a lot."
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Winnipeg has passed the Avalanche because the Jets have size and physicality to go with their skill players, even if MacKinnon, Landeskog, Duchene likely have a higher offensive pedigree than Winnipeg’s stars up front.
It’s not all about scoring. As Colorado learned this season, sometimes it’s about surviving with whatever lineup is left come game time. And just because you win one season, it doesn’t guarantee a damned thing next October.
“We all fall in it. The coaching staff and the players,” Roy said. “A lot of things came pretty fast. You have a tendency to think it’s going to be easier. Then you’re not as sharp when you come to camp. Then you start behind.
“I think the thing that I learned the most is, you always have to adapt to you group,” said Roy. “You have to deal with this. You have to learn to adapt to your team.”
Lesson learned. Too late, mind you, but with this lineup, the Avs will be back.
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.
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