Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Defense is an area where the Avs might try to do the most shopping. Roy used the newly crowned champion Los Angeles Kings as a template for what he hopes to have for a "top six" on defense. Roy said the Kings had strong top-three defensemen in Drew Doughty, Slava Voynov and Alec Martinez, with good complementary role players as partners in Jake Muzzin, Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene.
"We're not that far away on defense," Roy said. "You look at (Erik) Johnson, who had a really good year, we have (Tyson) Barrie, who played really well at the end of the season, and we have Nick Holden, who we think is a solid defenseman. Are they where (the Kings are)? The answer is no, but now the (question) is, 'Who are we going to add?' You cannot just add the top players. You have to have a great mix, and you look at some teams as a model, and I think L.A. is a good example. If we could get the good mix — stay-at-home, physical defensemen playing with high-skill defensemen — I think that's the approach that we'd like to have, and I think we're heading in a pretty good direction. I think the future of our franchise on the defensive side of the game is a lot better than people think it is."
The Avs may look to recruit a couple of those Kings defensemen. Mitchell, 37, and Greene, 31, can become unrestricted free agents, and it appears unlikely the Kings will be able to keep both. Other attractive D-men in the league who might be available include Pittsburgh's Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik, and the New York Islanders' Dan Boyle.
more on the Avalanche...
Let Stastny walk as a free agent, then go shopping with the $6.6 million saved by not signing him. See how far that cash, plus the ample room Colorado has under the salary cap, can go in luring a defenseman such as Pittsburgh's Matt Niskanen and a wing sniper the ilk of Minnesota's Matt Moulson.
Stastny can find fortune and happiness outside Colorado.
Even without Stastny, life can be good for the Avs.
Let's get on with it.
Goodbye, Paulie. Big-time thanks for the memories. All the best.
-Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post where you can read more on Paul Stastny.
DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed forward Jamie McGinn to a two-year contract through the 2015-16 season.
McGinn, 25, recorded 19 goals and 19 assists for 38 points in 79 games for the Avalanche this past season. The Fergus, Ontario native set career highs in points, assists, game-winning goals (3) and games played, while his 19 goals fell one short of his personal best (20 with Colorado/San Jose in 2011-12). He ranked fifth on the team in hits (140).
McGinn went on to finish fourth on the Avalanche in playoff scoring with five points (2g/3a) in seven postseason contests.
“Jamie is coming off a very good season and played an important role for our team,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic. “We’re excited to have him under contract for another two years.”
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
The Avalanche wants Paul Stastny and Ryan O'Reilly to be part of the team for several years to come, but only if they agree to fit in with the team's salary structure.
That was the main message to come out of a news conference Thursday at the Pepsi Center in which team executives Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy laid out their vision of the near-term future.
Sakic, the executive vice president of hockey operations, said negotiations toward new contracts for two of their top forwards will continue as the days tick down to the July 1 start of NHL free agency — but could not guarantee either will be signed to new long-term deals.
from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,
A lot of people expect the New York Rangers to buy out Brad Richards, but the most emotionally invested part of Pat Morris still isn’t convinced it will happen.
Morris, the Newport Sports Management agent who represents Richards, joined the Hockey Central at Noon panel Tuesday to discuss his client’s much-talked about future. He said nothing has been settled in his talks with New York GM Glen Sather but wouldn’t rule out a return to Broadway for Richards.
“Maybe that’s my heart rather than my head [talking],” said Morris, “but with the commentary from Glen Sather, he was pretty positive about Brad’s role, especially after [former captain Ryan] Callahan left.”...
Another of Morris’s clients, Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly, has also been in the headlines lately.
It’s a situation worth keeping an eye on, both because of what’s already happened and what may occur in the not-too-distant future....
Morris said O’Reilly, 23, wasn’t entirely unprepared for this development, but it certainly sounds like he and his client hoped they could avoid going down this path.
“We’re now preparing for an arbitration case we didn’t think we’d have to tend to,” he said.
more on each of the players...
The Colorado Avalanche have elected to take centre Ryan O'Reilly to salary arbitration.
The club had until 5pm et on Sunday to file and has decided to bring the case before a mediator.
O'Reilly made $6.5 million last season in the second year of a back-end-loaded contract.
The deal arose out of an offer sheet O'Reilly signed with the Calgary Flames prior to the lockout-shortened 2012-13 NHL season. The Avalanche decided to match the offer instead of losing O'Reilly's services and as such must now make him a qualifying offer of $6.5 million to retain his rights.
The Winnipeg Jets filed club-elected salary arbitration on restricted free agent Michael Frolik on Sunday.
The club made the decision before the 5pm et deadline on Sunday and decided to go to a mediator.
In his first year with the Jets last season, Frolik scored 15 goals and added 27 assists for 42 points in 81 games.
According to capgeek.com, Frolik made $1.9 million last season with a cap hit of $2.3 million.
If you don't follow CapGeek on Twitter, now would be a good time to do so.
via Bob McKenzie tweets,
Lots of talk within NHL circles that COL has or will file "club-elected salary arbitration" on Ryan O'Reilly. If so, it will make waves.
O'Reilly is set to become a restricted free agent. If COL wants to retain his rights, they must give him qualifying offer of $6.5M.
Or they could negotiate a long-term deal. Or take him to club-elected arbitration. Latter is not unprecedented but it is highly unusual.
If arbitrator awarded O'Reilly less than the $6.5M he made this past season, the question is: how do you think O'Reilly would react to it?
check more of the recent tweets from Bob McKenzie...
from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,
The open market begins July 1, and Niskanen, 27, appears to be exactly what the Avalanche needs. He is a coveted right-handed shooter with elite power-play skills, good size (6-foot, 209 pounds) and significant Stanley Cup playoff experience (53 games and counting). He will undoubtedly double his $2.5 million salary wherever he signs.
"Right-shot defensemen are at a premium in the league, and I mean ones that can play on the point on the power play and get points," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told Detroit reporters. "We'd like to get a right-handed shot defenseman. Can we make it happen? We'll find out."
Will the Avs be shopping along with the Red Wings?
The Avs figure to go after Niskanen, or another marquee free-agent defenseman, if they choose to upgrade their back line, which essentially means one or more of the following:
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Here's the ultimate compliment to what the Avalanche — ownership, management, coaching staff and players — accomplished this season: The regional reaction to a first-round playoff loss is mass disappointment.
And it should be. That's a compliment too.
Letting the Avalanche off the hook for the seven-game loss to Minnesota diminishes the stunning progress the franchise made in 2013-14. The talk this morning should be of how the Avalanche stands after the first two games of the Western Conference semifinal series at home against the Blackhawks, heading into the next two games at Chicago's United Center.
The fact that I'm able to speak of what should have been, rather than make this some starry-eyed reference to what might have been, acknowledges not just the magnitude of the turnaround, but also the "Stanley Cup attitude" Patrick Roy cited when he was introduced as coach last year.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
What a tough loss that was. It was as big a gut punch of a loss as you can get. Forget the “this is a young team, there will be other kicks at the can in the future” meme. This was a really tough loss for Avs fans to take, and trust me, it wasn’t any easier on the players in the locker room, as the above photo of Ryan O’Reilly shows.
Four one-goal leads in a Game 7 at home. Four blown one-goal leads. One great two-on-one chance in overtime, with Paul Stastny and Gabe Landeskog looking like they were ready to win this thing finally. One great breakup of the play by Ryan Suter, followed by a Dany Heatley (Dany Heatley) lead pass up the ice for an odd-man rush to Nino Niederreiter (Nino Niederreiter) for a game-winning OT goal.
It was all one big, cruel piece of irony for Avs fans in the end. The team that always found a way to win games like these just kept trying to find ways to lose the biggest one of all to this point – and succeeded.
I don’t want to get into a big rip job on the team about this. I always thought what this team did during the regular season deserved major appreciation, and I won’t dump on it all after one OT loss in a Game 7.
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 email@example.com