Kukla's Korner Hockey
DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed forward Nathan MacKinnon to a three-year, entry-level contract.
"We are happy to have Nathan under contract and anxious to see him at training camp," said Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic. "His presence will bring additional speed and talent to our team, as well as a lot of excitement to our fans."
MacKinnon, 17, was the first overall selection at the 2013 NHL Draft on June 30 in Newark, N.J. He is the first player to be selected No.1 overall by the Avalanche since the franchise moved to Denver in 1995. The Avalanche/Nordiques franchise had drafted first overall on three previous occasions: 1989 (Mats Sundin), 1990 (Owen Nolan) and 1991 (Eric Lindros).
"The signing of this first NHL contract represents for me another step towards becoming a professional hockey player," MacKinnon said. "I am excited and thrilled to have been drafted by the Avalanche, and I am already working very hard in order to be ready physically and mentally for training camp."
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
The Avalanche is going to rue the day it passed on the chance to draft Seth Jones. I couldn't shake that feeling Sunday after attending the team's NHL draft watch gathering at Chopper's Sports Grill. Chopper Travaglini — the legendary former Nuggets trainer who died in 1999 — indirectly helped convince me. His picture hangs inside the restaurant named after him.
After the Avalanche claimed Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon with the first overall choice in Newark, N.J., I could see Chopper, gravelly voiced even when healthy, squinting and saying, as he often did, "Something here just doesn't feel right."
Something here just doesn't feel right.
For nearly a year, Jones — the American-born defenseman for major junior's Portland Winterhawks — was built up as the likely No. 1 overall choice in 2013. The comparisons flowed in, to Nick Lidstrom, to Chris Pronger, to more. Jones was poised beyond his years, he controlled games, he was an NHL great waiting to happen. And the kicker: He came with a greatstorythat was tied to Denver and to both the Nuggets and Avalanche.
from Woody Paige of the Denver Post,
On Sunday afternoon, The Wizard of Wah, Patrick Roy, returns to action for the Avs for the first time since retiring as a player 10 years ago.
Coach Roy will join with fellow Hall of Famer, former Stanley Cup teammate and Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic to make the No. 1 pick in the NHL draft and make the Avalanche relevant again.
Don't mess it up, Joey and Patty.
Just go with Nathan "Kid Magnificent" MacKinnon.
Roy is on the clock.
"I know I will get fired someday," Roy, who has never minced meat or words, told me.
What? How about if you win the Stanley Cup and retire?
Calgary, AB -- The Calgary Flames announced today that they have acquired right wing David Jones and defenseman Shane O’Brien from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for left wing Alex Tanguay and defenseman Cory Sarich.
“This trade adds needed size up front and grit on the back end while also allowing us to get younger.” said Flames General Manager Jay Feaster. “We like the fact that Jones plays a north-south game, drives hard to the net, kills penalties and is a right hand shot. O’Brien is a hard guy to play against, knows how to get under the skin of the opposition and stands up for his teammates. We are pleased to add both of these players to our organization.”
via Avalanche release on the trade...
“We are excited to have Alex back with the organization,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic. “He is coming off a solid season and his experience will be beneficial to our young players. Cory is a veteran defenseman who will help our back end.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
"He’s (Seth Jones) a great player, he’s going to be good," Sakic said over the phone from Denver. "But after we had our internal meetings we came up with these three forwards, (Nathan) McKinnon, (Jonathan) Drouin and (Alexander) Barkov. We’re really leaning towards one of those three forwards.
So to be clear, you'll pick one of those three players, Sakic was asked.
"If we’re picking first overall, yes," he said firmly.
To which some people are responding, "Why tell the world?"
"It was more really for our fans here, to let our fans know what we’re thinking going into the draft,” said Sakic, the Avs' vice president of hockey operations. "That’s really what the purpose was, let them know where we’re leaning. What I said is that we’re picking first overall and this is what we’re doing."
Sakic has been a straight shooter all his life. He’s not the kind of guy to say something and mean the opposite. Still, the impact of his comments could be construed to help the Florida Panthers (No. 2 overall pick) and Tampa Bay Lightning (No. 3) feel more anxious now to perhaps pick up the phone and offer a package to Colorado to move up.
Roy meets the Denver media.
Watch the live stream below...
from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,
Hiring Roy was an inspired idea. Kudos to Avs president Josh Kroenke for a bold stroke to change the culture of a slumbering franchise.
The only way this move could have been better is if Roy could lose 40 pounds, shed 15 years and get back to work between the pipes, instead of on the bench for Colorado.
His first job as coach should be to find the Avs a top-notch, stand-on-the-head, Vezina-worthy goalie the team has lacked since some guy named Roy left the building in 2003....
Everything about Varlamov, from his goals-against average to his save percentage, shouts: Average. Pedestrian. Ho-hum.
We've seen Saint Patrick, and Varly is no Saint Patrick.
Nobody in sports during the past 30 years, from Tiger Woods to Lance Armstrong to Michael Jordan, is a more passionate, demanding winner than Roy.
Mark Osbourne and Rob Pizzo of Hockey Night Online discuss the Patrick Roy hiring, Senators/Penguins and Wings/Blackhawks.
Watch the discussion below...
from Damien Cox of The Spin,
There are eight teams still competing for the Stanley Cup, and precisely none of them operate on the model now being proposed by the new-look Colorado Avalanche.
Then again, it's hard to explain precisely what the Colorado model is, or how it will work.
What we do know is that of the remaining eight, none are run by Hall of Fame centremen with no previous experience or coached by Vezina Trophy winning goalies straight out of junior hockey with expanded powers beyond just minding the bench.
And the eight other NHL clubs that qualified for post-season play before being eliminated in the first round? Nope, they aren't using the buddy system the Avs are going with, the we-won-championships-together-so-we-must-know-how-to-run-a-team approach.
DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the organization has reached an agreement in principle with Patrick Roy to become the franchise’s Head Coach/Vice President of Hockey Operations. Due to the Memorial Day weekend, the Avalanche will hold a press conference next week in Denver to formally introduce Roy.
Roy, 47, becomes the sixth head coach in Avalanche history and the 14th in franchise history. In addition to his head coaching duties, Roy will also work with Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic in all player personnel decisions.
“This is a very exciting day for our fans and a significant moment in our organization’s history,” said Avalanche President Josh Kroenke. “Patrick’s passion for the game of hockey both as a player and as a coach defines who he is as a person. He is a winner and is coming back to Denver where he created numerous special moments on and off the ice while helping lead us to two Stanley Cup championships.”
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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