Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,
Less than a month shy of its preseason opener, the Avalanche is feeling stronger than it was a year ago. The toughness and depth gaps between the Avs and the Los Angeles Kings, defending Stanley Cup champions, along with the Western Conference giant Anaheim Ducks, seem to have diminished.
Executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic, defensive assistant coach Adam Foote and newly signed right winger Jarome Iginla recently spoke about the improvements while trying to maintain their excitement about defending their Central Division title and making another step in the playoffs.
"Last year we were dealing with trying to win back the trust within the community and belief in the team, and this year is a different challenge," Sakic said. "We did so well last year, but (now) it's to improve and get to the next step, and obviously the next step is not to just make the playoffs — it's to improve in the playoffs."
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Once a settlement is 100 percent confirmed, the Avalanche, which periodically honors its alumni, should schedule a Steve Moore Night during the 2014-15 season.
Since Patrick Roy was hired as coach, he often has spoken of partnerships, including between the team and its fans. Moore played 12 games with the Avalanche in the final two seasons before Roy's retirement, and 57 more in 2003-04 with Joe Sakic still as his captain.
A Steve Moore Night would not just be for Moore. It would be for the fans who have booed Bertuzzi every time he touched the puck at the Pepsi Center the past 10 years. It would be for those who consider loyalty to the Avalanche to include remaining disgusted by what happened to Moore in Vancouver, and perhaps even disappointed by the franchise's responses since. In the aftermath, Moore and his family thanked Avalanche executive Pierre Lacroix and the team for their support, but moves since have been befuddling.
Those responses include the 2005 signing of ex-Canuck Brad May; Sakic's 2008 acknowledgment that he had been part of a group vacation trip with Bertuzzi, a 2006 Canadian Olympic teammate, and that he considered him a good guy who made a mistake; and continued public silence about Moore. That all contradicted the much-touted hockey tenet of all-for-one and one-for-all.
"I'll be a depth guy (with the Avs), hopefully they're looking at me as a role model-type, someone who takes care of himself off the ice."
"I'm still committed to doing the little things to keep me where I'm at, having a job in the best league in the world."
-Jesse Winchester of the Colorado Avalanche. More on Winchester from Todd Hambleton of the Cornwall Standard Freeholder.
DENVER – Colorado Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic issued the following statement today regarding the retirement of goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
"On behalf of the Colorado Avalanche, I would like to congratulate Jean-Sebastien on an outstanding hockey career. His achievements speak for themselves, from winning the Stanley Cup to winning the Conn Smythe, Jiggy was always a top-notch goaltender. He was also a very important part of our team during the past three seasons, providing veteran leadership and stability in net. We wish him and his family the best of luck."
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
Steve Moore's brother Mark says there is no deal between Steve and Todd Bertuzzi, a bombshell claim that casts doubt on claims made Wednesday by the NHL and Bertuzzi's lawyers that a settlement had been reached.
"I got a text message from Steve last night and he's very concerned," Mark Moore told TSN. "He says there is no deal yet and isn't sure what to do about all the media speculation.
"Because of the injury he has trouble making decisions and so he doesn't know how to handle the media."
Less than three weeks from the start of a lengthy civil trial and after eight years of litigation, former Colorado Avalanche Steve Moore has reached a settlement with Todd Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks, according to media reports.
Details of the settlement are not available, but Moore's lawyer, Tim Danson, confirmed an offer has been made and agreed to.
Moore’s had been seeking $68 million in damages, and the civil lawsuit was scheduled to begin on Sept. 8.
from Rick Sadowski at NHL.com,
Did the Avalanche do enough to improve their weakest link? -- Colorado's defense allowed 40-plus shots on goal in 10 games and between 35 and 39 shots in 18 others. The Avalanche added a much-needed physical presence in Brad Stuart, who was acquired from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft and a sixth-round selection in 2017. He'll be paired with Erik Johnson, whose 39 points matched a career high.
Colorado signed Zach Redmond to a two-year, $1.5 million contract, believing he has the potential to develop the way Nick Holden did last season. Holden, who played in seven NHL games in five previous professional seasons, blossomed into a top-four role. He played a physical style and had 10 goals and a plus-12 rating in 54 games. Redmond, 25, played in 18 games with the Winnipeg Jets in four years with the organization. The Avalanche have yet to re-sign restricted free agent Tyson Barrie, who is expected to be fully recovered from the knee injury he sustained in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Can Vezina Trophy finalist Semyon Varlamov build off last season, and will Reto Berra be a capable backup? -- Varlamov's work with goalie coach Francois Allaire worked wonders for his game and his confidence, and he should be entering the prime of his career at age 26. The Avalanche think so, having signed him to a five-year, $29.5 million contract extension that begins this season.
Berra, who replaces Jean-Sebastien Giguere as the No. 2 goalie, remains a question mark. He had an 0-1-1 record in two starts with a 5.83 goals-against average and .781 save percentage after the Avalanche acquired him March 5 from the Calgary Flames in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2014 draft. Colorado signed Berra to a three-year, $4.35 million contract and is hopeful Allaire's magic will pay off the way it did with Varlamov.
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,
The two sides were believed to be at least $3 million apart per season on a two-year deal at that point, and it doesn't appear that much progress has been made.
Asked this weekend if they were still far apart, one of the interested parties responded via text: "Hectares."
For those metric users, that's 10,000 square meters. For non-metric users, that's 2.47 acres. For those non-math types, that's a big ol' gap.
There are less than seven weeks before training camp begins on Sept. 18. Johansen has said he plans to return to Columbus in mid- to late August after spending the summer back home in British Columbia.
There is plenty of time for the two sides to get a deal done, but the dance goes on.
After caving on the his "term" demands -- Johansen initially wanted a four-year deal, calling a two- or three-year bridge contract a slap in the face -- one can surmise that Overhardt and Johansen are more dug-in on their salary demands.
from Luke Winkie of Extra Mustard at Sports Illustrated,
MIKE HAYNES, Colorado Avalanche
Listen to how excited this grown man gets when a player on the Colorado Avalanche beats up a player on the Chicago Blackhawks. I mean, it's Doug Gilmour so I get it BUT STIILL. I don’t know much about Mike Haynes, but what I do know is that he shouted “HOW YOU LIKE THEM APPLES” to an opposing hockey team. That will live on forever.
JACK EDWARDS, Boston Bruins
Look, we don’t want to harp on Boston too much, but it’s really hard to write a list about homer broadcasters without returning to Beantown fairly regularly. I love Jack Edwards, he’s got that old stony voice that tends to elevate the viciousness of hockey, and I love that he wages all-out verbal warfare against the Canadiens every time they play the Bruins. It's fairly clear that Jack Edwards likely has never met a French-Canadian he didn’t want to punch in the face.
read on for a video on each plus other non-hockey homer announcers....
thanks to Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated for the pointer
DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche announced today that the team has signed forward Ryan O’Reilly to a two-year contract through the 2015-16 season, avoiding arbitration.
"We are pleased to have Ryan under contract," said Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic. "We are looking at the upcoming training camp and season with a lot of excitement."
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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