Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
What a victory. The Wild never led til that final Niederreiter shot, it overcame a goal that probably should have been wiped out to open the game when Jamie McGinn was on top of Darcy Kuemper, it overcame a rollercoaster of emotions all game long. And it controlled play most the game. The Avs went through long stretches without chances, but as we have learned all series, it doesn’t take much for Colorado to bury one.
“I’m incredibly proud of our guys right now,” Yeo said. “This game in a lot of ways reflected the series, just continually having to battle, and battle back and deal with adversity and keep pushing forward. Obviously very proud.”
more on the game and watch the OT goal by Nino Niederreiter below...
added 8:49am, The second video below is Clayton Stoner of the Wild being mic'd up for the OT goal, goes through the handshake line and into the Wild dressing room...
Thankfully, no penalty on the play against the Wild...
Well what a night that was! Three Game Sevens and now we start the second round later today.
Before the second round starts let’s take a look at how we did predicting the first round.
Huge night for hockey fans out there! Kings, avs and rangers are my picks!— anthony brodeur (@abrodeur30) April 30, 2014
I will put my own predictions up to bat:
Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Welcome to the late late show!
Having three series extend to the full seven games it meant a lot of meaningful hockey last night and it all started at 7 p.m. EST and ended at …
So how did the teams do last night?
Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,
All Avalanche center Paul Stastny has riding on this game is $20 million. Or is it $30 million? And if an athlete refuses to choke on such immense pressure, doesn't he deserve to be richly rewarded?
This is Stastny's time to be a money player.
By its very definition, Game 7 of an NHL playoff series is a must win.
But nobody needs to beat the Minnesota Wild more than Stastny. He will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Who knows? If the Avs lose, Stastny could be wearing a Colorado sweater for the last time.
"You don't know. I don't know, either," Stastny said Tuesday. "Sometimes you think about it a little bit ..."
Here's the truth: During the final year of his contract, new Avalanche management needed to win over Stastny more than the veteran center needed to prove his worth. If not for a remarkable team turnaround, there would be little chance for Colorado to retain Stastny.
from the CP at TSN,
...Roy's reminding his youthful team of one simple thing: Enjoy the moment.
"How good is this?" Roy said. "They're excited about it and they should be. ... We're playing Game 7 in our building, in front of our fans."
In this series, home ice is a pretty big deal. All six games in this tightly contested matchup have been decided during the waning moments, with the home team capturing each one.
Wild coach Mike Yeo has a stirring pregame speech all prepared for just the occasion, a few well-chosen words to put into his players' ears before they hit the ice and hear the clamour of the crowd.
Care to share the highlights?
"Then it wouldn't be very inspirational," Yeo joked.
Minnesota will try to neutralize the noise with another sizzling start. The Wild have scored the first goal in four of the games.
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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