Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: colorado avalanche
One injury, two very differen takes. Again, via Pro Hockey Talk's Dhiren Mahibian, this time it's Arizona Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal hitting Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, and the Coyotes' announcers are more critical of the hit than the Avs' announcers:
Does Johnson leaning down on the follow-through of his shot = "Well Martin Hanzal is so strong..." and an unintentional elbow, well, shit happens?
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch discusses the outline for the NHL's general managers' meetings in Toronto on Tuesday and issues several trade rumors, but the thrust of his column involves the Colorado Avalanche's struggles:
The honeymoon is over for Patrick Roy in Denver. After an avalanche of success in his first season as head coach, Colorado has taken a step backwards and you have to think if his name wasn't Patrick Roy he would be getting a lot more heat.
Five points out of a playoff spot and sitting at No. 13 in the West, the tension is starting to grow after a horrible start by the Avs.
Last year, they averaged 16,295 at 41 home games. This year, the Avalanche rank No. 24 in the league at 15,088 through eight home games. Some believe the players are starting to squeeze their sticks.
NHL executives are waiting with baited breath to see if general manager Joe Sakic and Roy (who has a say in every move) get antsy and want to start dealing young players in an attempt to get immediate help.
They'd better be careful.
Garrioch also believes that the NHL's GM's meetings might lay the groundwork for trades in the case that the salary cap remains steady or goes down:
Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman had about 70 seconds' worth of time to issue their version of the Satellite Hotstove on Saturday's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast, but they sped-talked their way through the following topics:
1. Cox says questions were surrounding Kaberle-Rangers participation in Kaberle's skate in Toronto today as the New Jersey Devils have had Scott Gomez around for over a month, but he can't travel with them on the road as he's not under contract/can't be paid;
Kaberle is allowed to travel with the team, per an NHL memo, for about 10 days before the team has to sign him or let him go, so the Rangers have to make their decision in another 7 days.
2. Friedman reports that while Taylor Hall remains on the IR with a sprained knee, Hall can at least skate early next week, though his timeline has not changed;
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Tags: alex+ovechkin, chicago+blackhawks, colorado+avalanche, dmitry+kulikov, edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, luke+schenn, nathan+mackinnon, new+york+rangers, niklas+hjalmarsson, philadelphia+flyers, taylor+hall, tomas+kaberle, washington+capitals
There's been a significant amount of confusion regarding some Tweets made by former Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cory Sarich today, so the Avalanche issued a summary of Sarich's condition:
Sarich Recovering Following Cycling Accident
15-season NHL veteran planning to return
Veteran NHL defenceman Cory Sarich was injured in a cycling accident while training in Invermere, BC, on the morning of Monday, July 21, 2014. Sarich was struck by a motor vehicle and was airlifted to a hospital in Calgary, AB. He is in stable condition and his injuries are not considered life-threatening. The full extent of his injuries and the timeline for his recovery and return to the NHL is unclear.
You are probably familiar with the dynamics of the Joe Thornton situation (seems like the theory is, "Take the 'C' away, see if he waives the no-trade," as ESPN's Craig Custance reported), you are probably familiar with the dynamics of the Ryan Kesler trade (he says he's going to where deserves to be, and in Vancouver, it's, "Everybody thought he was a dick"), so:
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch pulled double-time in covering the Sens' picks, Jason Spezza's situation (what's so bad about a guy turning down a trade to a team that's on his no-trade list? Emo GM Bryan Murray will tell you) and positing a Sunday rumor column, and he addresses a situation we haven't necessarily talked about as of yet:
There has been a lot of controversy in Chicago over whether the Hawks have been trying to deal forward Patrick Sharp or not. While it was heavily denied by Sharp’s agent Rick Curran that his client was on the move, Sharp’s name has been popping up all over the place in trade talks. Several teams say he’s available, so it will be interesting to see if he’s still there when push comes to shove after this summer. The Hawks are already over the salary cap and will have to cut money somewhere.
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Tags: boston+bruins, chicago+blackhawks, chris+kelly, colorado+avalanche, joe+thornton, matt+niskanen, patrick+sharp, paul+stastny, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+kesler, san+jose+sharks, thomas+vanek, vancouver+canucks
TSN's posting double doses of Insider Trading videos due to the massive amount of pre-draft trade talk, and I should've known better than to simply post the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch's update on Jason Spezza's situation without looking for a rumor-related column on other Sun newspaper sites (the Ottawa Sun doesn't always post articles on his columnist page in a timely manner).
The Toronto Sun posted Garrioch's wining-and-dining update, and I need to say this out loud: while this summer's class of unrestricted free agents-to-be is particularly thin, I have the sinking feeling that we're going to see more classes like these--where second-line players and second-pair defensemen are the ones who hit the market and make top-player money, serving as the main source of player-value inflation (as yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika suggested).
The wining-and-dining period is great in terms of allowing teams to explain their expectations for players, and vice versa, but the number of offers these players are receiving over the course of consecutive days are driving up their asking prices considerably (of course, there are no numbers being exchanged ), and I really get the feeling that we're going to see Paul Stastny and Matt Niskanen become $7 million players come July 1st.
Anyway, here are Garrioch's updates regarding Stastny...
Mid-afternoon pre-draft round-up: on Kesler Watch, Vanek Watch, Board of Governors stuff and Stastny
Updated 3x at 4:24 PM: Amongst this afternoon's news from the Board of Governors' meetings and the Trade-and-wine-and-dine-a-palooza...
1. It's time for Kesler watch to kick into an even higher gear?
2. Thomas Vanek is in demand:
3. Sportsnet's Mark Spector reminded us that quite a bit of this draft-day-draft-pick-trade talk is...talk...
ESPN's Pierre LeBrun has filed a significant set of "rumblings." Among his insights, he reports that Dan Boyle and his agent, George Bazos, are drawing interest, with the soon-to-be-38-year-old Boyle insisting upon a two-year contract...
"It’s not to say that I can’t play any longer than that, but mentally and physically I’ve committed myself to two years. I feel great right now," Boyle said. "The only thing I know for sure is that I have two very good years left in me and then I can see after that."
While neither Boyle nor Bazos would divulge which teams had already shown interest, other sources around the league confirmed Toronto, Detroit and the New York Rangers were among the several teams that have shown interest in Boyle.
One source described the Maple Leafs' interest as "serious." And the Rangers are also very interested, especially pending the outcome of talks with UFA D-man Anton Stralman.
LeBrun also reports that Paul Stastny's testing the market, as it were...
"Paul’s first choice is to re-sign in Colorado but we’ll listen to what teams have to say and make an informed decision," [agent Matt] Keator told ESPN.com on Wednesday morning.
According to a source, the St. Louis Blues were among the many teams that reached out to the Stastny camp. Given the Blues’ pursuit of Jason Spezza, getting Stastny instead would be a cheaper acquisition in terms of not having to give up assets to get him.
And LeBrun continues, discussing the Panthers' desire to possibly deal the #1 overall pick and Brian Gionta's negotiations with Montreal.
Via Chris Nichols (you should be reading him and following him on Twitter), the Denver Post's Adrian Dater reports that unrestricted free agent-to-be Paul Stastny is going to do what the vast majority of the unrestricted free agents-to-be will do: he's going to listen to other teams' offers during the "wining and dining" period:
I talked with Joe Sakic late tonight. His update on Paul Stastny is this: he met with Matt Keator, Paul Stastny’s agent today in Las Vegas.
The news is mixed: Stastny wants to “see what’s out there”, Sakic reports. So, we are officially entering into the period where teams are free to call Stastny and Keator and put on the full-court press. BUT, as I reported yesterday: essentially Stastny/Keator have made a vow to Sakic and the Avs: that they will circle back Colorado and give them the right of first refusal to keep him.
The Avs will then be faced with the decision to either come up on their existing offer for him (Sakic won’t say exactly what it is, but it’s safe to say it’s between $5 million and $6 million per year) or let him go. It’s dangerous territory for sure. Some team can just make some blowout offer to him for god knows how much money and it might be too good to pass up.
But, Sakic said the talks with Keator were “good.” So, hey, sounds like absolutely anything can happen still and it’s going to be an interesting few days.
After capturing the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's best coach (as judged by the NHL's Broadcasters' Association), Patrick Roy spoke with NHL.com's Shawn Roarke about his honor:
For his part, Roy admitted some surprise in being at the NHL Awards again. He figured once he walked away from the game as a player, his trips to the end-of-season gala had ended as well. So, when the opportunity came to go to the 2014 edition with a chance to claim another honor, Roy embraced it for all it was worth.
"I was trying to not expect anything from it to be honest," Roy said of whether he thought he would win. "I understood that I was against coaches [who] had outstanding years, and that's exactly what John and Mike have done with their teams. Being here was probably the thing I was very excited about. When I retired, I never thought it would be possible. It's fun to see it happening."
Now, though, he has a Jack Adams Award to add to all the other individual awards Roy won during a playing career that landed him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. But he says he can't compare winning something as a player to winning a different award as a coach.
"When you are a player, you always focus on team goals, and at the end if you are up for the Vezina [Trophy] or the Jennings [Trophy] or winning a Stanley Cup or a Conn Smythe, you are happy. All year, we focused on one day at a time. All year, we focused on partnership, trust and respect. That is what I prefer thinking of [rather] than saying is it more important to win the Jack Adams or a Vezina or a Conn Smythe Trophy. I'm proud of everything I have been doing as a player and now I am very happy to be in this position."
From the NHL:
NHL ANNOUNCES 2013-14 ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
NEW YORK (June 24, 2014) -- The National Hockey League today announced the 2013-14 NHL All-Rookie Team, including the three players named as finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the League’s top rookie: forwards Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche.
Also named to the All-Rookie Team are two members of the Anaheim Ducks, goaltender Frederik Andersen and defenseman Hampus Lindholm, and Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug.
Voting was conducted by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association at the end of the regular season. Following is a summary of each NHL All-Rookie Team member’s outstanding season:
From the NHL:
NHL ANNOUNCES 2013-14 ALL-STAR TEAMS
LAS VEGAS (June 24, 2014) -- Center Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and defenseman Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins, who each earned his third career berth on the First All-Star Team, head the list of players voted to the 2013-14 National Hockey League postseason All-Star Teams. Crosby received First Team honors for the second consecutive season, while Chara earned a spot on the First Team for the first time since 2008-09.
Joining Crosby and Chara are two second-time selections to the First Team, right wing Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks and defenseman Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks. The squad also features two first-time recipients, left wing Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars and goaltender Tuukka Rask of the Bruins.
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Tags: alex+ovechkin, alex+pietrangelo, anaheim+ducks, boston+bruins, boston+bruins., chicago+blackhawks, colorado+avalanche, corey+perry, dallas+stars, duncan+keith, jamie+benn, joe+pavelski, nashville+predators, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+getzlaf, san+jose+sharks, semyon+varlamov, shea+weber, sidney+crosby, st.+louis+blues, washington+capitals, zdeno+chara
The Toronto Star's Kevin McGran penned a fine summary of today's events surrounding the Hockey Hall of Fame's 2014 induction class...
When the 2014 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees are announced on Monday afternoon (TSN, 3 p.m.), it could be the first time in history that no Canadian player is on the list.
There are some obvious first-time candidates — stars who haven’t played pro in three seasons — who should be shoo-ins: American forward Mike Modano, Czech goalie Dominik Hasek and Swedish centre Peter Forsberg.
There are Canadians worthy of consideration for the first time — defenceman Adam Foote and winger Mark Recchi — and many who have been eligible before but didn’t make it: Eric Lindros, Paul Henderson, Rob Blake, Theoren Fleury, Paul Kariya and Dave Andreychuk.
At most, the hall can induct four retired male players and two females. Coaches, general managers and owners can also enter as builders. There is no limit, but it’s typically one a year.
And while McGran continues with a, "What shall we do if there are no Canadians are inducted? Is that bad for Canada" theory, the Glibe and Mail's James Mirtle suggests that the Hall's Selection Committee (whose machinations remain secret) should induct Forsberg's long-time competitor for the "most dominant forward of the late 90's" award in Eric Lindros:
The New York Rangers' salary structure is quite top-heavy, so both the Rangers' beat writers and those following the team from afar have suggested that the Rangers will have to use a cap-compliance buyout on either Rick Nash or Brad Richards.
The combination of Brad Richards' resurgence under Alain Vigneault (to the tune of 51 points for his Capgeek-listed $6.67 million cap hit) and Rick Nash's struggles (39 points in 63 games and a no-show come playoff time for a cap hit of $7.8 million) have those in the know suggesting that Nash is the odd man out.
This morning, the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson wonders where Nash's game went given that the 6'4," 213-pound winger's become a perimeter player in the first of three "Hockey World" columns:
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Tags: adam+oates, alex+tanguay, antti+niemi, barry+trotz, brad+richards, colorado+avalanche, marian+hossa, new+york+rangers, paul+holmgren, philadelphia+flyers, rick+nash, ryan+miller, san+jose+sharks, scotty+bowman
Matheson discusses Ray Whitney’s future, Lecavalier as a buyout candidate and shares Bowman thoughts
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson discusses a wide range of topics over the course of three Hockey World articles, pondering the fate of 42-year-old Ray Whitney, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer...
“I’ll be 42 years old and there won’t be a lot of people banging down the doors,” he said.
If it’s not the right location, like a Western Conference team — his family plans on staying in the desert this winter, Whitney might retire. He’ll be in management someday, if he wants to dive it into as Todd Marchant has done in Anaheim, Calif., where he’s head of player development for the Ducks.
“It was not a great year … I’m not sure there are a whole lot of options out there,” Whitney admitted. “The legs are still there, but it’s nearly impossible to get the legs moving when you’re over 40 and playing eight to 10 minutes and only on the power play. After the first 10 games, I was on the second line, but the last three or four months, it was the fourth. They went with youth and they do have some good kids. I can’t deny that.”
Wondering whether the Flyers will buy out Vincent Lecavalier after signing him to a 5-year deal that's become a millstone...
From the NHL:
NEW YORK (April 29, 2014) – The National Hockey League today announced updated start time information for the First Round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
- The starting time for a potential Game 7 of the series between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, if necessary, has been set for 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 30, in New York. In the U.S., the game would be seen on NBCSN, MSG and CSN Philadelphia. In Canada, the game would be televised on TSN and RDSI.
- The starting time for Game 7 of the series between the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild has been set for 9:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. CT/7:30 p.m. MT on Wednesday, April 30, in Colorado. In the U.S. outside of the Colorado and Minnesota markets, the game will be seen on CNBC. In Canada, the game will be on TSN and RDS2.
- The starting time for Game 7 of the series between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings has been set for 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Wednesday, April 30, in San Jose. In the U.S., the game will be televised on NBCSN outside of the San Jose and Los Angeles markets. In Canada, the game will be televised on CBC and RDS.
Multiple reports from the Avs and Sportsnet's John Shannon confirm that Barrie's out for 4-6 weeks (i.e. for the season) with a sprained MCL. And Stephane Robidas went to the hospital after Ryan Garbutt's knee broke Robidas' leg...Garbutt stayed in the game and scored a goal.
Updating Monica's post:
I guess we can only hope for so long before Matt Cooke does what Matt Cooke does, per USA Today's Kevin Allen:
Key Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie left Monday's game after absorbing a knee-on-knee hit from the Minnesota Wild's Matt Cooke.
Barrie grabbed his knee after spilling to the ice and was unable to put any pressure on his left leg as he went straight to the dressing room.
The Avalanche announced that he wouldn't return to the game.
Cooke received a two-minute penalty for kneeing.
From SomeHockeyVideos, Ray Ferraro, on the TSN broadcast, told Gord Miller that Barrie said, "I'm done" as he skated by the bench:
At the end of the Anaheim Ducks' regular-season-ending 3-2 overtime win over the Colorado Avalanche, Teemu Selanne took a victory lap--and he shared part of it with former Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who's also retiring after this season:
It's not a late-season game without a dirty hit or two, so Stephane Quintal and the Shanahan-less Department of Player Safety might want to look at a hit which occurred during the Colorado Avalanche's 5-1 loss to San Jose:
Tyson Barrie took a hard hit from Jason Demers, and the Denver Post's Terry Frei reports that the shoulder-to-head hit yielded...The kind of injury update you'd expect from Patrick Roy's playoff-bound team:
Patrick Roy was not happy after his Colorado Avalanche defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-0 on Saturday--during what was part of a much larger and nastier set of scraps between the two teams (as Puck Daddy's Jen Neale notes)...
Here's the hit in question--and, uh, Roy...Has a point?
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's Hockey World mega-column's been chopped into 4 bite-size blog entries, and this week, he has a conversation with Nashville Predators GM David Poile, he suggests that the Oilers ought to draft Leon Draisaitl over Aaron Eklbad at the 2014 draft, and amongst his "This 'n' that" notes...
Ted Nolan will likely be getting a three-year contract from the Buffalo Sabres when they return from their Western Conference road swing, which earns a two-thumbs up from Drew Stafford. “He’s a great motivator; he’s extremely simple on his philosophies,” said Stafford, who has been in Buffalo for eight seasons. “He tells us, ‘Look what you get to do for a living … it’s a special opportunity, don’t take it for granted. Show up and compete for a couple of hours.”
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Tags: boston+bruins, buffalo+sabres, cam+ward, carolina+hurricanes, colorado+avalanche, craig+berube, dennis+seidenberg, detroit+red+wings, gustav+nyquist, patrick+roy, philadelphia+flyers, ted+nolan, ville+leino, wayne+simmonds
On Tuesday evening, Patrick Roy will officially coach against the Montreal Canadiens for the first time, and ahead of the reunion, Roy spoke with TSN's Michael Farber for 10 minutes, reflecting upon the ups and downs of his tenure with the Canadiens and his contentious split from the team. TSN transcribed some of the highlights thereof:
Farber asked Roy if the raising of his number to the rafters put his difficult exit from Montreal behind him.
"I have to say yes it did, but for me it was before that," explained Roy. "When I retired I was already in peace in what happened in Montreal, and when Pierre Boivin and Bob Gainey came over to my house and talked about retiring my jersey and start talking to me, (asking) how do you feel...I said I'm already in peace, I've already moved on. I understand that hockey is a business, I made a mistake, and I'm sure on the other side they felt like they made a mistake as well. But at the end I'm not there to judge. I was so happy to get back into the Canadiens family."
Before we get started with this the morning after skate this morning take a moment to reflect upon those that have served your country – no matter where you call home. Without those whom came before we would not be here today.
Now - Welcome to the morning after! A recap of the games from the night before and quick hit hockey news.
In Case You Missed It
New York Islanders at Montreal Canadiens
Power Play goal all around in the Bell Center last night.
The opening goal of the game came just shy of the two minute mark in the second period as Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher would give the home team the early lead.
It would be a holding call to Canadiens Francis Bouillon for holding that would give the Islanders their second power play of the period, this one leading to a slap shot goal from Pierre-Marc Bouchard to tie the game.
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's posted at least half of his weekly Hockey World articles on his blog page (I believe that he's still working on "Ask Matty" as I'm posting this, and I don't see any "Short Shifts" yet).
Especially given a) the fact that Don Cherry decided to suggest that John Scott and Cody McLeod require the sympathy of fans who don't understand "their role" or their obligation to "make a difference" and b) the endless suggestions that it's up to players and only players to police themselves when Sportsnet's John Shannon so wisely suggested that coaches, GM's and owners also share responsibility for employing players in "punishing" roles (we tend to forget that both players, coaches, GM's and owners are generally concerned about their team's well-being and competitive interests ahead of safe working environments)...
It's refreshing to hear now-NHL Department of Player Safety employee Rob Blake tell Matheson that there's a significant amount of push-back from teams when players are facing Sheriff Shanny's Wheel of Justice:
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Tags: buffalo+sabres, calgary+flames, colorado+avalanche, department+of+player+safety, jiri+hudler, john+scott, magnus+paajarvi, matt+duchene, rob+blake, st.+louis+blues
Welcome to the morning after! A recap of the games from the night before and quick hit hockey news.
In Case You Missed It
Toronto Maple Leafs at Philadelphia Flyers
After defeating the Montreal Canadiens last night the Maple Leafs traveled to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers.
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Tags: anaheim+ducks, buffalo+sabres, colorado+avalanche, detroit+red+wings, jokerit, patrick+roy, pavel+datsyuk, phil+kessel, philadelphia+flyers, tomas+vokoun, toronto+maples+leafs
Oh dear, it looks like Patrick Roy is indeed back in the NHL, and he had a wee tiff with Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau at the end of the Colorado Avalanche's 6-1 win over Anaheim:
Why was he upset?
October is finally here! Pumpkin spice everything is returning everywhere and hockey is back! No lockout (other than the US Government) and NHL games that matter in October. Every morning here on Kukla's Korner (well the main page at least until my own little spot has been carved out and is ready) I will give you a recap as to the games that happened last night (in some cases while you were sleeping), some highlights on hockey news, and end with a line up as to who will be playing tonight.
In case you missed it
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Tags: anaheim+ducks, buffalo+sabres, chicago+blackhawks, colorado+avalanche, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, montreal+canadiens, nhl+recap, oilers+assistant+captains+2013-14, philadelphia+flyers, stanley+cup+banner+2013, tampa+bay+lightning+captain, toronto+maples+leafs, washington+captials, winnipeg+jets
Like everyone else here at Kuklaskorner, I wish I had something of a lighter nature to talk about today. This summer has been filled with death, and having to write another post about former players passing away so soon after my Wade Belak post is extra tough. I hoped that would be the only piece I’d have to write about a player death in a good long while. I certainly wasn’t expecting to find myself by my computer ten days later, trying to find another way to put my thoughts into words about a tragedy that has stunned the entire hockey world. But here goes.
I remember when princess Diana died, and where I was at the time. I was sitting in my younger brothers room, playing NHL 96 on SNES, when my father came in and said “turn it off and check the news, there’s been an accident and you need to see this”.
I also remember where I was when I heard that Michael Jackson had died. In bed, sleeping. My girlfriend who had just left for work called me and woke me up with the news.
From Terry Frei at ESPN,
Just when you think it’s safe (or advisable) to write off Theodore… He rallies.
Just when you think it’s time to say he’s got his groove back… He falters.
That’s not all that dissimilar to the pattern of his tenure with the Canadiens, but now he’s a 31-year-old goalie trying to save his career.
The guy has more goaltending lives than Felix “The Cat” Potvin.
From the CP via TSN,
The Colorado Avalanche activated forward Ian Laperriere from the injured reserve list Wednesday. He missed nine games after suffering a knee injury during a game on Nov. 11 against Minnesota.
*numerous other Avalanche players are still having injury/illness issues however, including Joe Sakic
from Adrian Dater at the Denver Post,
A little birdie told me the Avs had scouts at the Penguins-Senators game the other night, so start your trade rumors from those locations.
Personally, I think the Avs might be considering getting Marc-Andre Fleury, the former first-round goalie pick who hasn’t been that great for the Pens. But that’s just a hunch, not based on big word of mouth. John-Michael Liles could be part of that mix, but again, just a hunch.
from the Denver Post,
Arnason is just one of several Avalanche forwards hoping to bust out of a slump. Joe Sakic hasn’t scored in 10 games, former Oiler Ryan Smyth hasn’t scored in four straight and has one goal in his past nine, and Paul Stastny is scoreless in his past four games.
“I don’t want to just look to Arnie for contributions in Edmonton, but he really does seem to have the special touch when we play them,” Avs coach Joel Quenneville said. “Whether it’s Arnie or someone else, we need more production than, obviously, the one goal a game.”
Just thought you’d like to know that Adrian Dater of the Denver Post is…
absolutely amazed at the size of Ray Bourque’s thighs.
from the Denver Post,
Nobody with the Avalanche is getting self-satisfied right now, however. Not making the playoffs for the first time since 1994 still stings for many longtime personnel, and there are 65 more games needed to prove the Avs are playoff worthy this season.
But the Avs feel they have a solid foundation in place for another possible long succession of playoff runs. Not only do they have one of the brightest young stars in the league in Stastny, but youngsters such as Wolski, Liles, Peter Budaj and Marek Svatos already have had NHL success. Add veterans such as Sakic, Milan Hejduk, Andrew Brunette, Ian Laperriere and free-agent newcomers Ryan Smyth and Scott Hannan, and the Avs again have one of the deepest teams in the league.
from All Things Avs by Adrian Dater,
- Calgary is going to implode soon. I’ve talked to a few former Flames and they say there is just plain bad chemistry in their locker room. I don’t see Mike Keenan changing that much.
- Edmonton is terrible. Dustin Penner is a nice player, but Kevin Lowe grossly overpaid for him, in his retaliation move against Brian Burke and the Ducks over Chris Pronger.
more NHL bits plus Adrian wonders where are all the Avs fans?
From Jim Morris at the CP (via Yahoo)
But won’t it be special to become only the 11th player in league history to reach 1,000 assists?
“We’ll see when we get there I guess,” Sakic said after a pause. “Not that many players have gotten to that. It would be a tremendous honour, obviously. I haven’t thought too much about it.”
From some players the false modestly would sound contrived. But from Sakic the words sound as honest as the work ethic he delivers each night.
more… about Sakic and the team
from the Denver Post,
Colorado takes a 10-5 record into tonight’s game at Vancouver, with Budaj having six of the wins to the four for Theodore, tonight’s starter. The two have alternated starts the past six games and, while Quenne- ville said the rotation might not stay equal for various reasons, he sees no reason to change things now.
“I just think both guys are playing pretty well, and keep ‘em both playing,” Quenneville said. “I think it’s competitive among the two of them. I think it’s healthy, but I think there’s a genuine sincerity that the other guy does well. Both guys had an opportunity to get the net at the start of the year, and they’re both doing what we were hoping they’d do.”
from Woody Paige at the Denver Post,
Then there was The Great One. Now it’s The Great, Too.
In their first visits to Denver, the Prodigy Boys scored two goals.
Each. Almost 28 years and 1.8 miles apart.
Sidney Crosby scored two goals in the first period last night at The Can.
But Wayne Gretzky scored two goals and added an assist last millennium at Big Mac.
Score two for the local teams, though.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
It’s hard to decide who is better in front of the goal crease—Detroit’s Tomas Holmstrom or Colorado’s Ryan Smyth.
Both grinders make their livings in the high-traffic areas where collisions abound and tempers flare, with goalies and defencemen trying in vain to move them.
“They’re the best in the world at it,” said Detroit general manager Ken Holland.
From Mike Chambers at the Denver Post,
Joe Sakic, the only remaining player to have competed for the Avalanche franchise when it was in Quebec, was a Nordique the last time the franchise began 5-0 at home.
That would be 13 years ago, and that’s where the Avs stand after riding Sakic’s two assists and Peter Budaj’s 21 saves in a 3-1 victory Sunday over the Minnesota Wild at the Pepsi Center.
from the Denver Post,
Avs coach Joel Quenneville just wants Jillson to provide sound puck judgment in his own end and provide something of a physical presence.
“Organizationally, he provided us with some depth right off the bat, and we got exposed early, losing a couple guys,” Quenneville said. “He’s got some experience, and I think he’s still looking to carve that niche where he’s a regular defenseman. Right now, we’re thin and hopefully he can get a chance to get some games in there and move up.”
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
If you’re a hockey fan in the good ol’ USA, life can be pretty frustrating. (You already knew that, didn’t you?)
The latest example of that frustration came Tuesday night. I was eager to see Ryan Smyth’s return to Edmonton. In particular, I wanted to see the crowd reaction when he skated onto the ice as a member of the visiting Avalanche and I wanted to see the Oilers’ video tribute to their former star.
I didn’t get to see any of that.
*and if you missed a previous KK post, you can see part of the Smyth ceremony here...
From the CP,
Ryan Smyth, the former Edmonton Oiler, made good on his prediction Tuesday just before he faced off for the first time against his old team since his shocking trade eight months ago.
The mullet-haired left winger, now with the Colorado Avalanche, became teary-eyed as he lined up in pre-game ceremonies, watched a one-minute video tribute of his 11 seasons with the copper and blue, and received a 30-second standing ovation from the 16,839 fans at Rexall Place.
It wasn’t a weeper to rival the saddest of sports sob stories, “Brian’s Song,” but it had its moments.
Updated 3:30am ET:
Smyth’s comments in the Denver Post:
“It was a nice tribute to me and my family by (the Oilers). It’s quite an honor to come back to the city where you started your NHL career and be recognized like I was tonight,” said Smyth, who went scoreless in the game. “The fans were great to me, and I really appreciate that.”
added 5:53am by Paul, The first 55 seconds or so of the video (below) shows the ovation Smyth received from the Oilers fans.
Update 1:41pm ET: More commentary from John MacKinnon at The Edmonton Journal.
John Buccigross at ESPN ponders 10 stories from the past week:
4. It’s just a fantasy, it’s not the real thing
Good exchange between Joe Sakic and The Denver Post’s Adrian Dater:
Question from Dater: Do you ever hear from fantasy hockey team owners with stuff like, “You cost me a win last week” or “You won me 300 bucks”?
Answer from Sakic: Yeah, you hear from ‘em. I actually have one friend who traded me last year. He told me, too. He was like, “Sorry, had to trade you, bud.”
more… highlighted stories from Buccigross
From Adrian Dater at the Denver Post
Joe Sakic has helped give Coloradans two Stanley Cups since 1996. More important, however, Sakic and his wife, Debbie, have helped serve 8,581,248 meals to hungry people in the state since 1998. That is the exact number, according to Food Bank of the Rockies official Kristina Cordova, with the promise of many more to come.
For that and many other reasons, Sakic on Monday was given the ninth annual NHL Foundation Player Award, for recognition of his commitment and service to charities in his community. In recognition, the NHL will present a $25,000 check tonight, before the Avalanche’s game with the Calgary Flames at the Pepsi Center, to the pediatrics oncology unit at Children’s Hospital.
“Joe is probably the most sincere person I’ve ever met in my life,” Cordova said. “He’s very involved with us. He’s always asking about ways to do more. He’s always saying, ‘We’ve got to do it for the kids.’ He and Debbie have just done so much for this community. People don’t know.”
from the Rocky Mountain News,
Six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, Avalanche goalie Jose Theodore will make his regular- season debut tonight.
He will start against the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center in a game that could set the tone for the kind of season it will be for him and for the Avalanche.
“It’s good to be back in,” he said Thursday. “It was a long rehab, but it’s fun to get the start. I’m anxious to get out there and help the team.”
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
Even the Avalanche, Stastny and his family projected him to at least start last season in the minors. But Steve Konowalchuk’s career-ending heart irregularity, among other things, opened up a roster spot. And Stastny quickly took advantage of it.
“I try to consider myself a playmaker,” Stastny said. “Those are genes that come from your dad and your family, and I have some of those genes for things that can’t be taught. Playing with better players makes it that much easier for me. If this were only an individual game, I’d be in big trouble, I think. When you’re playing with smart players like this, they’re reading what you’re reading and you know what they’re thinking. It makes it that much more of a simple game.”
From Rick Sadowski at the Rocky Mountain News,
“The rest is up to the coach. I’m just waiting for my start, my chance. There’s no pain - everything is feeling really good. I feel as strong as ever. It was hot in the building, too, so I could test my conditioning. I wanted to make sure that, when I play here, I was ready.”
Theodore skated for about a week before training camp when he felt pain in his knee. A magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed a tear under the kneecap, and he underwent arthroscopic surgery Aug. 29.
It was an unexpected setback for Theodore, coming off a 13-15-1 season and begins 2007-08 as Peter Budaj’s backup with plenty to prove in the final year of a contract that pays him $6 million.
From the press conference call held earlier today with the Colorado Avalanche’s Paul Stastny —one of the NHL’s Stars of the Week.
Q. It’s always hard to predict how a young player coming out of U.S. college makes the adjustment to the NHL. Some take a long time and some take a very short period of time. Can you pinpoint why there doesn’t seem to have been the steep learning curve that some young players have had, why it seems to have gone so relatively smoothly for you? PAUL STASTNY: I don’t know if it was quick. But I was in college for two years. And so when I came up, I was already 20, 21. Pretty mature for my age, and it was easier for me, maybe because I was a little smarter. Some of the things you can’t teach I got from my dad. Playing with better players I think makes it a lot easier for me, just knowing that you can give and go. They think the way I do and it makes it that much easier.