Avalanche

Trading places: Avalanche’s Alex Kerfoot wanted to be where Will Butcher did not
Harvard-educated Alex Kerfoot is to the Avalanche what the team could not get from the University of Denver’s Will Butcher. Kerfoot, like Butcher, captained his team to the NCAA Frozen Four as a senior in April, and both graduates used a college-hockey loophole to spurn the team that drafted them to become an unrestricted free agent Aug. 16. Kerfoot signed with Colorado on Aug. 23 and Butcher chose the New Jersey Devils on Aug. 28. Basically, the Avs and Devils unofficially traded draft picks. After all, New Jersey selected Kerfoot, a forward, in the fifth round of the 2012 draft and the Avalanche took Butcher, a defenseman, in the fifth round of 2013. After the Avalanche opened rookie camp Friday, Kerfoot — who had a team-high 45 points in 36 games as a Harvard senior — explained what he saw in Colorado that Butcher might have missed, while noting the two players play different positions, so individual opportunity aren’t the same. “I’m excited with where Joe Sakic wants to take this organization, building with a young group of guys,” Kerfoot said of the Avalanche general manager. “I want to be part of that. There is opportunity here. The Devils treated me really well and I think I fostered some pretty good relationships with (GM) Ray Shero and (assistant GM) Tom Fitzgerald and some of their development staff. It was a really tough decision for me. I think it just came down to the opportunity with them this year. I thought it would be tough to crack their lineup in the near future and I decided to test free agency. I was just really excited when I met with Colorado.” The Avs have 13 veteran forwards under contract, including rookies J.T. Compher and Tyson Jost and second-year player Mikko Rantanen in their two-way, entry-level contracts. Kerfoot played on a line with Compher and Jost on Friday and they, along with A.J. Greer and Dominic Toninato, are considered Colorado’s top young forward prospects. Coach Jared Bednar will carry 13 or 14 forwards on the opening-night roster, so Kerfoot’s immediate opportunity with the Avalanche could be with its American Hockey League affiliate in San Antonio. But center Matt Duchene remains on the trade block, meaning a spot for Kerfoot and/or others could develop. Related ArticlesSeptember 8, 2017 Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov moving with the cat-like quickness after second hip surgery September 7, 2017 Avalanche’s Mikko Rantanen, 20, already an established NHL player September 6, 2017 From a tryout contract, Jared Cowen hopes to add experience to Avalanche D-corps September 6, 2017 Lunch Special: Can Semyon Varlamov regain his top form for the Avalanche? September 5, 2017 Matt Duchene absent from first Avalanche captain’s practice “I don’t know exactly how the season is going to start off but I’m looking forward to it and I think I have a good chance to develop here,” Kerfoot said. Sakic has also signed defenseman Gage Ausmus to an amateur tryout contract. Ausmus was North Dakota’s captain the last two years, including his junior year of 2015-16 when the Fighting Hawks won the NCAA championship. “It’s just a testimony to what college hockey is developing their players into and pushing them to the next level,” Jost said Friday. “Kerfoot and Toninato, those are two huge signings for us. There’s a lot of leadership in this dressing room and it’s something the staff said right away — they could sense a lot of leadership and we were one of the more talkative groups.” Kerfoot thinks Sakic is building the team in his own image. “If you ever talk to him, he’s that type of guy. He’s all about character,” Kerfoot said. “You look around the room and see a lot of leaders here. Good teams start with good people and it seems he’s doing a really good job with that.” Footnote. The Avalanche rookies were scheduled to travel to San Jose, Calif., Friday afternoon and prepare for a rookie showcase against their peers from the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, and Arizona Coyotes through Monday. [...]
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Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov moving with the cat-like quickness after second hip surgery
Six months after his second hip surgery, Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov was moving with the cat-like quickness that won him a franchise-record 41 games in 2013-14. It was just an informal captain’s practice last week at Family Sports Center, but Varlamov was challenging shooters with authority. He was turning away pucks like the “Varly” of old. “I’m feeling good,” Varlamov said after a players-only skate, more than a week before veterans are scheduled to report for training camp. It’s too early to suggest Varlamov will return to the goalie that broke Patrick Roy‘s single-season wins record to lead the Roy-coached Avs to that magical 112-point season. But it’s safe to assume Varlamov won’t have to deal with the groin issues that sidelined him in each of the last three seasons. He was limited to just 24 games last season before going on the long-term injury list. “He looks like he’s in a good mood, and I like Varly in a good mood,” Avs captain Gabe Landeskog said Friday. “You look at 2013-14, a lot of us want to get back to the way we played that year. Varly can get there. We want a healthy Varly, a Varly who can steal games for us. But we know there’s more to it than that. We know we can play good team defense in front of him.” Varlamov’s hip surgeries — one on the right, one on the left, four weeks apart — are expected to eliminate his groin issues. They were performed by Dr. Marc Philippon in Vail at the end of January and the end of February. Varlamov, 29, resumed skating with full pads and taking shots in mid-July. “At the beginning when I started skating, I was pretty uncomfortable. The surgeries were kind of tough; you have to learn again how to skate,” Varlamov said. “But I feel confident about it now. I’m sure all the injuries are behind me and I’m looking forward to have a really good, solid, healthy season. It’s been a tough stretch for me, the last six months. Lots of rehab going on. But I’m blessed to have a really good team — doctors and physical therapists who work with me. They’ve done a tremendous job for me. I feel good on the ice.” Related ArticlesSeptember 8, 2017 Trading places: Avalanche’s Alex Kerfoot wanted to be where Will Butcher did not September 7, 2017 Avalanche’s Mikko Rantanen, 20, already an established NHL player September 6, 2017 From a tryout contract, Jared Cowen hopes to add experience to Avalanche D-corps September 6, 2017 Lunch Special: Can Semyon Varlamov regain his top form for the Avalanche? September 5, 2017 Matt Duchene absent from first Avalanche captain’s practice During Varlamov’s recovery, the Avs made changes to their coaching staff, and one of them was replacing goaltending expert Francois Allaire with Jussi Parkkila, whom Varlamov worked with in the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia as a teenager. Also, Colorado signed backup goalie Jonathan Bernier to replace Calvin Pickard, who was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. Bernier, 29, was selected 11th overall in the 2006 draft — 13 spots ahead of Varlamov. Regarding Parkkila, Varlamov said: “We worked together in KHL a long time ago — 2006-07 — the last season before I came to the United States. When we worked together we had success. I’m glad he’s here. He’s going to help me and Jonathan, for sure.” Varlamov’s 3.38 goals-against average and .898 save percentage last season were career lows. But everyone on the team struggled. “Last year was last year. It was a long season for us,” Varlamov said. “It was very frustrating to watch the way we played. But it’s history. We don’t want to think about it anymore. We move on. Everybody is regrouped — everybody had enough time to recharge the batteries. I’m sure everybody is excited about a new season.”   [...]
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Florida Panthers evacuating players, staff out of Hurricane Irma’s path
By George Richards, The Miami Herald A number of Florida Panthers players have been in South Florida preparing for their upcoming season. On Friday, a good many of them will jet out of the path of a Category 5 hurricane. The Panthers chartered a plane to shuttle players, staff members and their families to Boston. The team is paying for the flight and could open training camp in Springfield, Mass., next week depending on the extent of the damage in and around Broward County. A group of about 80 will depart Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Friday morning. Players, coaching staff and hockey operations are part of the traveling party. “We have the facilities in Springfield and could start camp there if we had to,” said team CEO Matthew Caldwell, who plans on riding out the storm at the arena. “We hope this is just a couple days up in Massachusetts and a flight home. But we don’t know what’s going to happen, don’t know what we will sustain.” “We have a good mix of players going up there and they’ll have great facilities in Boston. Hopefully everything works out here and we can fly them back in a few days.” NHL players such as Vincent Trocheck, Sasha Barkov, Derek MacKenzie and Roberto Luongo are among those who are planning to take the Panthers up on their offer to evacuate the Sunshine State on the team charter. Younger players who came to town in advance of next week’s rookie tournament will also hop on the jet to New England. The rookie tournament, which was to be held on Florida’s west coast in Estero, was canceled on Wednesday. Keith Yandle, who is from the Boston area, secured his own flight to Massachusetts and will meet his teammates there and coordinate workouts and such. Scary time in south Florida. @FlaPanthers Lucky to have Vinnie and @Dougielarge look out for us and get us to safety. Thank you! Be safe all — VT3 (@trocheck_89) September 6, 2017 “We had some of our younger players come in — a few of which are from Europe — and basically get stranded here with the storm coming,” Caldwell said. “For many of them, this would be the first hurricane for them. Guys are very thankful to (owner Vinnie Viola) for doing this. They are all reaching out.” The Panthers were the team hardest hit by the last big hurricane to hit South Florida in 2005 when Wilma struck. Although the team itself was on a road trip when Wilma came in from the west and hammered Broward County, the Panthers suffered major damage to their training facility in Coral Springs as well to their arena in Sunrise. Related ArticlesSeptember 7, 2017 Avalanche’s Mikko Rantanen, 20, already an established NHL player August 30, 2017 Shane Doan, Arizona Coyotes captain, retires after 21 years in NHL August 29, 2017 Avalanche signs defenseman Jared Cowen to tryout contract August 28, 2017 Will Butcher, former DU star, believes he is ready to play for Devils right now August 27, 2017 Will Butcher, Hobey Baker Award winner from DU, signs with New Jersey Devils The Panthers have already canceled all youth hockey events at the IceDen in Coral Springs as well have closed up shop at BB&T Center. The arena, as it has in the past, will serve as a staging area for emergency equipment. As for Caldwell, he and a few members of his staff will be on site during the storm in case anything happens. “I think the arena will make for a pretty good shelter,” Caldwell said. “If anything were to go wrong, I think it’s good we’ll be close and ready to react. We have told Broward County we’re all in for them. Anything they need from us, they’ve got it.” [...]
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Avalanche’s Mikko Rantanen, 20, already an established NHL player
Mikko Rantanen finished captain’s practice Thursday with Avalanche veterans while the team’s rookies and other young players had physicals and off-ice testing in preparation for the start of rookie camp Friday. Rantanen, 20, smiled when asked if he feels like an established NHL player, given that he wasn’t asked to go through another rookie camp. “It’s nice to be with the veteran guys and train hard with them,” said Rantanen, Colorado’s 2015 first-round draft pick (10th overall). A year ago, before his rookie NHL season, Rantanen suffered an ankle injury in a rookie-showcase game against the San Jose Sharks‘ youngsters. The 2015-16 American Hockey League co-rookie of the year missed the entire training camp and first five games of the NHL season. “It’s the biggest thing, to be healthy. You want to be as healthy as you can and I feel great right now,” Rantanen said. “I can’t wait until we play the first game.” Rantanen led the Avs with 20 goals last season, and was perhaps the team’s lone bright spot in a club-record worst 48-point campaign. The young Finn scored six goals in his last eight games, and nobody will be surprised if he approaches 30 goals in his second season. He scored 24 goals in 60 games with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage in 2015-16. Related ArticlesSeptember 6, 2017 From a tryout contract, Jared Cowen hopes to add experience to Avalanche D-corps September 6, 2017 Lunch Special: Can Semyon Varlamov regain his top form for the Avalanche? September 5, 2017 Matt Duchene absent from first Avalanche captain’s practice September 2, 2017 Centennial woman who ran Avalanche website sues Vox Media on claims that SB Nation broke labor laws August 29, 2017 Avalanche signs defenseman Jared Cowen to tryout contract Rookie camp. Fifteen forwards, 10 defensemen and three goalies make up the Avalanche’s rookie-camp roster. The camp begins at 10 a.m. Friday at Family Sports Center, and then the group travels in the afternoon to San Jose., Calif., for a four-day rookie showcase against their peers from the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Arizona Coyotes. The Avalanche hosted the showcase last year in Westminster. Forwards Tyson Jost, 19, and J.T. Compher, 22, are among a handful of Avalanche rookies expected to make the team out of training camp. Other candidates include defensemen Chris Bigras, 22, and Andrei Mironov, 23, plus recently signed college free agents Dominic Toninato and Alex Kerfoot, both 23. Footnotes. Thursday’s captains practice featured 18 skaters and goalies Semyon Varlamov and Jonathan Bernier. Center Matt Duchene, who is on the trade block, was again absent, along with defenseman Nikita Zadorov, an unsigned restricted free agent. The daily players-only skates began Tuesday and will continue Friday at Family Sports Center. … Avalanche veterans will report for physicals Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Pepsi Center, and then begin training camp the following day at Family Sports. … Defenseman Mark Barberio has switched to jersey No. 44, allowing Bernier to take No. 45. Barberio said he wore 44 as a youth. … Center Nathan MacKinnon is due back Friday after serving as the Avs’ representative in the NHL media tour in New York. [...]
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From a tryout contract, Jared Cowen hopes to add experience to Avalanche D-corps
Defenseman Jared Cowen, selected ninth overall in the 2009 NHL draft by the Ottawa Senators, is among 14 former first-rounders on the Avalanche’s training camp roster. Cowen, however, is the only one not under contract for the 2017-18 season. His professional tryout contract (PTO) expires the week leading into the Oct. 5 season opener at the New York Rangers. Following a captain’s practice Wednesday at Family Sports Center, the 6-foot-5, 238-pound Cowen — who was inactive last season after being bought out by the Toronto Maple Leafs — said he had multiple PTO offers but recognized the best opportunity was with Colorado. The Avs have just three veteran defensemen under contract, with Nikita Zadorov unsigned as a restricted free agent. Related ArticlesSeptember 6, 2017 Lunch Special: Can Semyon Varlamov regain his top form for the Avalanche? September 5, 2017 Matt Duchene absent from first Avalanche captain’s practice September 2, 2017 Centennial woman who ran Avalanche website sues Vox Media on claims that SB Nation broke labor laws August 29, 2017 Avalanche signs defenseman Jared Cowen to tryout contract August 27, 2017 Will Butcher, Hobey Baker Award winner from DU, signs with New Jersey Devils Barring a trade involving center Matt Duchene or another forward, Colorado could be forced to begin the season with four rookie defensemen in Duncan Siemens and Andrei Mironov, both 23, and Chris Bigras and Anton Lindholm, both 22. “I had few offers to select from, and the opportunity here — I know it’s not what they want, but good for me — there’s an opportunity to make the squad after not playing last year. I’m happy about that,” Cowen said after the players-only skate. “I haven’t been keeping up on Zadorov at all. I know he’s not here. I just know I have a lot of work to do here to make it. Hopefully it works out.” Cowen, 26, was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and broke into the NHL with the Ottawa Senators at age 19, playing all 82 regular season games in 2011-12. Since then, hip injuries have limited him to seven, 68, 54 and 37 games in four seasons ending in 2015-16. He was traded to the Maple Leafs on Feb. 9, 2016, in a 10-player deal that included defenseman Dion Phaneauf going to the Senators. Cowen underwent his third hip surgery in June 2016, and the Maple Leafs bought out the final year of his $4.5 million salary ($3.1 million cap hit). Cowen said he’s had two surgeries on his left hip and one on his right. “I learned a lot about doing the upkeep — taking care of the body,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of rehab, more than I’d like, but hoping that’s all behind me now.” Footnotes. Duchene and Zadorov on Wednesday were again absent from the Gabe Landeskog-led captain’s practices, which began Tuesday. Only 14 skaters and two goalies participated Wednesday, with everyone else doing off-ice training. … New backup goalie Jonathan Bernier unveiled his freshly painted Avalanche helmet Wednesday. He donned his Anaheim Ducks helmet from last season at Tuesday’s practce. First-round draft picks on Avalanche roster: D Erik Johnson, first overall in 2006 (St. Louis) G Jonathan Bernier, 11th in 2006 (Los Angeles) G Semyon Varlamov, 23rd in 2006 (Washington) C Colin Wilson, seventh in 2008 (Nashville) F Joe Colborne, 16th in 2008 (Boston) C Matt Duchene, third in 2009 (Avalanche) D Jared Cowen, ninth in 2009 (Ottawa) LW Gabe Landeskog, second in 2011 (Avalanche) D Duncan Siemens, 11th in 2011 (Avalanche) RW Nail Yakupov, first in 2012 (Edmonton) C Nathan MacKinnon, first in 2013 (Avalanche) D Nikita Zadorov, 16th in 2013 (Buffalo) RW Mikko Rantanen, 10th in 2015 (Avalanche) C Tyson Jost, 10th in 2016 (Avalanche) [...]
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Matt Duchene absent from first Avalanche captain’s practice
Approximately 22 Avalanche players began their pre-training camp captain’s practices Tuesday but center Matt Duchene, who has been on the trade block throughout the summer, was among the few not in attendance. Duchene, who attended a wedding in Vail on Saturday, was absent, along with defenseman Nikita Zadorov, who is unsigned as a restricted free agent. Center Nathan MacKinnon missed the skate because he is the club’s representative at the NHL media tour in New York. Duchene and MacKinnon were alternate captains last season, when Colorado finished with a league-low 48 points. Avs general manager Joe Sakic, who has confirmed he is taking offers for Duchene, recently signed college free-agent centers Dominic Toninato and Alex Kerfoot to bolster the position. “I talked a little bit with Dutchy. He’s not here; that’s not a secret,” Avs left wing and team captain Gabe Landeskog said after leading the 90-minute practice. “But we’ll have to wait and see. As of right now, he’s a part of the Avalanche organization and we all expect him to be here when training camp starts. I don’t really know what else to tell you right now.” Veterans aren’t required to report until Sept. 14; rookie camp begins Friday. Duchene posted an Instagram picture Saturday from Vail, where he was attending the wedding of Kris and Erin Kreymborg. “Nobody has to be here but it’s a tradition that everybody gets in early, shows up (for captain’s skates) and is excited to get going,” Landeskog said. “For whatever reason, (Duchene is) not here. But I know everybody that’s here right now — we’re all excited to be part of this team and we’re all excited to get going with the season. Ultimately, we all want to figure out a solution to this problem — that’s what we’re really excited about, and what we’re looking to do.” Trading Duchene appears inevitable and the return could fetch a much-needed defenseman or two. Without Zadorov, who has threatened to play in his native Russia and be eligible to represent his country at the Olympics in February, Colorado has just three veteran defensemen in Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie and Mark Barbario. Sakic said he could foresee rookie defensemen Andrei Mironov, Chris Bigras and Anton Lindholm making the opening-night roster. But having that much youth in the lineup seems risky. Related ArticlesSeptember 6, 2017 Lunch Special: Colorado Avalanche live chat with Mike Chambers September 2, 2017 Centennial woman who ran Avalanche website sues Vox Media on claims that SB Nation broke labor laws August 29, 2017 Avalanche signs defenseman Jared Cowen to tryout contract August 27, 2017 Will Butcher, Hobey Baker Award winner from DU, signs with New Jersey Devils August 25, 2017 Avalanche forward Joe Colborne: “Part of being a pro is putting that season behind you” The Avs also have two former first-round draft picks as blue-line candidates in Duncan Siemens (No. 11 overall in 2011) and Jared Cowen (No. 9 in 2009); Cowen is signed to a professional tryout contract. In addition, the Avs signed free agent journeyman defenseman David Warsofsky, 27, who briefly played for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. Footnote. Goalie Semyon Varlamov and his new backup, Jonathan Bernier, manned the nets Tuesday. Varlamov, who had season-ending hip and groin surgeries in January, says he’s 100 percent healthy and excited for his seventh season in Colorado. Bernier, signed as a free agent to replace Calvin Pickard — who was selected in the expansion draft by the Vegas Golden Knights —  was sporting an orange and black Anaheim Ducks helmet. Bernier played in 38 games for Anaheim last season. By position, here is Tuesday’s roll call: Forwards Landeskog, Blake Comeau, Joe Colborne, Carl Soderberg, Mikko Rantanen, Nail Yakupov, Matt Nieto, Sven Andrighetto, Colin Wilson, Tyson Jost, J.T. Compher and Rocco Grimaldi; defensemen Johnson, Bigras, Siemens, Warsofsky, Cowen, Mason Geertsen, Barrie and Barbario; goalies Varlamov and Bernier. Two players were not identified.   [...]
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Lunch Special: Colorado Avalanche live chat with Mike Chambers
The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers is answering your questions about the Colorado Avalanche in a live Lunch Special chat, beginning at noon. Mobile users, if you don’t see the live chat, tap here. The chat window will open at 11:45 a.m. if you would like to submit your questions to the queue early. (function(d, s, id) {var js,ijs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//embed.scribblelive.com/widgets/embed.js";ijs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, ijs);}(document, "script", "scrbbl-js"));What kind of impact is Nail Yapupov going to have on our team this year? Is there a chance he gets to his No. 1 overall pick potential?Honestly, I think Tyson Jost should be beginning his soph year at North Dakota and tearing up the NCAA. But he's CO's top prospect, which is why he's here. Expectations are up in the air for the 19-year-old. He'll have some success but still do a lot of learning along the way. High-character young man so I'm certainly rooting for him.What are your thoughts on Tyson Jost's possible point production along with potential line mates?If you're an Avalanche/Varlamov fan you'll enjoy the Sunday story about the goalie. He's in a good place.Mike, I look forward to reading your Sunday story about Varlamov. Hopefully good news on that front for the whole team.Absolutely. Patrick Roy didn't want to enter last season with the team that Joe Sakic gave him. He saw the writing on the wall, so to speak. Good question.Isn't overvaluing current players (Duchene perhaps) the same problem that got them into this mess, with Sakic etc thinking personnel was fine and Roy thinking major moves needed to be made?Very possible. Again, the Blue Jackets and Avs have had ongoing discussions. In that scenario, however, the Avs might have to give up more than just Duchene.Any chance we see a Duchene for Seth Jones trade?I don't know about Super Joe stepping down. Ownership has obviously backed his rebuilding plan and I suspect they'll hang with that unless this team is worse than last season -- which I don't think will happen. So I don't think Sakic will step down if he's not being forced out.if the avs come off to a very bad start, you think Sakic will step down/or fired?League interest on 9 is high, but perhaps not as high as Joe Sakic thinks it is. Strong possibility Sakic wants two top-six D from Columbus for Duchene, or straight-up for Jacob Trouba in WPG. Many other possible combos there but those are two of them.Any word on league interest on Duchene? I'd love to see him remain on the team, but I feel like it's too late now.Jared Bednar has surely been devising a system with the players he's going to camp with. We'll see if he can spark improvement. If not, he might not last through December.Mike, another mystery for me. Coach Bednar is a proven winner in the minors. But last season was so pathetic. How can he translate and communicate those winning formulas he presumably has to our current roster? The bar is set pretty low after last season.Duchene not reporting Sept. 14? I doubt it. I just think he's not here this week because he doesn't have to be, and he can send that message. But I suspect he'll report on time if he's not dealt.so you think there is any chance Duchene puts him self on strike and dont come to camp?Realistic expectation: They'll be younger, quicker and probably more exciting to watch. But they're rushing young guys into positions they might not be ready for. The D corps is up in air because Duchene trade could drastically change the look of it.Nice to meet you Mike, I'm a big fan. Definitely a low risk, low money signing, but do you think Yakupov is going to successfully put up 40+ points this season in a top six role?With young and marginal talent at the forward positions along with very iffy defensive corps, what is a realistic season in terms of wins and final points?Varlamov has looked great. I'm no goalie expert -- you have to be a goalie to be an expert -- but he's stopping a lot of pucks without pain or frustration. I just spoke to him and will have a nice Sunday story.How has Semyon Varlamov looked so far in the first couple days of practice? Do you think he can get back to his top form?Sky is the limit for Zadorov. He became very physical last year and will continue to pound on people. Very high ceiling for the big guy.Greetings, Mike. I'm still mystified as to how the Avs could have won the division with a great record 3 years ago, with mostly the same roster, and have been so miserable last season. What do you think happened, and what will it take to light a fire under the core players to perform better this year?What is the general scouting report for Zadorov? Scouted as 3 or 4? Or a 3rd pairing type of guy?Davevision: The 2013-14 season was all about stellar goaltending and timely scoring with the likes of Stastny, O'Reilly, even Parenteau. They're gone. Varlamov hasn't been as good ...MacKinnon or Mikko? I exp [...]
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Centennial woman who ran Avalanche website sues Vox Media on claims that SB Nation broke labor laws
A Centennial woman filed a federal lawsuit against Vox Media Friday, claiming the media company broke labor laws by underpaying — or not paying at all — contributors to its more than 300 SB Nation sites. Cheryl Bradley worked as a site manager for SB Nation’s Mile High Hockey from June 2013 to February 2015. She often worked 30-40 hours a week, at times up to 50-60 hours, but was only paid a monthly $125 stipend, according to the lawsuit. SB Nation is a series of local sites owned by Vox Media, a billion-dollar Delaware corporation that is based in Washington, D.C. Bradley is seeking back pay damages, liquidated damages and lawyer fees. Bradley filed a collective lawsuit on behalf of herself and all current or former site managers, managing editors and similar employees who worked for SB Nation in the past three years. In February 2015, a Mile High Hockey staff writer wrote an article saying SB Nation’s target audience was men. The company’s National Hockey League manager immediately deleted the post and banned the writer from SB Nation, according to the lawsuit. Related ArticlesAugust 29, 2017 Avalanche signs defenseman Jared Cowen to tryout contract August 27, 2017 Will Butcher, Hobey Baker Award winner from DU, signs with New Jersey Devils August 25, 2017 Avalanche forward Joe Colborne: “Part of being a pro is putting that season behind you” August 24, 2017 Will Butcher to choose his NHL destination Sunday August 23, 2017 Avalanche signs another college free agent in Harvard’s Alex Kerfoot Bradley later defended the staff writer and was fired less than a week later under false pretexts, the lawsuit claims. Although Bradley signed a blogger’s contract, the former site manager relied on Vox for income and worked extensive hours, making outside employment difficult, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit references a Deadspin investigative article that detailed SB Nations paying practices. The site was the first to report the lawsuit on Friday. [...]
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Shane Doan, Arizona Coyotes captain, retires after 21 years in NHL
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan had chances to leave the desert for a better shot at winning the Stanley Cup. Every time, he resisted the urge, a loyalty that cemented his legacy as one of the most beloved athletes in Valley of the Sun history. Now, Doan is hanging up his skates, leaving as one of nine NHL players to play at least 21 seasons with the same franchise. “I’ve been blessed and I’m so grateful for the fans and their support,” Doan wrote in a letter published by The Arizona Republic on Wednesday. “They stuck by me throughout my career and the ups and downs of the Coyotes. There are a lot of players with more skill than me and a lot more ability than me that didn’t ever get the type of appreciation that I got and the type of respect that the fans gave me, and I’m so grateful for that. I can’t express how much I appreciate it.” Related ArticlesAugust 29, 2017 Avalanche signs defenseman Jared Cowen to tryout contract August 28, 2017 Will Butcher, former DU star, believes he is ready to play for Devils right now August 27, 2017 Will Butcher, Hobey Baker Award winner from DU, signs with New Jersey Devils August 25, 2017 Sling TV’s new Gamefinder makes it easier to find live sports events. Just not Denver Broncos games August 24, 2017 Will Butcher to choose his NHL destination Sunday Doan became a Phoenix icon through his hard-working and thoughtful ways. He was the last player off the ice after nearly every Coyotes practice, often entering the locker room out of breath and drenched in sweat. Doan was the consummate captain, someone who led by example, was both comforting and demanding of his teammates at the same time. He gave back to the community like few athletes have and always had a friendly smile and handshake for fans who wanted to say hello or take a photo with him. “On behalf of the entire Arizona Coyotes organization, our fans and our corporate partners, we would like to thank Shane for everything that he’s done for our franchise over the past 21 years,” the Coyotes said in a statement. “Shane had an incredible career on the ice and we are very proud of everything that he accomplished in a Coyotes uniform. He will be remembered as one of the greatest captains in NHL history. Off the ice, Shane was a great ambassador for growing the game of hockey in Arizona and his contributions to the community are immeasurable. Shane will be a Coyote for life. Thank you Captain!” Doan was selected by the Winnipeg Jets with the seventh overall pick of the 1995 NHL draft and followed the franchise to the desert the next year. He became the embodiment of the Coyotes, relishing in the glory of the team’s run to the 2012 Western Conference Finals, putting on a brave face during the difficult times. Built like a refrigerator on skates, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Doan played with a combination of grit and skill, skating every shift with the same intensity. Doan racked up franchise records through longevity and productiveness, becoming the franchise’s all-time leader with 1,540 games, 402 goals, 570 assists and 128 power-play goals, among others. He fought through various injuries and remained a steady force, leading the Coyotes with 28 goals while notching 19 assists just two seasons ago. Doan saw a slip in production last season, finishing with six goals and 21 assists, and the final game of the 2016-17 season felt like a going-away party for him, filled with tributes and speeches. The Coyotes announced in June that they would not be re-signing the captain in an effort to skew the roster younger. That made the 40-year-old a free agent and left him to decide whether to hang up his skates or play for another team. A devout Christian, Doan prayed and talked it over with his wife, Andrea, for months before deciding it was time. “I truly believe this is His timing.” Doan wrote. “I have peace, and I’m so thankful for that.” [...]
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Avalanche signs defenseman Jared Cowen to tryout contract
The Avalanche announced on Tuesday it has signed former first-round draft pick Jared Cowen to a professional tryout contract. The 6-foot-5, 238-pound defenseman who missed the entire 2016-17 season with hip problems will report to training camp Sept. 14 at the Pepsi Center. Cowen, 26, has played in 249 NHL regular-season games, each with the Ottawa Senators. He was traded to Toronto in February 2016 but never played for the Maple Leafs, who attempted to buy him out last summer. The buyout never happened but Cowen was on injured reserve throughout last season. He was the ninth overall pick in the 2009 draft, six spots behind Avalanche center Matt Duchene. Cowen is just the fourth Avalanche veteran defenseman under contract for training camp, along with Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie and Mark Barbario. Nikita Zadorov, 22, remains unsigned as a restricted free agent and is threatening to play in his native country of Russia and be eligible to represent his country at the Olympics in February. Players under contract of NHL teams are ineligible to play in the 2018 Olympics. Related ArticlesAugust 27, 2017 Will Butcher, Hobey Baker Award winner from DU, signs with New Jersey Devils August 25, 2017 Avalanche forward Joe Colborne: “Part of being a pro is putting that season behind you” August 24, 2017 Will Butcher to choose his NHL destination Sunday August 23, 2017 Avalanche signs another college free agent in Harvard’s Alex Kerfoot August 22, 2017 Analysis: Anaheim Ducks see the value in Francois Beauchemin [...]
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Will Butcher, former DU star, believes he is ready to play for Devils right now
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Will Butcher believes he is ready to play for the New Jersey Devils right now. A day after signing a two-year, $1.85 million contract with the rebuilding Devils, the 22-year-old Butcher said he was ready to make the jump from being college hockey’s top player to the NHL without a stop in the minor leagues. Speaking on a conference call, the defenseman said he chose to sign with New Jersey because he felt good after meeting coach John Hynes and he thought the Devils’ up-tempo system best fit his game. Butcher was drafted in the fifth round by the Colorado Avalanche in 2013 at the Prudential Center — the Devils’ home rink. He became a free agent on Aug. 15 after failing to reach an agreement with Colorado, although the former University of Denver player said he knew by May he intended to test the free agent market. After meeting with a number of teams, his decision came down to the Devils, Las Vegas, Buffalo and Los Angeles. “It seemed like a great fit in how I wanted to play, and they saw me being in a better role with what they wanted to do there,” Butcher said of choosing New Jersey. “It kind of reminded me a little bit of how we were going to play with my college hockey.” Butcher knows there will be competition to make the Devils’ roster with veteran defensemen Andy Greene, Ben Lovejoy, John Moore and Brian Strait and youngsters Damon Severson, Steven Santini and Mirco Mueller on the roster. “I think my game is NHL ready,” Butcher said. “I think there is always stuff to learn and to pick up. That’s mostly the reason why I chose New Jersey, because I felt with coach Hynes (there) was the development and how they cater to guys and help you get ready for the NHL game.” Butcher described himself as an offensive defenseman who can play defense. “I am definitely more offensive than defensive,” he said. “I try to cater to my game in the sense of making smart decisions with the puck, joining the rush at the right opportunity and using my experience to help me play in the league that I want to play in.” When asked what players would have a similar style to him he named Duncan Keith of the Blackhawks, Torey Krug of the Bruins and Greene. “If I was fortunate to make the big team, he would be a great mentor to me, just because he does everything,” Butcher said of Greene. “He penalty kills, power play, all situations. He is a smart player, not necessarily the biggest guy, but he uses his abilities to defend well and play the game of hockey.” Related ArticlesAugust 27, 2017 Will Butcher, Hobey Baker Award winner from DU, signs with New Jersey Devils August 25, 2017 Sling TV’s new Gamefinder makes it easier to find live sports events. Just not Denver Broncos games August 24, 2017 Will Butcher to choose his NHL destination Sunday August 22, 2017 Analysis: Anaheim Ducks see the value in Francois Beauchemin August 21, 2017 Bought-out Avalanche defenseman Francois Beauchemin signs with Anaheim Butcher could also help the Devils’ power play, especially feeding the likes of Taylor Hall, Adam Henrique, Kyle Palmieri and Marcus Johansson and newcomer Nico Hischier, the Swiss-born center who was the No. 1 pick in the June draft. “I might not be the fastest guy or biggest guy out there, but I like to pride myself that I think fast and use my brain to be fast, in a sense that I try to anticipate plays and just try to use my hockey smarts to help me be effective,” Butcher said. Besides helping Denver win the national championship this past season, Butcher won the Hobey Baker Award as the top collegiate player. A Wisconsin resident, Butcher had seven goals and a team-high 30 assists in 43 games last season. He had 28 goals and 75 assists for 103 points in 158 games with the Pioneers. [...]
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Will Butcher, Hobey Baker Award winner from DU, signs with New Jersey Devils
Will Butcher, the 2017 Hobey Baker Award-winning defenseman from the University of Denver, has signed an NHL entry-level contract with the New Jersey Devils. The 2013 Avalanche fifth-round draft pick, who turned down Colorado’s offer and became an unrestricted free agent Aug. 16, announced his decision to sign with the Devils on Sunday. Butcher, who served as DU’s captain last season as a senior, also considered the Buffalo Sabres, Los Angeles Kings and expansion Vegas Golden Knights. Ten teams in the NHL showed interest in the 5-foot-10, 190-pound, puck-moving defenseman from Madison, Wis. Butcher, 22, is the second consecutive Hobey Baker Award winner to play four years in college and become a free agent after rejecting the offer made by the team that drafted him. Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey, a 2012 draft pick of the Nashville Predators, signed with the New York Rangers on Aug. 19, 2016. NHL teams have four years to sign their college draftees, or by Aug. 15 of the year they leave school. The rule may change in the next collective bargaining agreement because it could discourage teams from drafting college players. [...]
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Avalanche forward Joe Colborne: “Part of being a pro is putting that season behind you”
Judging from his self-induced bag skate after most players hit the showers Friday, Avalanche forward Joe Colborne is focused on having a much better season than 2016-17, when he had one goal in his final 61 games and Colorado finished with a league-low 48 points. From inside the University of Denver locker room, Colborne — who was participating in the Pioneers’ annual pro camp this week — spoke about the disaster that was his first NHL season in Colorado and the hopes the Avs don’t again embarrass themselves. “The only way you can take anything positive out of that was, it was a learning experience,” Colborne, a former DU standout, said of the team having the worst record in the league. “I don’t think any of us had ever been through the hardship that we went through. Part of being a pro is putting that season behind you as much as you can and realize that every single one of us has to be better. There wasn’t one guy who can honestly say that was something you can be proud of … It hurt, and being a professional, being someone who’s proud of themselves, none of us are happy with it and it’s up to each of us to come back and make sure that we’re a lot better.” Asked about the team’s expectations for the upcoming season, Colborne said, “We’re not going to be expecting to go out there and be the best team in the league. But every single guy has to come back and know that they’re going to have a better year.” UFA D Will Butcher is traveling to New Jersey today to meet w #Devils & #LAKings among top choices, I learned at @DU_Hockey pro camp this AM — Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) August 25, 2017 Individually, Colborne said his four-goal season is something he must put behind him. After producing three goals in his debut with Colorado on opening night, Colborne scored just once the rest of the season and was often a healthy scratch. “Try and forget a lot of what went on last year and get back to the player who has the confidence and knows he can produce,” Colborne said. “It was tough mentally, more than anything, to get through last year. But I’m feeling good. I’m healthy.” Footnotes. The Avalanche announced a 28-player rookie camp/tournament roster Friday and it includes a handful of players who likely will make the NHL opening-night roster in October. Forwards J.T. Compher and Tyson Jost and defensemen Andrei Mironov, Chris Bigras and Anton Lindholm will play for the Avs’ rookies in a Sept. 9-12 showcase in San Jose, Calif., along with recently signed NCAA free-agent forwards Dominic Toninato (Minnesota-Duluth) and Alex Kerfoot (Harvard). The roster also includes forward A.J. Greer and defensemen Josh Anderson, Nicolas Meloche and Conor Timmins. Former North Dakota two-year captain Gage Ausmus, a defenseman, will participate on an amateur tryout contract. … DU senior defensemen Tariq Hammond, who was named captain for 2017-18, underwent another surgery on the ankle he dislocated in the April 8 national championship game in Chicago. Pioneers coach Jim Montgomery said the ankle wasn’t healing properly over the summer and the procedure was necessary to ensure Hammond will be ready for the start of the season. Francois Beauchemin gets the lemon here. In final two, Troy Terry scores and Beauchemin misses under heavy pressure. pic.twitter.com/GWiCtGs4jP — Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) August 25, 2017 Troy Terry, Francois Beauchemin and Paul Stastny doing orange/lemon at @DU_Hockey pro camp. Note: Beauchemin back in his ANA duds pic.twitter.com/jVjUP7kUT8 — Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) August 25, 2017 [...]
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