Avalanche

Avalanche set to sign another college free agent in Harvard’s Alex Kerfoot
Another four-year college free agent and team captain from the 2017 NCAA Frozen Four has agreed to terms with the Avalanche. Colorado is set to sign former Harvard center Alexander Kerfoot, according to a team spokesman. TSN’s Darren Dreger first reported the deal. Kerfoot, who was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 2012 but became an unrestricted free agent Aug. 16, was Harvard’s co-leading scorer last season with 45 points (16 goals) in 36 games. The native of West Vancouver, British Columbia, is listed at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds. He turned 23 on Aug. 11. Related ArticlesAugust 22, 2017 Analysis: Anaheim Ducks see the value in Francois Beauchemin August 22, 2017 Colorado Avalanche announces rookie camp and training camp schedules August 21, 2017 Bought-out Avalanche defenseman Francois Beauchemin signs with Anaheim August 18, 2017 Colorado Eagles will become the Colorado Avalanche’s primary AHL affiliate August 17, 2017 Avalanche GM Joe Sakic discusses situations with Nikita Zadorov, Matt Duchene, Will Butcher The Avalanche said it won’t announce the deal until Kerfoot signs the contract. Last week, former Minnesota Duluth four-year center Dominic Toninato signed with Colorado. Toninato, the Bulldogs’ captain, was a 2012 fifth-round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs who also became a free agent Aug. 16. Minnesota Duluth defeated Harvard at the Frozen Four semifinals in April. The Bulldogs went on to lose to the University of Denver. Signing Toninato and Kerfoot offsets the loss of defenseman Will Butcher, the Denver Pioneers captain and 2013 Avalanche draft pick who chose to play the same card last week. College players can become free agents four years after their draft year — a rule that might change in the next collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and NHL Players’ Association. [...]
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Analysis: Anaheim Ducks see the value in Francois Beauchemin
In defenseman Francois Beauchemin, the Anaheim Ducks saw what the Colorado Avalanche could not. Ducks general manager Bob Murray wants Beauchemin, 37, to tutor his young defensemen and be a leader in the locker room, whether he’s playing or not. Months ago before the Avalanche bought out the final year of Beauchemin’s contract ($4.5 million), I had the same thoughts when learning Colorado intends to introduce three young defensemen to the league. I thought Beauchemin, an alternate captain last season, would be the ideal mentor, a player/coach who would not disrupt the locker room if he was assigned a third-pairing role, or even being told he was a healthy scratch. “He will bring valuable leadership and help our young defensemen build character and be successful NHL players, as Francois has been in his career,” Murray told reporters Monday, after signing Beauchemin to a one-year, $1 million contract. “We feel Francois still has a lot to give, and his passion and drive to win is unquestioned.” Beauchemin, who has played 525 games for Anaheim and is now beginning his third stint with the team, will still get his entire buyout agreement with the Avs, who will pay him $1.5 million to play against them this coming season, and another $1.5 million in 2018-19 when Beauchemin is in the first year of retirement. Because of the age 35-over rule, Colorado also has Beauchemin’s $4.5 million 2017-18 salary serve as dead money against its cap The Avs have just three signed veteran defensemen in Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie and Mark Barbario. Restricted free agent Nikita Zadorov is threatening to play in his native Russia, and possibly for the Russian Olympic team in February. The young defensive prospects are Andrei Mironov, 23, and 22-year-olds Chris Bigras and Anton Lindholm. In that blueline corps, Beauchemin doesn’t hurt you. He’s an asset. He helps you avoid another league-low 48 point season like 2016-17. He was interviewed on NHL Network Radio on Tuesday. “Last year, being what it was, it was really difficult to stay positive,” Beauchemin said in the interview. “And it’s disappointing to hear that you’re getting bought out because I was expecting to play my last year here and retire at the end of the year. When I got bought out, I did get some calls from different teams; it’s always nice to hear. But I wasn’t willing to move my family somewhere that we didn’t know, just for the one year. That’s what made it so special when the Ducks called me.” Related ArticlesAugust 22, 2017 Colorado Avalanche announces rookie camp and training camp schedules August 21, 2017 Bought-out Avalanche defenseman Francois Beauchemin signs with Anaheim August 18, 2017 Colorado Eagles will become the Colorado Avalanche’s primary AHL affiliate August 17, 2017 Avalanche GM Joe Sakic discusses situations with Nikita Zadorov, Matt Duchene, Will Butcher August 16, 2017 Avalanche signs college free agent Dominic Toninato Beauchemin said he wouldn’t have signed a one-year deal with any other team. Two of his children were born in Anaheim, and he said everyone in the family gave him thumbs-up on the move back to southern California. The Beauchemins moved from Anaheim to Colorado in 2015 after Francois agreed to a three-year, $13.5 million contract with the Avs. Beauchemin agreed to the deal because he couldn’t get another team to give him a three-year deal. And the Avalanche wanted him to play in the top pairing with Johnson. In his first year in Colorado, the Avs finished 39-39-4 for 82 points. “I wouldn’t say it didn’t go right here from the get-go because I thought my first year here, two years ago, was a pretty good season,” Beauchemin said on the NHL Network Radio. “We came seven or eight points away from the playoffs. We had a tough end of the year, where we lost (six) games straight. If we won a few of those we would have probably been in.”   [...]
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Bought-out Avalanche defenseman Francois Beauchemin signs with Anaheim
Former Avalanche defenseman and alternate captain Francois Beauchemin, who was bought out by the club in June, signed a one-year, $1 million contract with Anaheim on Monday. The 37-year-old spent two seasons with Colorado, and his entire $4.5 million cap hit, or dead money, for 2017-18 remains on the Avs’ salary-cap bottom line, because of his age. Colorado still owes Beauchemin $3 million in salary (two-thirds of his $4.5 million annual contract), spread over the next two seasons, according to CapFriendly.com.  An Avalanche spokesman confirmed the team’s buyout responsibilities do not change with the Ducks’ signing. Montreal-based journalist Renaud Lavoie first reported the deal, noting that this will be Beauchemin’s third stint with the Ducks. Anaheim later confirmed the signing. Related ArticlesAugust 18, 2017 Colorado Eagles will become the Colorado Avalanche’s primary AHL affiliate August 17, 2017 Avalanche GM Joe Sakic discusses situations with Nikita Zadorov, Matt Duchene, Will Butcher August 16, 2017 Avalanche signs college free agent Dominic Toninato August 15, 2017 Lunch Special: Where did the Avalanche go wrong with Will Butcher? August 15, 2017 Will Butcher to reject Avalanche, visit with Devils, Sabres, Golden Knights Beauchemin left Anaheim as a free agent in 2015 to sign a three-year, $13.5-million contract with Colorado. He played in 163 of 164 possible regular-season games for the Avs, serving as alternate captain last season. Colorado has just three veteran defensemen under contract, and Nikita Zadorov is threatening to play in the Kontinental Hockey League if the restricted free agent can’t come to terms with the Avs. Last week, Colorado general manager Joe Sakic said he intends on giving three rookies — Andrei Mironov, Chris Bigras and Anton Lindholm — every opportunity to make the team out of training camp. He also noted the Avs, by virtue of finishing last in the 30-team NHL, have first dibs on the waiver wire until Nov. 1, and the team will “probably” add players that way. Footnotes. The Avalanche’s American Hockey League affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, signed former University of Denver goalie Sam Brittain on Monday. Brittain, 25, played for the Rampage in 2014-15 when the team was the AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers, who drafted Brittain 92nd overall in 2010. Brittain will compete for playing time with Spencer Martin, 22, and Joe Cannata, 27. … The Avs are scheduled to announce their training camp schedule this week. Rookie camp is likely to begin Sept. 7 and the veterans will report around Sept. 14. [...]
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Colorado Eagles will become the Colorado Avalanche’s primary AHL affiliate
The Avalanche will announce an upgraded minor-league partnership with the Loveland-based Colorado Eagles next month, with the current ECHL team becoming the 31st American Hockey League franchise, according to two sources close to the situation. Beginning with the 2018-19 season, the Avs’ top prospects and veterans on assignments will play for the Colorado Eagles out of the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland. The Budweiser Events Center seats 5,289 for hockey but likely will be renovated to accommodate larger crowds. The Avalanche’s current AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, will partner with the St. Louis Blues starting in 2018-19, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which reported that the Blues and Rampage have agreed to a five-year contract. The Blues don’t currently have an AHL affiliate. They are sharing the Chicago Wolves with the NHL expansion Vegas Golden Knights for the upcoming season. With Vegas now in the mix, there are 31 NHL teams. But still just 30 AHL teams. The Eagles, who won the Kelly Cup as league champions in June, are currently the Avs’ ECHL affiliate, but most players at that level don’t make it to the NHL. The AHL is the second-best hockey league in North America, stocked with future young NHL stars, while the ECHL is a double-A league mostly consisting of journeyman players. Most of the current Eagles’ players will have to find jobs elsewhere. The Avs, citing their contract with the Rampage, declined comment, but vice president Jean Martineau confirmed the team’s contract with San Antonio ends after the 2017-18 season. Eagles general manager Chris Stewart could not be reached for comment. Related ArticlesAugust 17, 2017 Avalanche GM Joe Sakic discusses situations with Nikita Zadorov, Matt Duchene, Will Butcher August 16, 2017 Avalanche signs college free agent Dominic Toninato August 15, 2017 Lunch Special: Where did the Avalanche go wrong with Will Butcher? August 15, 2017 Will Butcher to reject Avalanche, visit with Devils, Sabres, Golden Knights August 2, 2017 Matt Duchene on trade rumors: “Whatever’s going to happen is gonna happen” Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic and AHL president/CEO David Andrews watched several Eagles home games last season, and in June, Stewart told The Denver Post that his team was trying to partner with the AHL and the Avalanche. “Obviously, (with) the proximity and logistics, there’s a lot of sense for an affiliation that could possibly take us to the American Hockey League,” Stewart said. The Budweiser Events Center, a county-owned facility, has sold out 431 hockey games in 14 seasons. It opened in 2003. “I don’t believe that the AHL would accept the building as it sits today,” Stewart said in June. “I’m not just talking about seats. The facility in general, the locker rooms, I do think there would have to be some mitigation done to the building to help facilitate an American Hockey League franchise if we went in that direction.” A look at Colorado’s all-time pro hockey teams The Colorado Eagles will become the state’s first team in the American Hockey League, the NHL’s primary feeder league. A look at Colorado’s all-time professional hockey teams: National Hockey League Colorado Avalanche (1995-present) Colorado Rockies (1976-1982) World Hockey Association Denver Spurs (1975-78) Central Hockey League Denver Cutthroats (2012-14) Rocky Mountain Rage (2006-09) Colorado Eagles (2003-2011) Colorado Flames (1982-84) Denver Spurs (1974-75) International Hockey League Denver Grizzlies (1994-95) Denver Rangers (1987-89) Denver Mavericks (1959-60) United States Hockey League Denver Falcons (1950-51) West Coast Hockey League Colorado Gold Kings (1998-2002) Western Hockey League Denver Spurs (1968-74) Denver Invaders (1963-64) ECHL Colorado Eagles (2011-present) [...]
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Avalanche GM Joe Sakic discusses situations with Nikita Zadorov, Matt Duchene, Will Butcher
SEDALIA — Before teeing off at his annual charity golf tournament Thursday morning, Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic spoke with The Denver Post about the contract situation with unsigned defenseman Nikita Zadorov, trade talks involving center Matt Duchene and losing exclusive negotiation rights with 2013 draft pick Will Butcher, the former University of Denver defenseman who chose to become an unrestricted free agent. Sakic, who was hosting the 20th Joe Sakic Celebrity Classic to benefit the Food Bank of the Rockies at Sanctuary Golf Course, also said he plans to give rookie defensemen Chris Bigras, Andrei Mironov and Anton Lindholm the opportunity to make the team out of training camp next month. Colorado has just three big-league defensemen under contract: Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie and Mark Barbario. Zadorov, a 22-year-old restricted free agent, has threatened to sign with CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League if the Avs don’t give him a bigger salary than what they’ve offered. “Both sides agreed to a two-year deal and we just have to figure out the numbers,” Sakic said. “We’ve got our NHL comps that we’re going with and he’s got to make a decision at some point on what he wants to do.” If Zadorov chooses to play next season in his native Russia, he will be eligible to represent his country in February’s Winter Olympics, which will not feature NHL players for the first time since 1994. “You’re not playing against NHL players, so I don’t know the allure for a guy who’s playing in the NHL,” Sakic said. “You’re not playing against the best. It would be a different tournament.” Arkady Rotenberg, board chairman of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, said in a recent statement he is trying to entice NHL players with expired contracts to play in the KHL in the upcoming season to help bolster the Russian Olympic team. Former Avalanche forward Mikhail Grigorenko, former Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov and former Tampa Bay defenseman Nikita Nesterov have done just that; Grigorenko went unqualified by Colorado in June as a restricted free agent. Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin is planning on suspending his NHL season for nine games in February to play for Russia, a star-studded team that already features former NHL stars Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk. The United States and Canada plan on stocking its Olympic teams with European professionals, American Hockey League players and elite amateurs. Duchene, meanwhile, is still on the trade block but Sakic is expecting him to attend Colorado’s upcoming training camp. “I will be listening to offers. Right now it’s quiet on all fronts,” Sakic said. “But I’ll listen to offers on how we can get better. I’ll never name names but I’ll sit there and if something makes sense for the way we want to go, with our team, we’ll really look at that.” About Butcher, who became a free agent Wednesday after turning down Colorado’s contract offers, Sakic said the DU captain and 2017 Hobey Baker Award winner “has got that right….He’ll see what’s out there for him and see where that goes.” Related ArticlesAugust 16, 2017 Avalanche signs college free agent Dominic Toninato August 15, 2017 Lunch Special: Where did the Avalanche go wrong with Will Butcher? August 15, 2017 Will Butcher to reject Avalanche, visit with Devils, Sabres, Golden Knights August 2, 2017 Matt Duchene on trade rumors: “Whatever’s going to happen is gonna happen” July 26, 2017 Rocco Grimaldi, Jesse Graham sign 1-year contracts with Avalanche Sakic spoke about how he intends to complete his defensive corps, and noted the 2016-17 last-place Avalanche will continue to have first dibs on the waiver wire if Mironov, Bigras or Lindholm don’t appear ready for the NHL and/or a Duchene trade for a defenseman and more doesn’t happen. “I’d like to see them and then we’ll see how training camp goes. There’s a lot of things that can happen during training camp,” Sakic said. “Right now, everybody’s content. It’s August and I want to give these young guys a chance. Lindholm is going to be here, Mironov — who I really expect is going to be here and help us out — and Bigras, who unfortunately got hurt (last) year. But we thought he played well enough (in 2015-16) that he can go to the minors and play 25 minutes down there, and then if there’s an injury, boom, he comes up and he plays major minutes. We didn’t want him to be sitting out at that age. We needed him to play.” He added: “We’re a team that, on Nov. 1, because of where we finished, we’ll go l [...]
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Putting Sin City on ice: Golden Knights eager to turn Las Vegas into a hockey town
LAS VEGAS — In the western suburb of Summerlin, Nevada, a planned community painted in hues of beige and brown and with a dizzying amount of roundabouts, there is an anonymous business park the Vegas Golden Knights temporarily call home. In the fall, they will move operations into a nearly $30 million practice facility. For now, an office building 14 miles from the Las Vegas Strip is where the NHL hopes its next ice age dawns. When Kim Frank arrived in town last September as the team’s vice president of marketing, after working for the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards since 2007, the Golden Knights had a name but no identity. There was no logo. No uniforms. No players on the roster. Nothing in place that could help Frank do her job: sell the brand of hockey to a community in a sports desert. “It’s a true start-up,” Frank says in the lobby of the Black Knight Sports & Entertainment offices, on a July morning when the oppressive heat surpasses triple digits. “It’s new. It’s not moving a franchise. It’s a brand new expansion team,” Frank continues, “which means from the ground up.” The Golden Knights will begin their inaugural season in October as the 31st team in the NHL but the first professional sports franchise in Las Vegas. Hockey is not an abstract concept to the more than two million residents; The Las Vegas area has plenty of emigres from across North America who now pay taxes in Clark County, residents who still have teams back home to root for. Minor league hockey had a long run in town as well, although Las Vegas’s WCHL and ECHL teams have since folded. However, in a city more known for its spectacles, the entertainment ranging from roulette tables to limitless rum-and-Cokes to residencies for Donnie and Marie, building fluency in hockey begins with uncovering the ‘other’ Vegas — the one that lives in the shadow of the blinding lights of Las Vegas Boulevard. “Sports teams give cities identities,” said Golden Knights general manager George McPhee, another Washington transplant who held the same position for the Capitals for 17 years. “It seems the residents of the city want to be known for more than the Strip.” A billboard near Dean Martin Drive warns that The Raiders Are Coming, a tease in silver and black for the pending move of a pro football team, the Oakland Raiders, to Las Vegas. However, before the NFL stakes its claim here, for now, Las Vegas is a hockey town. “We can own this one. We can do this,” says Asi Oba, a fireman whose unit is stationed near the T-Mobile Arena, where the Knights will play. Originally from Cincinnati, Oba admits he’s never watched a minute of hockey in his 35 years but asked himself, “why not?” and decided to give this game a chance. Recently, as Oba and his son, Amare, took in NBA Summer League action at the Thomas & Mack Center, they walked the concourse proudly wearing the black, steel gray and red of the Golden Knights. “It brings something that we’ve never had,” Oba says, then repeats his singular draw: “I can own this.” Related ArticlesAugust 4, 2017 Tony Granato to coach U.S. men’s hockey at Olympics August 1, 2017 Peter Karmanos seeking $500M in sale of NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes It’s a belief that was shared by thousands of residents in 2015 when owner Billy Foley, with no commitment from the NHL, needed to prove this market was viable for hockey. “There was nothing (tangible here),” recalls Todd Pollock, the vice president of ticketing and suites, one of the first employees on the ground and tasked with running the season ticket drive. “We were selling the dream to people and painting a picture. ‘How cool would it be to have a team in town to call our own?’ ” The league gave the Knights a target of 10,000 season-ticket deposits. Within a couple months, the team had exceeded that goal. By June 22, 2016, when the NHL rewarded Las Vegas with a franchise, 16,000 people had paid for the chance to secure future season tickets. Those deposits turned into more than 14,000 actual season-ticket holders. One of the earliest pledges belonged to 23-year-old Las Vegas native Thomas Field. He wasn’t always a hockey fan. Field had to leave the Mojave Desert to fall in love with the game. While attending and playing baseball at the University of Chicago-Illinois, Field watched the Chicago Blackhawks win two Stanley Cups. Field didn’t know much at first, confused about icing and offside violations, but witnessing a dynasty turned the novice into a lifelong follower. “The Blackhawks were running the town at the time,” Field recalls. “Just going to games, it was so unique. There’s no experience like it.” When he settled back home in Las [...]
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Avalanche signs college free agent Dominic Toninato
The Avalanche failed to entice defenseman Will Butcher of the NCAA champion Denver Pioneers to sign with Colorado, but it did agree to terms with forward Dominic Toninato of the runner-up Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. Both Butcher and Toninato captained their college teams as seniors and became unrestricted free agents Wednesday, and Toninato — a 2012 draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs — agreed to a two-year, two-way contract with the Avs, paying him $800,000 in the NHL and $70,000 in the minors. Butcher, a 2013 Avalanche draftee, is exploring opportunities with a handful of teams. “(The Maple Leafs) didn’t have any contracts available,” Toninato said in a phone interview. “They only had an AHL offer and that’s not what we were looking for. So things just didn’t work out with them.” College players can become free agents four years after their draft year, or in Toninato’s case, until after a four-year NCAA career. Toninato, 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, was Minnesota-Duluth’s fifth-leading scorer last season with 29 points (16 goals). He had a team-high plus-25 rating and was the National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s defensive forward of the year. Toninato expects his professional career to emulate what he did in college. “I want to be a 200-foot centerman,” he said. “I want to play the full ice, be good in the D zone and the offensive zone. I want to contribute in special teams and be out there in any situation.” Toninato said he and his agent were talking to multiple teams but “Colorado was at the top and had everything I was looking for.”   [...]
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Will Butcher to reject Avalanche, visit with Devils, Sabres, Golden Knights
Will Butcher, the Hobey Baker Award-winning defenseman from the University of Denver, will begin speaking with at least three NHL teams Wednesday when he intends to become an unrestricted free agent, according to a source. The New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres and expansion Vegas Golden Knights have interest in Butcher, 22, who captained DU to the NCAA championship in April. The Avalanche, which selected Butcher in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL draft, has exclusive negotiation rights with the player through 10 p.m. MDT on Tuesday. A college player has four years to sign with the team that drafts him, or he becomes an unrestricted free agent Aug. 16 of his fourth year. Related ArticlesAugust 15, 2017 Lunch Special: Where did the Avalanche go wrong with Will Butcher? August 2, 2017 Matt Duchene on trade rumors: “Whatever’s going to happen is gonna happen” July 26, 2017 Rocco Grimaldi, Jesse Graham sign 1-year contracts with Avalanche July 25, 2017 Matt Nieto signs one-year, $1 million deal to remain with Avalanche July 18, 2017 Avalanche signs RFAs Gabriel Bourque, Felix Girard, Duncan Siemens According to Butcher in April, the Avalanche offered him his entry-level contract days after the Pioneers returned from Chicago with the national championship, but he declined to sign, saying he wanted to explore his options. Butcher could hold a grudge against the Avalanche. At the 2015 NCAA Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla., Butcher confirmed the Avalanche told his agent the team had no interest in signing him. At the time, Butcher was a junior and a first-team All-American, but Colorado coach and vice president Patrick Roy wasn’t keen on undersized defensemen. Butcher is listed at 5-foot-10 and 186 pounds. “I’m just going about my business at DU, being the captain next year,” Butcher told The Denver Post in June 2016, about the Avs dismissing him. “They’re doing their business how they want to do it. And I’m doing mine.” Roy resigned last August, and the Avalanche showed heavy interest in Butcher throughout last season, with general manager Joe Sakic and members of his staff scouting most DU home games. The Avalanche finished with a league-low 48 points, by far the fewest in the club’s 21 seasons in Colorado. On April 8, hours before DU took the ice for the national championship game against Minnesota Duluth in Chicago, Sakic told The Post he coveted Butcher. “As soon as they’re done, he’ll have a contract offer,” Sakic said. “We hope to sign him. He’s had a tremendous year. Since the moment we drafted him, four years in college, he’s gotten better every year and he’s obviously hot, the Hobey Baker winner, and hopefully they can win the championship and we can sign him and have him be part of the organization.” There’s still a chance Butcher eventually circles back to Colorado, but only after the player visits other interested teams. [...]
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Lunch Special: Where did the Avalanche go wrong with Will Butcher?
The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers answered questions Tuesday about the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Pioneers hockey team in this Lunch Special live chat. Here are some highlights: So … where did the Avs go wrong with Will Butcher? Mike: Where did the Avs go wrong? They approached the player’s agent during his junior season at DU and said the team (Patrick Roy) had no interest in signing him. And then the Avs had a 48-point season and it might get worse. Put yourself in his position. You’d check out other teams/offers, too. Did the Avs do anywhere close to enough to keep fans in the seats? Related ArticlesAugust 15, 2017 Will Butcher to reject Avalanche, visit with Devils, Sabres, Golden Knights August 2, 2017 Matt Duchene on trade rumors: “Whatever’s going to happen is gonna happen” July 26, 2017 Rocco Grimaldi, Jesse Graham sign 1-year contracts with Avalanche July 25, 2017 Matt Nieto signs one-year, $1 million deal to remain with Avalanche July 18, 2017 Avalanche signs RFAs Gabriel Bourque, Felix Girard, Duncan Siemens Mike: Keep fans in the seats? If I’m the owner and I want to sell tickets, I’m making trades before the draft, stacking up draft picks, and being active in free agency. They haven’t done anything close to that. I fear there will be a sea of open seats at the Pepsi Center next season. Which of the Avs’ young players is due for a breakout year? Mike: Expect big things — or big moments — from Mikko Rantanen and Tyson Jost. Maybe A.J. Greer, too, up front. These boys will get every chance to be the foundation of the future. Nathan MacKinnon, who is coming up on 22, surely needs to have a strong, consistent year. Do you have anything encouraging to offer us that might give us reason that they will at least be competitive this year? Competitive being not one of the bottom 7-10 teams in hockey. Mike: Encouraging? You’ll get to see some young talent in a big-league sweater. Many of them are being pushed into the league, but that’s all I have for you. I wish there were more positives but I don’t see them. Do you see a Matt Duchene trade still happening? And if not does he start season with the team? Mike: Duchene could very well begin the season in Colorado. But remember, the Avs only have three signed big-league D right now. I suspect they’re still hoping a trade unfolds where they can add a top-four D. I don’t think the team can rely on its young payers to step up. We’ve been waiting for the top three to do, so who might rise to the top between Duchene, MacKinnon, and Landeskog? Mike: I see Landeskog wasn’t among the top-20 active wingers by NHL Network. That hurts. He should absolutely be there, given his skill set (but I understand why he’s not). Some disagree with me, but as a No. 2 overall pick with power-forward ability, he should score 25-30 goals per season. So Duchene and MacKinnon certainly aren’t the only veteran young forwards who need to get their careers on the right track. As for other guys, as a mentioned earlier, Rantanen, Jost and Greer will be fun to watch. Which team ends up with the better record this year: The Avs or the Golden Knights? Mike: Golden Knights … Ouch. If Matt Duchene does return to the team next season, will he provide much production? He seemed like he was out of it when he was on those long scoreless streaks last year… Mike: Matt Duchene is capable of big things, obviously. He’s also streaky, like most forwards. The thing is, I don’t think he wants to come back. I think he wants a new start. But I know he’ll make every effort to be a good teammate, good pro, if he does return. To me, Jared Bednar wasnt going to win with Patrick Roy’s players. Does he have players fits the way he wants to play? Mike: Jared Bednar? Yeah, he didn’t win with Roy’s players. But he didn’t get the guys to play well enough, bottom line. The head coach has to take part of the blame, rookie or not. The full transcript: (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"));That's all, folks. Appreciate your interest in this hour-long chat. Keep your stick on the ice. -- MikeI respect UND's program a ton. Great hockey people. As for James' question: No way Duchene does anything but report to camp with a good attitude. You're right, he's too classy to pout about not being moved.Though I must admit I have vacillated on my support for Dutchy in the past, I must confess he has been an absolute professional throughout this process. No way he deserves to be treated the way Joe has, and frankly [...]
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Red Wings denounce use of logo at white nationalist rally
DETROIT — The Detroit Red Wings say they are considering legal action to stop white nationalists from using their logo as part of a “disturbing” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The team said in a statement Saturday it “vehemently” disagrees with the rally and is in no way associated with it. The logo of the NHL club could be seen on items held by people at the rally. The Red Wings say they are “exploring every possible legal action as it pertains to the misuse of our logo in this disturbing demonstration.” The team adds that it believes hockey is for everyone and celebrates the diversity of its fan base and the country. Related ArticlesAugust 13, 2017 Charlottesville victim: “She was there standing up for what was right” August 13, 2017 Alleged driver of car that plowed into Charlottesville crowd was a Nazi sympathizer, former teacher says August 13, 2017 Marshawn Lynch sits during national anthem in Arizona August 13, 2017 White House: Trump’s condemnation includes “white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi and all extremist groups” August 13, 2017 Federal civil rights investigation into deadly car crash in Charlottesville begins, driver charged with second-degree murder There is a Michigan-based white nationalist group called the Detroit Right Wings that uses the Red Wings’ logo. [...]
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U.S., Canada preparing for NHL-less Olympics very differently
Former Vancouver Canucks coach Willie Desjardins turned down offers to work in the NHL this season so he could be behind the bench for Canada at the Winter Olympics. Tony Granato gets to keep his day job at the University of Wisconsin and still coach the United States. Six months from the start of the Olympics in South Korea, picking coaches is just one of the many contrasts between Hockey Canada and USA Hockey. Their rosters will be more similar to each other’s than Russia’s star-studded group, but the two North American countries are embarking on drastically different approaches ahead of the February tournament that will be the first without NHL players since 1994. Canada is taking no risks with its thorough preparation as it tries to win a third consecutive gold medal, while the United States sees a benefit in a less-is-more approach in trying to return to the podium. “There’s no guarantee, so that’s why you get yourself prepared as well as you can,” Canada assistant general manager Martin Brodeur said. The best way to prepare is a matter of opinion. The U.S. and Canada will each rely heavily on professionals playing in European leagues and mix in minor leaguers on American Hockey League contracts . While Russia will likely have a team with former NHL stars like Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk and Andrei Markov , who went home to join the Kontinental Hockey League, Canada has former NHL players like Derek Roy, Max Talbot, Mason Raymond, Kevin Klein and Ben Scrivens to look to in Europe. The U.S. has Nathan Gerbe, Keith Aucoin and former AHL goalies David Leggio and Jean-Philippe Lamoureux. Because there are fewer experienced American players in Europe, the U.S. is far more likely to call on recent world junior and current college players, skewing younger at skill positions. Boston University’s Jordan Greenway and Denver’s Troy Terry, who led the U.S. to gold at the world juniors last year, could be among the selections. Canada GM Sean Burke began preparing a year ago for a no-NHL Olympics, scouting to find potential fits to fill the positions previously held by Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Drew Doughty and Carey Price. U.S. GM Jim Johannson began touching base with players on a serious level in June, after roster rules were set . He doesn’t plan to put a lot of mileage into in-person scouting over the next couple of months. “In many cases we know what those players are,” said Johannson, who has been in charge of recent U.S. world junior and world championship teams. “I don’t think our goal is prior to December go running all across the world to see what do these guys got. Let their season get going.” Canada has already gotten started as a group on the ice, playing this week in the Sochi Hockey Open and taking another group of prospective Olympians to St. Petersburg, Russia, next week for the Tournament of Nikolai Puchkov. Those are the first two of five tournaments in which Canada will participate before the final 25-man team goes to Pyeongchang, along with the Karjala Cup in Finland in November, the Channel One Cup in Russia in mid-December and the Spengler Cup in Switzerland at the end of December. Vice president of hockey operations Scott Salmond said Hockey Canada is “not starting at ground zero” and plans to fine-tune its Olympic roster over the next several months. That’s not all that will come together in those five tournaments. “We will have a better understanding of the players we have, what system we can put in and adjustments we need before it starts,” said Brodeur, who serves as assistant GM of the St. Louis Blues. Burke believes he’ll have a good idea of what Canada’s Olympic team will look like by the Moscow-based Channel Cup, which also includes teams from Russia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden and South Korea. “That’ll be the majority of our team that we’ll head into February with,” Burke said. “That’ll depend on guys, the way they play early in the season. Some guys may emerge. Other guys may drop off. But I do feel that when we get to December, we’ll have put enough work and enough effort into this to have narrowed what we think will be most of our Olympic team down.” The U.S. has all its focus on November’s Deutschland Cup, which will be full of Europe-based pros and include teams from Russia, Slovakia and host Germany, as its only pre-Olympic tournament. Despite playing almost 50 pre-Olympic games for the U.S. in 1988 before the Calgary Olympics, Granato believes it’s a positive that the coaches and players will be able to continue with their regular teams with limited interruption. Johannson considered a more comprehensive pre-Olympic schedule but ruled against extra evaluation time to balance out possible fatigue. “The NCAA programs, to me, just do a [...]
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Matt Duchene on trade rumors: “Whatever’s going to happen is gonna happen”
As trade rumors swirl and Matt Duchene‘s future with the Avalanche is in question, the 26-year-old forward said he is focused on what he can control: his game. During Connor McDavid’s Power Edge Pro Camp Tuesday in Toronto, Duchene told The Sports Network that in regards to his situation, “it is what it is and let it happen.” “I think right now I’m pretty relaxed, I know whatever’s going to happen is gonna happen,” Duchene told TSN. “I don’t really have control of it and I’m just worried about being at the top of my game and kind of getting to where I was kind of the first half of last season, before everything kind of fell apart (for) everybody in Colorado. I feel good right now, probably as good as I felt at any point during the year.” The third overall pick in the 2009 NHL draft, Duchene was second on the team in points (41) last season. His minus-34 plus/minus rating was tied for worst on the Avs with defenseman Tyson Barrie. Related ArticlesJuly 26, 2017 Rocco Grimaldi, Jesse Graham sign 1-year contracts with Avalanche July 25, 2017 Matt Nieto signs one-year, $1 million deal to remain with Avalanche July 18, 2017 Avalanche signs RFAs Gabriel Bourque, Felix Girard, Duncan Siemens July 18, 2017 Lunch Special: Will the Avalanche reach an agreement with Will Butcher? July 7, 2017 Colorado Avalanche announce 2 new coaching hires [...]
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Peter Karmanos seeking $500M in sale of NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. — Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. says he wants to sell his team for about $500 million. Karmanos told The News & Observer of Raleigh on Tuesday that he and an ownership group led by former Texas Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg have agreed to a term sheet but do not have a purchase agreement. Karmanos spoke publicly for the first time since club officials acknowledged last month that an offer was made for the team without identifying the buyer or the sale price. Karmanos says he is giving Greenberg some time to assemble his ownership team. But Karmanos adds that “if we get a few more weeks down the road and he can’t raise enough money, I’m going to tell him sayonara.” [...]
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