Posts Tagged ‘Colorado Avalanche’

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One of the greatest players in the history of the Colorado Avalanche believes the club should do more to address the Matt Duchene situation.

”Doubtful that he should be allowed to play (with the Avalanche),” Peter Forsberg said Saturday on Swedish television, as translated by Expressen’s Robin Lindgren via Mike Chambers of the Denver Post.

“Put him in the stands,” Forsberg continued. “If I were playing with a player that I know doesn´t even want to be in the team, it´s not like he is going to throw himself on the ice and block shots with his head. It is mostly difficult to have a player like that in the team, although he is skillful and is doing his best. I would rather play with someone that wants to be there. I would put him on the bench and trade him.”

Duchene, who has been on the trade block since last season, said he was “here to honor (his) contract,” when he reported to training camp last month.

The center notched a goal and an assist in Colorado’s season-opening win over the New York Rangers on Thursday night, and was held off the score sheet Saturday in a loss to the New Jersey Devils, despite firing five shots on goal.

Forsberg is the NHL’s all-time leader in points per game among qualified Swedish players (1.25), and he ranks second on the Avalanche’s franchise list for points per game (1.28), only behind Quebec Nordiques legend Peter Stastny.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014.

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The Avalanche are growing hockey in Colorado.

According to Mike Chambers of The Denver Post, the Avalanche will have their AHL squad in nearby Loveland, Colo. for the 2018-19 season.

The market is currently served by the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles, which will shift to the American Hockey League next season to partner with the Avalanche.

The Eagles play out of the Budweiser Events Center, about 50 miles north of Denver. Founded in 2003, the Eagles were previously part of the former Central Hockey League but transferred to the ECHL in 2011.

Their addition to the AHL will bring the league to 31 teams, matching the NHL after its expansion to Las Vegas.

An official announcement is expected in September.

The Avalanche are currently affiliated with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage, which will partner with the St. Louis Blues beginning in 2018-19, according to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Blues are without their own minor-league team this season, and will share the Chicago Wolves with the incoming Vegas Golden Knights.

at Pepsi Center on October 24, 2015 in Denver, Colorado.

Where oh where will Matt Duchene ever end up?

The Colorado Avalanche forward has been at the center of trade talks for what seems like an eternity in hockey circles, but after surviving the trade deadline and the initial rush of summer madness, Duchene is inching toward another training camp in Denver – a scenario general manager Joe Sakic is content with.

“I will be listening to offers. Right now it’s quiet on all fronts,” Sakic told Mike Chambers of The Denver Post. “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.”

The Avalanche posted a dreadful 48-point campaign in 2016-17, and because of their futility, it was expected Duchene would be the first cast off to ignite an organizational rebuild. It’s yet to happen, and it appears Sakic will maintain his patient approach to maximize the potential return for the 26-year-old sniper.

Since registering a career-high 70 points in 2013-14, Duchene hasn’t matched that level of productivity, and only mustered 18 goals and 23 assists a season ago. Still, he remains an incredibly talented, affordable player, and if the Avalanche are – somehow – unable to significantly improve on one of the worst seasons in NHL history, his name will only continue to be brought up in trade rumors.

Avs veterans report back to the Pepsi Center

Change is inevitable for the last-place Colorado Avalanche, but Joe Sakic says the overhaul of the team’s roster this offseason is likely to be significant nonetheless.

“There’s going to be a lot of turnover and we’re going to get some younger guys in here,” the general manager told Altitude Sports Radio on Tuesday. “We’re expecting to be a quicker team and a much more competitive team.”

The Avalanche were anything but competitive this season, posting a mere 48 points and compiling the worst record since the 1999-2000 Atlanta Thrashers.

Colorado does have some encouraging young forwards in the fold, with Tyson Jost and J.T. Compher debuting for the club in 2016-17, while Mikko Rantanen excelled in his first full NHL season.

On defense, Sakic said the Avalanche are hopeful they’ll soon be able to announce the signing of KHL defenseman Andrei Mironov, who was drafted in the fourth round by Colorado in 2015.

The availability of both Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog was no secret this season, and while trades remain possible, Sakic says the free-agent market is one avenue the Avalanche won’t be exploring.

“We’re not going to be players in free agency,” the GM said. “We want to grow our kids, keep the youth movement going and try and develop and have them grow together.”

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Well, that was unexpected.

The New Jersey Devils won the NHL draft lottery Saturday night, securing the first overall pick in June. The Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars also made significant jumps, and will pick second and third overall, respectively.

New Jersey had the fifth-highest odds, entering the lottery with an 8.5 percent chance of landing the top selection, while the Flyers and Stars made even bigger leaps up the draft board.

Philadelphia had only a 2.4 percent chance of getting the second overall pick, and the Stars came into the lottery with only a 6.4 percent shot at getting the No. 3 selection.

The Colorado Avalanche had the best odds of receiving the first overall pick, but fell to fourth, while the Vancouver Canucks slipped to fifth despite having the second-highest odds of nabbing the No. 1 selection.

It was also a disappointing draw for the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, who, along with the Arizona Coyotes, came in holding the third-highest odds of finishing the lottery in the top spot.

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In the thick of rumors surrounding a team desperate for change, Matt Duchene is prepared for anything leading up to the trade deadline.

The Colorado Avalanche pivot has been a staple of the franchise since he was drafted third overall in 2009, but now, at 26, Duchene recognizes his club’s situation and will accept whatever lies ahead – even a trade.

“I’m open to it,” Duchene told Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post on Wednesday. “When I say open to it, I know it’s part of the business, and it’s something that might happen. I’m not hiding from it. I’m not running away. I’m not banging my head. I understand it’s part of what we deal with as pro athletes.”

Colorado’s season has been flat-out disastrous. The Avalanche are on pace for the lowest point percentage in the post-lockout era, as head coach Jared Bednar’s introduction to the NHL has resulted in a league-worst 28 points through 46 games.

“Where we’re at, it’s really hard. It’s tough for everybody. Waking up in the morning, it’s not the same excitement going to the rink,” Duchene said.

The Avalanche need to make a change, and Duchene, the club’s leader in goals (15), would likely provide general manager Joe Sakic a hefty return of assets to help a rebuild.

In his tenure with Colorado, Duchene has appeared in the playoffs twice, and if he’s packing his bags, he hopes to land with a winner.

“I know when this team, or whatever (NHL) team I’m on, is ready to win, I know I’ll be able to bring some experience to it,” Duchene said. “That’s something that fuels me, and it keeps me positive.”

Duchene’s skill set is highly enticing. His speed and playmaking have led to an average of 0.75 points per game over 536 career contests.

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Gabriel Landeskog isn’t looking for an escape.

The Colorado Avalanche captain, and a player who, if dealt, would actualize the imminent shakeup in Denver, has stated his desire to remain with the crumbling program.

“I want to be an Avalanche, to stay an Avalanche, and be in Denver for a long, long time,” he told Mike Chambers of The Denver Post.

Landeskog, believed to be one of the few valuable assets general manager Joe Sakic will consider trading before the deadline on March 1, isn’t allowing the chatter to affect his approach.

“Whether my name is floating around or not, I’m still approaching the game the same way,” he said. “And that is to spread energy, be a good teammate, work hard and try to get better every day. Me being in trade rumors, that’s nothing I can control.”

A physical left-shot scoring winger that has scored at least 20 goals in each of his four 82-game seasons, and a leader that was once the youngest captain in NHL history, Landeskog isn’t short of desirable traits. The trouble is finding a trade partner that’s willing to move an asset the Avalanche covet, and has the cap space to entertain the final four-plus seasons on Landeskog’s $39-million deal.

Among the names Sakic said the Avs won’t consider moving are Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and last year’s No. 1 draft pick, Tyson Jost.