September 4th, 2014 at 7:53 PM
By Corey Dunkin
As the NHL preseason draws nearer, the Colorado Avalanche have taken care of their last bit of contract business before the season begins. Budding defenseman Tyson Barrie has been signed to a deal that will keep him in an Avalanche uniform for the next two seasons. The deal is reportedly worth $5.2 million.
Barrie was the last of several Colorado players who had pending contract negotiations this offseason, others being Ryan O'Reilly and Nick Holden. With Barrie under contract, the team can set aside contract concerns and focus on hockey. Moving forward, Barrie is expected to lead the charge when it comes to offensive production from the defense.
It might be surprising to some that Barrie's new contract is only for two years, but the length of it hardly matters. If Barrie plays as well as expected than he will no doubt earn a monster contract extension before being allowed to reach free agency. In the meantime, the team isn't tied to him long term in the unfortunate event that he doesn't continue on his current path. The most likely scenario, however, is that he will be with the Avalanche for a very long time. He has already been identified as a crucial part of the team's young nucleus, and based on his development so far, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about his career trajectory.Read more... Join the Conversation...
August 21st, 2014 at 1:33 PM
By Corey Dunkin
A truly great NHL career came to a close today as former Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere officially announced his retirement from hockey as a player. This news has been expected all offseason long, and now the book can close on what was a tremendously successful career.
Giguere made his NHL debut in the 1996-97 season with the Hartford Whalers, which was the last season before that franchise moved to Carolina and became the Hurricanes. Giguere was the last remaining player in the NHL to have ever played in a Whalers uniform, and now there are none left. After a brief stint with the Calgary Flames, Giguere spent the bulk of his career with the Anaheim Ducks, with whom he played from 2000 until 2010. In 2003, he became on of very few players in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs despite his team losing in the finals. The New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup that year. Giguere would later become a Stanley Cup champion when the Ducks won the Cup in 2007.Read more... Join the Conversation...
August 20th, 2014 at 1:01 PM
By Corey Dunkin
Nearly four months since the end of the last season for the Colorado Avalanche, we now know when they will next take the ice against another NHL team. On September 22 the Avalanche will open their seven game preseason at home against the Anaheim Ducks. That game will be the day after the Burgundy/White game, Colorado's annual intra-squad scrimmage.
As usual, Colorado's preseason schedule this year will have them playing against several opponents twice. After the opening game against the Ducks, the other six games will be three home-and-home sets starting with the Montreal Canadiens, then the Calgary Flames, and concluding with the Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings. The regular season opener on October 9 in Minnesota will be five days after Colorado's last preseason game.
As with many sports, there is tempered excitement for the preseason. On one hand, the games are mere exhibition contests the results of which don't really matter. But on the other hand, it's the first time since spring that we will see the sport back in action. One could think of the preseason as an appetizer for the regular season. The exhibition games hold you over while you wait out the final days before the regular season and they get you back into a hockey watching groove.Read more... Join the Conversation...
August 15th, 2014 at 4:08 PM
By Corey Dunkin
In a little over a month, on September 21, the Colorado Avalanche will play their first hockey game since last April, assuming that the as yet unannounced preseason schedule doesn't have one earlier. Granted, there won't be anything at stake, but it is the event that signals the return of hockey every year for the Avalanche, the Burgundy/White game.
Just before the beginning of every season, the Avalanche play an intra-squad full three period game with half of the players wearing the burgundy home jerseys and the other half donning the white road jerseys. It is essentially a prolonged practice session that is open to the fans and where the team wears gameday apparel instead of practice jerseys. The most common site for the event has been the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs, but this year the event will return to the University of Denver. According to the team's official website, tickets for the Burgundy/White game will go on sale next Thursday and will cost $10-$25.Read more... Join the Conversation...
August 14th, 2014 at 6:07 PM
By Corey Dunkin
With the depth that the Colorado Avalanche currently have on the roster, the team appears to be in pretty good shape heading into the upcoming season. While that is good for the team and the fans, it does mean that some of the young prospects in the developmental system will be hard pressed to crack the lineup anytime soon. Let's take a look at some of those prospects who have the best chance to see their first NHL action at some point this season.
Duncan Siemens – Defenseman – Drafted 11th overall in 2011
It is somewhat surprising that Duncan Siemens has yet to play in his first NHL game considering the fact that he was drafted exactly nine picks after the team's captain, Gabriel Landeskog. This will be the fourth season since Siemens was drafted, and one would expect a first round pick to have secured a place on the roster after that much time. Not much has been said of his progress over the last three years, so it's hard to say whether he is developing as originally hoped. While it is too early to guess how his career will pan out, we can reasonably assume that he has the potential to debut for Colorado this season if a couple of defensemen have prolonged injuries. In the meantime, he will probably be delegated to the team's AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters.Read more... Join the Conversation...