Marc Staal's agent: We want to sign with the Rangers

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Earlier today we relayed a story claiming that Rangers restricted free agent defenseman Marc Staal was hoping to get an offer sheet in order to speed up the process of getting signed whether it be with the Rangers or not. As one might expect, Marc Staal’s agent stepped up to clear the air surrounding his client. The Sporting News’ Craig Custance gets the scoop.

As negotiations between the Rangers and restricted free agent Marc Staal drag on into late August, rumors of pending offer sheets for the talented young defenseman have started to surface.

But offer sheets aren’t the focus right now, said Staal’s agent Paul Krepelka of the Orr Hockey Group.

“The report of an offer sheet is absolutely unfounded and our priority and focus is on finalizing a deal with the Rangers,” Krepelka wrote in an e-mail to Sporting News.

That should take care of worries for now for Rangers fans who want to see the 23 year-old stud defenseman return to Manhattan. While Staal is ideally a prime target to be poached by a team, the Rangers have remained steadfast in saying they’ll match any offer regardless of what their cap situation is. Whether or not a team is willing to challenge them on that remains to be seen.

Avs unveil new third jerseys

Avs Jerseys

The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.

Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.

(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)

While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.

The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.

Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out

Report: Escrow set at 16 percent

Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr
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Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?

Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:

With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.

That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.

Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.

Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith