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Avalanche hope P.A. Parenteau continues progress


After fighting through the minors and accepting one-year contracts during his NHL seasons, the Colorado Avalanche rewarded P.A. Parenteau with a four-year, $16 million deal this summer.

The 29-year-old forward represents the splashiest move the Avs made during the offseason, but what can they expect from winger?

Two full seasons with the New York Islanders isn’t a big sample size, yet he’s put up commendable numbers so far – including 67 points last season.

Adrian Dater expects Parenteau to line up with Matt Duchene (the third overall pick in 2009) after doing much of his damage alongside that year’s top choice John Tavares.

Having a playmaker such as Parenteau skating alongside Duchene could be a real boon for the struggling should-be star.

After showing outstanding promise in his first two seasons, Duchene fought injuries and uneven play to settle for 28 points in 58 games in 2011-12.

One of free agency’s biggest risks is that players often fail to translate previous successes to a new environment.

Some might argue that a lapse in effort is less likely for Parenteau because he fought so hard merely to be a regular NHL player, though.

Either way, many will view Colorado’s offseason success based on Parenteau’s production.

Senators select Kyle Turris as alternate captain

Chris Neil Kyle Turris Dustin Tokarski
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Kyle Turris is gearing up for his fifth season with the Ottawa Senators, but this campaign will be a little different.

Ottawa announced that Turris will be joining Chris Neil as one of the team’s alternate captains. Turris is assuming that role from Chris Phillips as the 37-year-old defenseman remains out indefinitely due to a back injury.

Since being acquired from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Turris has established himself as one of Ottawa’s top forwards. He tied for second in the team’s scoring race last season with 64 points in 82 contests and gelled with rookie linemate Mark Stone.

With the Senators favoring a youth movement, Turris actually stands out as one of the Senators’ more experienced players at the age of 26. He’s also set to play a big role with the Senators for years to come as he’s locked to an affordable $3.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18.

Meanwhile defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting ready for his second season as the team’s captain.

Another Sabre hurt: Gionta (lower body) day-to-day

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On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.

Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.

The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.

There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.

Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.