From July 16-Aug 16, we’ll be profiling all 30 NHL teams by recapping what they did this offseason and previewing their upcoming campaigns.
41-35-6, 88 points; 11th in the Western Conference and third in Northwest Division.
P.A. Parenteau, John Mitchell and Greg Zanon
Peter Mueller, Jay McClement and Kevin Porter
No first-round pick.
The Colorado Avalanche experienced an uneven 2011-12 season, but some in the organization may feel encouraged by the team’s late charge in March. Trade acquisitions Steve Downie and Jamie McGinn made enough of an impact to inspire some added optimism as well.
Semyon Varlamov’s up-and-down year probably had the biggest impact on Colorado’s fortunes, yet the team hopes for more consistency from Matt Duchene, Erik Johnson and Paul Stastny than they showed.
Gabriel Landeskog’s Calder Trophy season ranked among the team’s biggest highlights last season.
The Avalanche boast a young roster that could see quite a bit of improvement from within if the right buttons are pushed. Varlamov, Landeskog, Johnson, Stastny and especially Duchene could conceivably take another step forward next season.
Parenteau represents the biggest addition while the franchise gambled a bit by allowing injury-prone winger Mueller leave for nothing. One might also look at last season’s late arrivals Downie and McGinn as “new” players too, though.
Head coach Joe Sacco enters an important season. A third consecutive failed playoff run might bring his work in Colorado to an end.
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Crouse brings the ‘total package’ of size, skill and speed to Coyotes
The Coyotes had to take on the contract of injured forward Dave Bolland, but in their minds, it was worth it to get a player like Crouse, who certainly brings size up front at six-foot-four-inches tall and 212 pounds. He had 23 goals and 62 points in 49 games this season with Kingston in the OHL.
“He’s a guy that you add the size and he actually enhances that for your entire group. In our opinion, it was a guy that’s rare to find, difficult to obtain. Certainly, once they become established in the league, those players are locked up well into their 30s and then you end up trying to maybe overpay for a player that has these attributes that’s not in the prime of his career.”
Crouse, who turned 19 years old in June, now joins the likes of Max Domi, Dylan Strome and Anthony Duclair as part of Arizona’s group of up-and-coming young forwards. He has familiarity with all three from playing in the OHL or for Team Canada at the world juniors.
“He can fly. He’s fast and he hits and he scores goals. You kinda get the total package,” Strome told Sportsnet.
Last week domain names were registered that might be an indicator that the NHL team scheduled to begin play in 2017 could be called the Las Vegas Desert Knights.
Last week the domains lasvegasdesertknights.com, vegasdesertknights.com and desertknightshockey.com were privately registered to Moniker Privacy Services, which is the same company that procured the domain name to NHL.com.
DetroitHockey.net first reported the new domain name Thursday morning.
Foley said via text message he had no comment regarding the process when reached by the Review-Journal.
Scott Luce has gone from the Florida Panthers to the Las Vegas expansion franchise.
The new NHL organization — still searching for a team name — announced Thursday that it has hired Luce as its new director of amateur scouting.
Luce spent the last 14 years in Florida, as a scout and as director of player personnel.
Luce was let go earlier in the offseason, as the Panthers underwent massive change within their front office, with the promotion of Dale Tallon to president of hockey operations and Tom Rowe to GM, and more attention to analytics.