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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Datsyuk ‘wants to make sure the Wings have options,’ says his agent
“He would like to leave, but at the same time, he wants to make sure the Wings have options,” Milstein said. “He wants to help the team any way he can with the salary cap issue.”
Wings general manager Ken Holland has said there are no loopholes. Because Datsyuk signed his last contract after he turned 35, his $7.5 million salary cap hit remains in tact even if Datsyuk departs. The Wings’ only option is to trade his contract to a team such as Arizona or Carolina that could use the hefty cap hit in order to be above the salary cap minimum.
At the age of 37, his career in the league started in 2001-02, and has spanned 953 regular season games in which he’s accrued 918 points.
He’s had a highly decorated career, with two Stanley Cup championships with the Red Wings, three Selke and four Lady Byng trophies.
Allen or Elliott? Another goalie decision looms for Hitchcock
The St. Louis Blues need to win Game 6 on Wednesday, or their season is over. Who they decide to turn to in net is likely to be a talking point — heated debate, maybe? — leading up to that contest.
Do they go back to Jake Allen for a third consecutive start, despite the fact he allowed four goals on 25 shots in Monday’s Game 5 loss to the San Jose Sharks? Or, will head coach Ken Hitchcock turn once again to Brian Elliott, who started every single game from the series opener of the first round versus Chicago to Game 3 of the Western Conference Final.
“I thought he was fine. I don’t know, those are decisions we make in a day or so. But I thought he was fine today. He stopped some point-blank shots, especially early, three times early,” Hitchcock told reporters.
“I don’t know. That’s stuff we’ll talk about tomorrow.”
Feeding frenzy: Sharks send Blues to the brink of elimination in Western Conference Final