While the thought of landing a future superstar like Seth Jones or Nathan MacKinnon at this summer’s NHL Entry Draft may be one of the few things keeping Avalanche fans going these days, Colorado forward Matt Duchene isn’t ready to tank what’s left of the season.
“A top pick would be great, but I think a positive feeling going into the summer from a great finish would be even better for us,” said Duchene, per the Denver Post. “I owe it to every guy in this room and to every person who buys a ticket, who pays good money to come see us and cheer us on, to try to do my best.
“People are playing for future jobs and contracts, and these last 12 games may be meaningless for the playoffs, but for each one of us in here they all mean something. We need to help each other. That’s how we have to finish here.”
Duchene is in the midst an outstanding bounce-back season. The 22-year-old who signed a modest two-year, $7 million deal in June has 35 points in 35 games, ranking him 20th in league scoring.
Despite Duchene’s production, Colorado sits dead last in the NHL heading into tonight’s home game versus Detroit.
The draft lottery will be held Apr. 29, with every non-playoff team having a shot at the first overall pick.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.
The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.
Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.
“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”
The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.
Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.
It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.
Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.
He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.
Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.
If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.
The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.
The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.