2013 NHL Draft

MacKinnon: Duchene ‘very confident’ about Avalanche


Two members entrusted with helping bring the Colorado Avalanche back to prominence in the National Hockey League skated together this week.

Nathan MacKinnon, who the Avalanche took with the first overall pick in last month’s draft, and Matt Duchene skated at the Halifax Civic Centre this week, alongside another NHL star, Sidney Crosby.

Duchene is only 22 years of age but has been with the Avalanche since 2009, when the team drafted him with the third overall pick in the draft. He also recently re-signed with the Avalanche, with a deal that’s worth $30 million at five years.

MacKinnon is beginning to see the drive and passion Duchene has for the Avalanche, and restoring the winning feeling that was once so common in Denver, during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“He talks about the organization, his past experiences and what worked, what didn’t; it’s nice to have that,” MacKinnon told The Chronicle Herald about Duchene.

“We get along pretty well. We got to spend some time together.

“He’s so skilled, he’s one of the best players on the team. He leads by example. It’s going to be fun to be his teammate. He obviously loves it there; he just signed a five-year deal. He’s very confident about the team going forward and so am I.”

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.