Selanne lauds Granlund, who replaces Coyle as Wild’s No. 2 center


Last season, Mikael Granlund opened as Minnesota’s second-line center, only to lose the spot to Matt Cullen and, this year, to fellow sophomore Charlie Coyle.

But with Coyle now out 3-4 weeks (knee sprain), Granlund is once again getting his shot at the No. 2 spot — and has a big-time backer Teemu Selanne.

“Every level where he’s played before, [Granlund’s] found a way to be a star,” Selanne told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “The way he can see the game and his creative style of hockey, especially offensively, that’s the kind of player he can be.

“Obviously he needs good players around him, but the vision he has and the way he can see linemates, it’s something really special.”

Granlund, 21, spent the summer skating alongside the 43-year-old Selanne in their native Finland. It was in Finland where Selanne told Granlund what he needed to work on to improve his game — additional leg strength and skating speed — and the youngster appears to have listened.

Granlund got off to a great start in a season-opening shootout loss to L.A., notching a pair of assists. That paved the way for an increased role in Minnesota’s second game of the year, a OT loss to the Ducks, in which Granlund played 21 shifts (up from 18 in Game 1) and 15:39 TOI (up from 14:54).

Now, with Coyle out of the lineup, the Finn figures to get even more work. There’s a good possibility he’ll be centering the second power play unit on Tuesday when the Wild takes on Nashville.

Selanne said that for Granlund to succeed, he’ll need to keep playing with confidence.

“I told Granny, and I always say to guys with that kind of talent who have all the tools, the biggest thing they need is confidence,” he explained. “And you have to find it somewhere, somehow, especially when you have disappointment after things don’t go as easy right away as maybe they did in the past.”

Avs unveil new third jerseys

Avs Jerseys

The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.

Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.

(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)

While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.

The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.

Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out

Report: Escrow set at 16 percent

Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr
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Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?

Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:

With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.

That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.

Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.

Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith