Paul Stastny

Stastny doesn’t know if he’ll be back with Avs


With Colorado facing elimination in Game 7 versus Minnesota, tonight could be the last night Paul Stastny dons an Avalanche jersey.

Sorry to be so blunt about it, Avs fans — we know you’re already a bit on edge — but it’s true.

Then again, it’s also true that Colorado could beat the Wild and Stastny could sign a long-term extension before he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

“You don’t know. I don’t know, either,” the 28-year-old center said Tuesday, per the Denver Post. “Sometimes you think about it a little bit …”

It’s funny, it wasn’t too long ago that Stastny’s five-year, $33 million contract was cause for scorn in Colorado. Now Avs fans are worried he won’t sign another one.

What’s certain is that, if Stastny does decide to the free-agent market, there will be no shortage of suitors willing to pay him a lot of money. There simply isn’t another two-way center of his caliber potentially available. Especially not one under the age of 30.

Will the Avs have room to keep him? We only ask, because they already have forwards Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene signed to long-term deals, while Ryan O’Reilly is a pending restricted free agent who could get a big deal for himself. And the blue line could use an upgrade. And somewhere down the line, you have to believe Nathan MacKinnon is going to get himself a whopper of a contract.

That said, head coach Patrick Roy is hopeful that Stastny won’t prove too rich for the blood of the budget-conscious Avs.

“We believe Paul wants to stay as an Avalanche next year and we think there’s a good chance he can sign with us,” Roy said, per the StarTribune. “How it happens, that will be up to [executive vice president] Joe [Sakic] and [Matt Keator, Stastny’s] agent to discuss. I think Paul has the Avs in his heart, he loves to be in this town and he loves these fans.”

Two-for-two: Another successful coach’s challenge as Sens reverse Kane’s goal

Dave Cameron
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Coaches are quickly getting the hang of this challenge thing.

Following Mike Babcock’s successful challenge in Toronto’s opening-night loss to Montreal on Wednesday, Babcock’s provincial rival — Sens head coach Dave Cameron — got it right as well, successfully reversing Evander Kane‘s would-be equalizer in the third period.

From the league:

At 10:34 of the third period in the Senators/Sabres game, Ottawa requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Buffalo was off-side prior to Evander Kane’s goal.

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an “Off-side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.”

Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Buffalo Sabres.

The clock is re-set to show 9:32 (10:28 elapsed time), when the off-side infraction occurred.

As the league later noted, this was the first coach’s challenge under the offside scenario.

Video: Eichel’s first career NHL goal


Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.

The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.

Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.