According to Mike Chambers of The Denver Post, the Avs’ top priority heading into free agency is to add left-handed shooting defensemen.
Chambers previously reported the club is unlikely to re-sign pending unrestricted free agent defensemen Jan Hejda or Ryan Wilson. Both are left shots.
“As a coach, yes, we’d like to have somebody to play with EJ (inaudible) and Tyson. Obviously, we have (Nick) Holden and (Brad) Stuart, who are left shots, but we’d like to add a defenseman in the top four,” Patrick Roy said. “I think it will help our team tremendously.”
According to Generalfanager.com, there are currently 60 left shot blue liners set to hit the open market on July 1.
Chambers suggests the Avs will focus on Andrej Sekera, Christian Ehrhoff, Matt Irwin, Johnny Oduya and Paul Martin. Sekera is the Avs’ top target, according to Chambers.
The 29-year-old split the 2014-15 season between the Carolina Hurricanes and L.A. Kings scoring three goals and 23 points in 73 games while averaging nearly 22 minutes a night in ice time.
Kings’ GM Dean Lombardi said the team was in negotiations with Sekera last month and believes the blue liner wants to remain in Los Angeles.
Colorado could have as much as $13 million to play with in free agency.
“It’s definitely and exciting time for everybody — stressful as well,” GM Joe Sakic said of free agency. “We’ve got guys that we’re looking to see what we can do about adding to our lineup and see if something fits. It’s a two-way street. You can like somebody but they have to … players pick where they want to go. We have guys in mind that we’d like to come on board and help us win … We’re working and things keep coming up.”
Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov earned his 16th victory tonight as Colorado topped Arizona 5-2. It doesn’t seem like a stretch to say this one was easier than his previous 15 wins.
Arizona only recorded five shots on goal in the first period and they weren’t credited with a single shot in the second frame. That’s the first time in nearly 12 years that Arizona has gone an entire period without a shot and just the third time it’s happened in franchise history, per the Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan. Colorado had a 5-1 lead through 40 minutes, which means that the Avalanche wouldn’t have been losing the contest at that point even if Varlamov had failed to make even a single save.
Remarkably the Coyotes managed to avoid setting a new single game franchise low as they recorded 12 shots in the third period. Varlamov wasn’t around for that though as Avalanche coach Patrick Roy decided to let him rest after he faced just five shots over 40 minutes. Reto Berra stepped in and made 11 saves.
Nick Holden netted the game-winning goal for Colorado. Jarome Iginla recorded two assists to put him ahead of Vincent Damphousse in the NHL’s all-time points list. Iginla has 1,207 points, which is just two shy of 44th place and Bernie Nicholls.
Colorado also beat Dallas on Saturday, giving the Avalanche a 24-22-11 record this season. At this point their chances of advancing to the postseason are slim.
The Colorado Avalanche have recalled forward Borna Rendulic from the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League, the club announced via Twitter.
From the Denver Post:
Rendulic will be in Denver on Wednesday to play against the Philadelphia Flyers at Pepsi Center.
The Avs had a shortened 20-man roster Monday at St. Louis with no healthy scratches. They used defenseman Nick Holden as a forward on the fourth line. He played a little more than eight minutes, with one shot on goal. The Blues won easily, 3-0.
Originally from Croatia, the 22-year-old Rendulic has played three games for the Avalanche this season. Signed as a free agent in May, he was originally recalled to Colorado in early December. In three NHL games, he has yet to record a point while averaging 6:48 of ice time.
The Colorado Avalanche fell 4-3 in overtime to the Calgary Flames Thursday night; however, Alex Tanguay scored a highlight-reel goal to give the Avs a 3-2 lead in the third period.
Matt Duchene and Nick Holden had the other goals for the Avs, who have failed to pick up a win in back-to-back games on their three-game road trip.
Dennis Wideman had a two-goal night for the Calgary Flames. He now has 10 on the season, which matches his goal totals for the past two seasons combined. He had 11 in 2011-12 while with the Washington Capitals and a career-high of 13 goals, which reached in 2007-08 and 2008-09 while a member of the Boston Bruins.
Curtis Glencross also scored for the flames.
Johnny Gaudreau had the overtime winner.
The win was Bob Hartley’s 400th of his coaching career.
Looks like Patrick Roy has dug deep into the motivational handbook:
Holden, 27, was one of the biggest surprises in Colorado last year, making the team out of training camp before appearing in a career-high 52 games, scoring 10 goals and 25 points (Holden also had three goals and four points in seven playoff games.)
But this year… yikes. Just one goal through 25 contests with a team-worst minus-16 rating (41.2 percent Corsi For.)
As the above tweets suggest, Colorado is all sorts of banged up right now. Forwards Dennis Everberg, Jamie McGinn and Jesse Winchester are all on IR, as too are blueliners Brad Stuart and Ryan Wilson. That’s led to some major ice time for certain guys, like Tyson Barrie — he played a season-high 24:59 in Monday’s 4-3 loss to Montreal — and Alex Tanguay, who played 21:28 against the Habs, way above his season average of 17:29.
As mentioned above, the Avs are Calgary on Thursday for a date with the streaking Flames. After that, Colorado will become well acquainted with the Jets and Blues — from Dec. 5-23, the Avs play the Jets twice and the Blues three times (in the span of 10 total games).