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

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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.”

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.

Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

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TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.