Eric Gelinas

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Parenteau acknowledges ‘there’s a chance I get moved’

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P.A. Parenteau’s been through this before.

Last year, he racked up a team-high 20 goals in Toronto. That led to predictions he’d be shipped out during the Maple Leafs’ deadline fire sale yet, when the smoke settled, Parenteau was still a Leaf.

This year, he’s continued to produce — 13 goals and 25 points through 53 games — and knows that if the Devils fall out of playoff contention, he could be subjected to another round of trade rumors.

“I went through it last year,” Parenteau said, per NorthJersey.com. “I was having a really good year and I didn’t get traded. Who knows? The market changes every year.

“I’m aware of my age, and when I sign a one-year deal like that, if the team is going to be out of playoff contention, there’s a chance I get moved.”

The 33-year-old joined the Devils after getting scooped off waivers from the Isles at the start of the campaign. There have been ups and downs in New Jersey, including a healthy scratch in mid-December, but Parenteau did said he “wants to stay” with the club, adding his priority is to “win games, and that’s the way I’m not going to get traded.”

One would think teams will kick the tires.

Parenteau carries a modest $1.3 million cap hit and Devils GM Ray Shero got out in front of the deadline last weekend, when he shipped Vern Fiddler to Nashville for a fourth-round pick.

Last year, Shero was active in selling assets for picks. He sent Lee Stempniak to Boston for a second- and fourth-rounder, then moved Eric Gelinas to Colorado for a third.

The Devils head into tonight’s action five points back of Toronto for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. But they’ve got to jump four teams to get there — the Flyers, Islanders, Panthers and Lightning — which is a tall order, to say the least.

With the Mar. 1 deadline just weeks away, Parenteau could become a popular name.

“I feel like I’m still a good player,” he said. “I feel like I have a lot to give. We’ll see where that takes me.”

Avs claim Barberio from Montreal, waive Gelinas

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Colorado was smacked 5-0 in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, so it wasn’t entirely surprising to see a roster shakeup Thursday morning.

The Avs claimed d-man Mark Barberio off waivers from Montreal, per Sportsnet. In a related move, the club waived blueliner Eric Gelinas.

Barberio, 26, is the second player to join Colorado via waivers recently, as ex-Sharks forward Matt Nieto did the same last month. Nieto has been a lineup fixture ever since, and it’s likely Barberio will be the same — he played 26 games for Montreal, notching four assists while posting pretty solid possession metrics and averaging over 15 minutes per night.

As for Gelinas, today’s move is the latest in a series of low points.

At one time considered a promising young d-man — he signed a two-year, $3.15 million extension with the Devils in ’15 — he fell out of favor in New Jersey and was flipped to Colorado at last year’s deadline for a third-round pick.

Things didn’t improve much in Denver. Between this year and the last, he’s only played 32 games while averaging less than 12 minutes per night. Often, he’s been parked in the press box as a healthy scratch.

As for Barberio, he’s in the first of a two-year deal that pays $750,000 annually. So it’s a nice piece of business for the Avs, who will (presumably) send Gelinas to the AHL if he clears waivers.

Ducks nip Avalanche 2-1 after ‘weird delay’ to fix glass

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Broken glass is a regular occurrence in the heavy-hitting, hard-shooting NHL, and shattered panes usually get replaced swiftly.

Although an uncommon 45-minute delay at Honda Center led to an unusual early intermission, the break also interrupted the Anaheim Ducks’ second-period struggles. They warmed back up in plenty of time to snag another win.

Nick Ritchie scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:02 to play, and the Ducks beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 on Thursday night.

John Gibson made 21 saves and Hampus Lindholm scored the tying power-play goal early in the third period of the Pacific Division-leading Ducks’ eighth victory in 10 games — but the first featuring an intermission in the middle of a period.

“I don’t think the delay did that much to us,” Lindholm said. “It was quite a weird delay, but we stuck in there. … I’ve never had one that long. I don’t think they shoot that hard in Sweden.”

The game was scoreless when Colorado defenseman Eric Gelinas‘ shot put a large starburst in a pane of glass behind Anaheim’s net with 9:48 left in the second period. The Honda Center crew tried to put up a replacement pane quickly, but soon discovered it needed to be cut to fit next to the camera that sits on a stanchion next to the pane.

Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen joked that he should have helped out the arena crew.

“I used to be good at school with my hands,” Vatanen said. “I wanted to go out there, but I had to focus on the game.”

Referees eventually told the teams to take their second intermission while the crew finished their work, apparently cutting one pane too short to use. After play finally resumed and the second period ended, they paused only for a dry scrape of the ice before playing the final 20 minutes of regulation.

“It helped us,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said of the delay. “We weren’t playing very good in the second period. They were coming at us, and it broke up the period. It gave us an opportunity to reset ourselves. It did us a favor.”

Ritchie dramatically rewarded the Ducks for a strong performance when Nikita Zadorov turned over the puck in the slot. Ondrej Kase tipped it to Anaheim’s power forward, and he fired a shot through traffic for his 11th goal.

“The final (goal) is just a bad bounce, that’s all it is,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “That one just took a bad bounce off Zadorov and ended up in the back of our net.”

Calvin Pickard stopped 34 shots for the NHL-worst Avalanche, who have lost four straight and 21 of 25.

Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog scored a power-play goal in the second period to break a scoreless tie shortly after the delay, but the Ducks replied with two third-period goals and incredible defensive plays in the final minute by Gibson and Vatanen, who stopped Jarome Iginla from hitting an open net.

“It was a long break and a different third period,” Landeskog said. “Other than that, I thought it was pretty funny. Most of us did. We didn’t take it too seriously.”

Pickard followed up a 35-save performance in his previous start with another gem, and Landeskog scored his ninth goal shortly after the delay.

But Anaheim finally cashed in on its 2-to-1 shots advantage when Lindholm beat Pickard from the blue line with an exceptional slap shot, which was still rising when it sailed past Ritchie’s screen.

Colorado’s Tyson Barrie missed his first game of the season with a lower-body injury, leaving the Avalanche to face the Ducks without arguably their top two defensemen. Erik Johnson, who missed his 20th straight game with a broken leg, is likely out until mid-February.

 

Alain Vigneault got an interesting call from Patrick Roy this past summer

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Patrick Roy quit the Colorado Avalanche due to “philosophical differences” with GM Joe Sakic. That much we know for sure.

And while those differences were never explained in full detail, it sure sounds like one of them — and let’s face it, there were probably a bunch of them — was the assessment of defenseman Nick Holden.

To refresh your memory, Sakic traded Holden to the Rangers in June, and all the Avs got in return was a fourth-round draft pick in 2017.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault remembers the trade well.

“It was funny, we were coming back from (the draft in) Buffalo, I got a call as I got off the plane in Ottawa from Patrick Roy saying to me, ‘You just got one of my better defensemen,'” Vigneault said, per the New York Post.

“And I don’t know why Pat called me out of the blue.”

Yeah, funny.

For the record, we’re not suggesting that the Holden trade tore the Colorado Avalanche apart. At the end of the day, it was a minor trade. But it may have been illustrative of the philosophical differences between Roy and Sakic. The former was clearly a Holden fan. The latter thought he was worth a fourth-round pick.

According to Vigneault, Holden has been a good early fit with the Rangers (4-2-0). The 29-year-old, whose cap hit is just $1.65 million, has logged over 20 minutes a game while skating mostly on the top pairing with Ryan McDonagh, who’s been excellent to start the season.

It remains to be seen if Holden and McDonagh, both left shots, will remain together all year. McDonagh spent most of last year with right-shooting Dan Girardi or Kevin Klein, but those two are currently paired with Brady Skjei and Marc Staal, respectively. The healthy scratches last game were both rights shots, Adam Clendening and Dylan McIlrath, the latter of whom is reportedly on the trading block.

So a lot could still change with this Rangers defense, which came into the season under a powerful microscope. The early returns have been encouraging, though. (Or, at the very least, not as poor as many had expected.)

Meanwhile, the Avs’ back end remains a work in progress. Sakic said the Holden trade would open up opportunities for youngsters Nikita ZadorovChris Bigras, and Duncan Siemens; however, the latter two didn’t make the team out of camp and Zadorov has averaged just 16:25 of ice time so far.

In Colorado’s first five games, new coach Jared Bednar has leaned heavily on Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie, and Francois Beauchemin, with support from Zadorov, Eric Gelinas and free-agent additions Fedor Tyutin and Patrick Wiercioch.

Colorado shakes up blueline again, will buy out Stuart

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Brad Stuart‘s time is up in Colorado.

Per the Denver Post, the Avs are set to buy out the veteran defenseman of the final year of his contract — a two-year, $7.2 million deal with a $3.6M average annual cap hit.

Because Stuart is 36, Colorado won’t receive any salary cap relief with the buyout. It will, however, save $1.2 million in cash (two-thirds of Stuart’s salary is to be paid out over the course of this year and the next.)

A 16-year veteran, Stuart barely played for the Avs last year, missing extensive time with a back injury (and subsequent surgery). He appeared in just six games all told.

With this move and the trade of Nick Holden to the Rangers at the draft, Avs GM Joe Sakic has opened up some spots on defense. The goal is to have some of the organization’s young prospects make the leap to full-time NHL status.

Sakic told the Post that Nikita Zadorov (21 years old), Chris Bigras (21) and ’11 first-round pick Duncan Siemens (22) will have “every opportunity to try and make this team.”

Sakic added that 25-year-old Eric Gelinas, acquired from New Jersey at last year’s trade deadline, is also in the mix for minutes.

On that note, it’s probably worth mentioning the Avs passed on qualifying d-man Brandon Gormley and won’t re-sign UFA blueliner Zach Redmond.

That would seemingly put some pressure on Sakic to get a deal done with pending RFA Tyson Barrie. Though Barrie has been the subject of trade rumors over the last months, the Avs have said they’re not dealing him away.