Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Landeskog Draft Video

Via Puck Daddy , check out Gabriel Landeskog's draft day experience, complete with Landeskog's first handshake with Coach Sacco and Joe Sakic. - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

Friday, June 24, 2011

With the Eleventh Pick...

...the Avalanche selected Duncan Siemens.

Siemens is a big 6'3" defenseman from the Saskatoon Blades of the Ontario Hockey League.

The Hockey News - in their annual Draft Preview - had this to say:

Scouts see Siemens as a dependable defenseman who can contribute at both ends of the ice and in a physical game. "He has solid all-around skills," a scout said. "He's good offensively and solid defensively. He's tough and is willing to fight. He projects to be a solid top-four D-man."

With the loss of John-Michael Liles (and the apparent inexplicable re-signing of Matt Hunwick), Siemens will join Stefan Elliot, Tyson Barrie, Cameron Gaunce, Joel Chouinard, and Erik Johnson as the future of the Avalanche blueline.

Not a bad start to the draft, Mr. Sherman. - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

Avs Draft Gabriel Landeskog Second Overall

With the second pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the Avalanche selected the physically intimidating Swede, Gabriel Landeskog from the Kitchener Rangers.

The winger is expected to play in the NHL next season.

Note: He's a Forsberg fan!

The Avs, pending a trade, will pick next at #11. - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

Liles Traded to Toronto

Colorado has traded defenseman John-Michael Liles to Toronto for a 2012 second round draft pick.

Tough to see a guy who many thought would be our next captain leave for next to nothing in return.

Liles played seven seasons for the Avalanche, accumulating 68 goals and 207 assists in 523 games. Last season was his best offensively since the year following the lockout.

He leaves Colorado as having played the fifth most games for the team since 1996, ranking behind only Hejduk, Sakic, Foote, and Forsberg. - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

Thursday, June 23, 2011

EXCLUSIVE: (Other) Guys The Avs Might Draft

Hishon was a surprising pick. Who's next?

Last year, the Avalanche shocked the draft by selecting center Joey Hishon with the 17th overall pick. Hishon was ranked 55th by the Central Scouting Service and many believed that the Avs had gone too far off the board with the pick.

Now, however, Hishon looks like a real steal for Colorado, as he put together an extraordinary season for the Owen Sound Attack in the Ontario Hockey League.

"He wasn't off our board," Pracey said. "Our board had him very high, based on his skill set. There are certain traits we use in our evaluation of players that are very important to us, and compete, skill and instinct are major components. Joey fit the bill. Opinions are varied, depending on which list you're looking at, but for us it was right on pace."
With the 2011 Draft right around the corner, it's time to ponder who the Avs will take with the #2 and #11 pick. A bunch of names have been floating around - Landeskog, Huberdeau, and Larsson to name a few - and it seems that every "expert" has a different take on who Colorado will/should take.

But The Avs Factor has received inside word that the Avs - always an organization that has valued secrecy and silence - may be defying conventional wisdom yet again and going way, WAY off the board with their first round picks.

The following are quick profiles of the players that appear to be very high on the Avalanche's list of "must-have" talent. If everything falls into place, we may very well see one of these guys in burgundy and blue next season.

Chuck Simmons / LW, Lafayette Senior Recreational League
17 GP, 10 G, 15 A, 25 PIM
Born: 7/10/52, 6'3", 210 Ibs

A real up-and-comer from Louisiana's rec. league program, Simmons has the size, the dedication, and the tenacity to compete at the NHL level. A dermatologist during the day, Simmons drives a '92 corvette to ensure that he gets to all of his games on time. About to turn 59 next month, Simmons' best days may still be ahead of him. Scouts have compared Simmons to an older Wendel Clark, and many believe that that he will eventually be capable of earning a letter on his jersey. One scout opined, "Hell, he's old enough to have seen Stan Mikita play. If that doesn't give him the ability to lead, I don't know what does." There are concerns about Simmons' life outside of the game, specifically his weak knees and a stack of bills that need to be paid.

Phil Lansing / Skip, Detroit Curling Club
10-2, 21 In-Turns, 23 All-Draws
Born: 2/16/87, 5'7", 150 Ibs

After getting cut by United States Curling before the 2010 Winter Olympics, Lansing responded with a monstrous season in the renowned Detroit Curling Club. He led his team to a 10-2 record (though he did miss three matches in order to make his bowling league) and also won first place in a weekend tournament towards the end of March. Now, Lansing is ready to move on to a new challenge. In an interview with his local paper last month, Lansing stated, "I figure that both games are on ice, and they both involve discs of some sort. How hard can it be?" Scouts admire Lansing's on-the-spot decision making and his ability to work well with others. Lansing says that he's not worried that he's never actually picked up a hockey stick. He maintains that brooms are close enough. Despite his apparent inexperience, one onlooker believes that Lansing may have already surpassed highly-touted Gabriel Landeskog in terms of draft rank and career potential. "With Landeskog, you have a kid with a lower ceiling than most of the top-end guys. But with Lansing? He hasn't even begun to realize what he might be able to do."

Bobby Cooper/ C, D, W, G, California YMCA
No Stats Available
Born: 10/11/06, 3'5", 40 Ibs

"Baby Cheeks Bobby" has been labeled a "long-term project" by scouts, but a handful of teams believe that the floor hockey phenom may be worth it. One league observer said he's been following Cooper for awhile now. "I was there when he took his first steps and when he was potty trained. Just last week, I was there for his kindergarden graduation." The lack of stats for the youngster may scare some teams away, but the California YMCA is known to be a breeding ground for future success, producing such talent as 2010 Anaheim draftee Emerson Etem and famed rapper "Coolio." Cooper played all over the floor this season, and he became the team's main post-game snack provider. Teammates rave about Cooper's stickhandling skills, as well as his Mom's brownies. "They're really good. She puts M&Ms on them sometimes," blurted Cooper's teammate and classmate, Sam Jones. Cooper says that he models his game after Alex Burrows, in the sense that he is also a thumb sucker. "But only my own thumbs," says Cooper.

Of course, there's no guarantee that the Avs will go after any of these hot prospects. But if last year is any indication, it wouldn't be a surprise.

Note: Players mentioned above may or may not be real. - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bryzgalov Off The Market (For Now)

Peter Budaj won't be the answer and if the hockey gods have any mercy on Avalanche fans, Brian Elliott won't have the chance to be.

The question:

Who the heck is going to be the goaltender for your 2011-12 Colorado Avalanche?

A bunch of names have been thrown out there including Vancouver's Corey Schneider, LA's Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier, and yes, Phoenix's behemoth Ilya Bryzgalov.

It now appears that Bryzgalov won't be the answer either.

Per TSN:
The Phoenix Coyotes have traded the negotiation rights of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Matt Clackson, a third-round pick in the 2012 draft, and future considerations.

The deal gives the Flyers an exclusive window to negotiate a new contract with the 30-year-old Russian before he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren has made this kind of move before. In June 2007, the Flyers dealt a first round pick to Nashville for the right to exclusively negotiate with Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell, both of whom were set to become free agents on July 1. Both players were subsequently signed.

The cap situation for the Flyers will make signing Bryzgalov tricky. According to, the Flyers have a little over 400k to spend before they hit the cap. This means that Philadelphia will likely deal one of their highly paid forwards, perhaps Jeff Carter or Kris Versteeg (or both) along with a defenseman (Matt Carle) to make room for Bryzgalov.

Bryzgalov has been very outspoken this offseason (especially regarding the Winnipeg situation) and has made clear that he wants to become one of the highest paid goaltenders in the league.
Ilya Bryzgalov, the unrestricted free-agent goaltender, will be seeking a huge contract that probably will dwarf the $12.75 million he has been paid over the previous three years.
So how does this affect the Avalanche?

Goaltending has to be a top priority for management in the offseason. Bryzgalov might have been the most talented option available, but he wasn't necessarily the best option.

Bryzgalov's regular season numbers speak for themselves. 8th in wins (36), a 2.48 GAA combined with a .921 save percentage. He had seven shutouts, started 68 games, and helped lead the 99-point Coyotes to the playoffs.

But as we, fans of Patrick Roy, know, playoffs are where players really make their money. And Bryz's playoff performance? It was - uh - shaky.

In just four games played, Bryzgalov's GAA blew up to 4.36 and his save percentage became a putrid .879. Many pundits believed that Phoenix was in a prime position to knock off Detroit in the first round. They didn't even come close, and Bryzgalov was one of the reasons why.

Is he worth the six or seven million that he's most likely seeking?

Absolutely not. For a guy who was playing for a contract, Bryzgalov's playoff performance was a joke.

Keep in mind that the Avs are a season away from having to give big time contracts to Matt Duchene, Ryan O'Reilly, and Erik Johnson.

Even if Ilya is available on July 1st, I highly doubt that the Avalanche will commit a lot of money and a lot of years to a 31-year-old goalie who has a bit of an attitude problem.

If anything, this move simply means that the Avs no longer must face Bryzgalov (whom they have struggled against in the past) four times a season.

But it also means that the Coyotes will now be looking for a goalie in the same price range as the Avalanche.

An interesting summer it will be. - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Stanley Cup Pick

Dating back to the 1998 Cup Final (when the you-know-whos swept the Capitals in four games), the finalist with the superior regular season performance - no matter the conference - has taken home Lord Stanley's mug. The only exception to this rule came in 2008 when the Penguins topped the...well, the you-know-whos.

Now in 2011, we're left with the 103-point, division winning Boston Bruins and the 117-point, Presidents' Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks.

Based on the last 13 years, everything is in place for Vancouver to win its franchise's first Stanley Cup.

However, based on an obvious personal bias and strong dislike for all things Vancouver (not to mention having picked the Bruins to come out of the East at the start of these playoffs), I could make a strong case for the Bs to pull a victory out of their black and gold hats.

Unfortunately, I have to go with my head, not my heart, on this one.

in 6 :( - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

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