Friday, August 31, 2007

Theodore Has Minor Knee Surgery

Yesterday the Denver Post reported that Jose Theodore underwent knee surgery and will miss the start of training camp. It's unfortunate for Theodore as missing training camp is always hard on a player and it takes them some time to get back into the groove. But as it stands now, it looks like Budaj should be the clearcut #1 out of training camp. Theodore will have his work cut out for him if he wants to be the starter again.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Avalanche Sign Clark to Extension

Brett Clark has been signed to a two-year contract extension that will keep him with the team through 2009-10. Contract details have just been released and it's a $3.5M/year deal. A tad higher than the $2.25 I was guesstimating. I'm not sure if he's a $3.5M defenseman but he'll get a chance to prove his last season wasn't an anomaly

Clark was forced into an unfavourable position gobbling up top-line minutes last season. The extra exposure opened him up to criticism which, however true at the time, will be less of an issue this year. Logging less minutes and under less presssure will let him settle back into a supporting role on the blueline.

With career highs in every category last season, it's good to see him back on a short-term extension.

The TSN article says it all with this blurb:
The 30-year-old Clark completed his second full-season with the Avalanche in 2006-07 where he eclipsed his NHL career highs set in games played (82), goals (10), assists (29) and points (39). His 23:40 average ice-time per game led the Avalanche last year and he led the entire NHL in shifts per game (35.1). His 210 blocked shots a year ago led the Avalanche and ranked fourth in the NHL. Clark was the only Avalanche defenseman to appear in all 82 games last season and he owns a current games-played streak of 143 dating back to November 23, 2005.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Turgeon First Canadian Inducted Into Hall

That's right, Pierre Turgeon is the first Canadian to be inducted into the Hall. The Little League Hall of Excellence that is. While Pierre was beginning to pursue his aspirations of playing in the NHL he was also a standout baseball player, playing both pitcher and shortstop with the Rotary Little League team that represented Canada in the 1982 Little League Baseball World Series,

As he split time between baseball and hockey as a youth, he was heavily scouted by the Montreal Expos but ultimately chose hockey. He was selected first overall by Buffalo in 1987 and after a career spanning 1294 games, 515 goals and 1327 points, placing him 27th in the all-time points list I'm sure it's a decision that leaves no regrets. Congratulations to Pierre on being inducted.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Avalanche Sign O'Neil and Smith

No, it's not Jeff O'Neil and Jason Smith. It's Wes O'Neil and Wyatt Smith. The signing was announced today although all weekend long the Wyatt Smith signing was talked about on message boards. Yes, the state of the hockey world right now is so slow that the signing of a reserve forward was the talk of the weekend.

O'Neil, a former Islanders pick, has just finished up with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and was second among team defenceman with 21 points. He's a big guy at 6'4" and 200lbs but he's rated at 6.5 D on So currently he's expected to be a 5th or 6th D-man who may not even live up to those high expectations. But he'll likely do well on the Lake Erie Monsters roster.

Wyatt Smith is a career reserve forward who spent 61 games with the Minnesota Wild last season which was a career high. Another player likely to be on the Monsters roster for most of the year.

Thankfully the Canada-Russia Super Series will be a nice distraction from all this intense off-season action. At least until rookie camp starts on September 8th. I'll be watching the Canada-Russia game in Saskatoon on September 5th and I'm looking forward to seeing John Tavares in action. TSN and Rogers will be broadcasting the games on TV and across the ol' InterWeb.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dreams Do Come True

If anybody caught my post on my Centre Ice Online trials and tribulations, then you'll be happy to know that I will suffer no more.

Shaw Communications, one of the big 2 cable providers here in Saskatoon, has finally reached an agreeement with the NHL and will be offering the Centre Ice package to its subscribers. I threw my hands up in the air like I just won the lottery when this was announced. Might have pulled a muscle too but it's all good.

In the past I've followed the Avalanche with a hodge-podge of methods. Some as lowly as radio, others via Sportsnet West/TSN at home and also n Versus in my boss's basement. And of course the brief aforementioned stint with Centre Ice Online.

Today is a glorious day and I truly can't wait for the season to start now!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Avalanche Sign Oreskovich

On Monday the Colorado Avalanche signed Victor Oreskovich to an entry-level contract. Oreskovich scored 60 points in 62 games with the Kitchener Rangers as he continually improves on his way up to the NHL.

He's a big kid at 6'3" and 215 pounds and with a PPG touch in the "O", he's got a shot at being a solid power forward in the NHL. He will likely continue to develop his skills with the Lake Erie monsters, who are looking to be a monster-sized team that even Pierre McGuire would be afraid of.