Maybe we should call this feature “Dater’s Daily Dish” or something silly like that, but pending an official title, this will be known as a clearinghouse of sorts for links to other hockey stories around that I (and, hopefully, you) find interesting, not to mention other thoughts coming through my addled brain about the Avs in general. In other words, things I can spend just a couple of sentences on instead of compiling a whole story about – probably because it wouldn’t warrant that and/or I just want to take a lazy route.
First, a couple of site things:
- A lot of you are asking “Dater, when will you start a podcast?” Answer: soon. I will have, at minimum, a once-a-week podcast on the Avalanche. I’m not going to do one every single day. I don’t think any of you want to hear my nasally voice that much. I know I don’t. But what I do want on a podcast: Interesting conversations with guests, talking about the Avs and occasionally just the NHL in general or other hockey stories. I also want to have you, the readers, call in give your views on what’s going on with the team and I riff off of that. That stuff is still in the works, but this is the off-season, so be patient.
- Colorado Hockey Now will soon have its first sponsor – the awesome Bender’s at the Westminster Ice Center. It’s the best hockey bar and grill in Colorado, bar none. So, all you local hockey nuts, get your butts into Bender’s – here’s their website, for location, menu, etc. – and be amazed at their hockey atmosphere. Subscribers will soon get plenty of special deals on drinks and food.
On to the links and other observations/thoughts/scuttlebutt
- Looks like Kevin Hayes is nearing a deal with the Flyers after all
It’s not yet a done deal but PHI continues to work toward a long-term contract for pending UFA centre Kevin Hayes and, for now anyway, there’s a sense of optimism. Stay tuned. Curious on the market value for Hayes. Six years at north of $6.5 million perhaps?
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 18, 2019
Thoughts: I definitely think the Avalanche would have been a player for Hayes had he hit the open market – and maybe he still will. But this is a guy I would have cringed at for giving something like a six-year contract to. He’s a good player, not a great player. The Avs still have a hole at 2C, but maybe the draft will take care of that, maybe Tyson Jost still develops into one or maybe another free-agent signee will be the short-term answer. I never loved the idea of Hayes being the long-term solution.
- What are your thoughts on Wayne Simmonds being a possible free-agent signing? My sources indicate that Simmonds is fully healthy again, after a terrible season in which he played hurt more than anyone realized, and anxious to prove there’s a lot of good hockey left in him. Simmonds is 30 (31 in August) and has some hard hockey mileage on him, given the way he plays. He’d probably cost in the range of $5 million a year. It would be a gamble. But he’s a guy that teammates love because he sacrifices so much of his body around the net and just in general. He’s just a totally hard guy to play against and he’s a six-time 20-plus goal scorer. As a left wing on the second line, he wouldn’t look too bad in an Avs sweater. Then again, maybe it’s a bad idea. Curious to see what y’all think.
- Americans are set to dominate the first round of this year’s NHL draft. Who’d have thunk it?
- The Rangers really heisted Jacob Trouba from the Jets. Hey, that’s OK with the Avs probably. Takes one more good D-man out of the Central Division.
- I’m still mad about Tuna.com winning this year’s “Wicked Tuna” again. That’s one of the few shows I DVR, by the way. I love “Deadliest Catch” too. Yet, I’m not much of a fisherman.
- Speaking of fish, be careful if you go swimming off the shores of Cape Cod. I’m a former Cape resident, by the way (Hyannis and South Yarmouth, summers and weekends from 1986-88). I was a timeshare off-property contractor for this resort. It was one of the most valuable, formative experiences of my life. It was a 100% commission sales job, where I would walk up to tourists, cold, at various merchant locations around town and try to persuade them to take a card with my name on it into the resort for a tour, where more salespeople would put on the really hard sell. My girlfriend at the time, Sheila, also did the same job, and we made a small fortune for college kids in the ’80s. We both went to the same college – Keene State in N.H. – and at one time I had an envelope in my dorm room with more than $10,000 in cash in it, all in 20s. We ate well around Keene. (Yes, eventually we opened a joint checking account to stuff the cash in). I was good at it. One time, I worked at a spot called the Irish Village, a hotel that catered to, yeah, Irish people. I changed my name on the card to “Sean” and spoke with a thick Irish brogue. I made a killing that day.
- Good column here by friend and longtime Boston Globe hockey columnist Kevin Paul Dupont on how he does not expect the NHL to try and copy the St. Louis Blues’ winning Cup formula. I have to agree. The Blues had a lot of things go right at the right time – not taking anything away from them, don’t @ me Blues fans – but I don’t see them as a repeat winner. Need more speed for that to happen.
- The Avs’ regular-season schedule should come out on June 25 or thereabouts. Ticket stuff should be announced then, too, including how to buy ducats for the outdoor game on Feb. 15 at the Air Force Academy against the Kings.
- Don’t forget, I’ll be in Vancouver this weekend for the draft. Got the Airbnb set up and everything. It’s in Burnaby, a suburb of B.C. Some guy named Joe Sakic grew up there. Tell your Avs friends about getting in on a subscription to Colorado Hockey Now (see above), because the content will come fast and furious from there, with my boots on the ground.