Hope everyone’s recent holiday was good. I’m not a big fireworks guy, but I do enjoy the Fourth – mostly for the history of it all. I highly recommend reading David McCullough’s book on John Adams for what it was really like in Constitution Hall in Philadelphia when that Declaration of Independence was signed.
We’re entering the Dead Zone for summer hockey news. We’re not quite there yet – still some arbitration/contract stuff to go – but pretty soon we’ll be in a barren desert. Usually from Aug. 1 until training camps open, all hockey players/management/coaches/everyone goes on vacation and are hard to find.
So, with that in mind, let’s try to scrape out some Avs thoughts and links to other hockey stuff and whatever else might cross my transom:
- Obviously, the NHL is taking a wait-and-see approach on the A.J. Greer situation. I’ve talked to a high-ranking NHL person and he/she basically said the league will try to do as much fact-finding on the situation as it can, but whatever they do or don’t do with Greer and Sonny Milano will most likely be based on the legal proceedings already in play. Milan and Greer are slated to appear in a New York court on Sept. 4 to answer to the charges of assault against a 28-year-old man who apparently was with them.
- My hunch: this will get pleaded down to some lesser thing or, if they have sharp lawyers, dismissed outright, and their hockey careers will resume. But there might be some kind of supplemental “discipline” given to either or both players, depending on the fact-finding mission.
- Keep in mind, while Greer does, technically, have a one-year contract for the coming season with the Avalanche, it’s only, at this point, his qualifying offer. Often, teams and their restricted free-agent, qualified players will agree on a new contract different from the qualifying offer. Greer got his qualifying offer on July 5, the deadline for teams to submit them. His incident in New York was on July 7. It would have been interesting to see if the Avs would have qualified him still had the incident happened on, say, July 2 or so.
- We have yet to hear from Greer yet. Maybe he’s completely innocent. So, no one should presume judgment on him at this point.
- From our sister site over at BostonHockeyNow.com – David Backes may be on his way to the Devils.
- I heard from a source that Avs prospect Brandon Saigeon might have tentatively agreed on a one-year, two-way deal with the Avs and likely would spend his season with the Eagles. But the Avs won’t confirm that. We’ll have to wait for something official I guess.
- The Coyotes say they have gotten a big spike in ticket sales since they got Phil Kessel. Good for them.
- Jordan Binnington gets two years at a $4.4 million cap hit. Not bad for a guy who was making peanuts in the minors last year.
- Joonas Donskoi’s nickname with the Sharks was “Donkey.”
- No more ticket stubs in the Hub of Hockey (that’s what my buddy Kevin Paul “Moose” Dupont has long called Boston in his jottings for the Globe). In his Sunday Hockey Notes column – always a must read – Moose details how the Bruins are doing away with printed tickets starting this coming season. You will have to have a smart phone to gain access to Bruins games from now on. Times have changed. I still have a million ticket stubs stuck to a corkboard. No word if the Avs are headed in the same direction, but I’m sure it won’t be too long before you can’t get into the Pepsi Center without some kind of electronic ducat.
- What about us old-timers who want a souvenir from our attendance at a game, aka a ticket stub? From Moose’s column: “As for those old-timers who cherish their ticket stubs, Thornborough said the Bruins will continue to print thousands of free posters, termed “roster cards”, that will be handed out each game. The posters, 11 inches by 17 inches, will serve as new-age stubs, and actually provide far greater space if the holder is lucky enough to score an autograph.
Thus far, said Thornborough, customer pushback has been minimal, and has been more than outpaced by those who like the new-age process. Nearly 50 percent of last season’s customers, he noted, entered the building via tickets on handheld devices.”
- Another great “how times have changed” note from Moose’s Sunday column: “The three primo free agents who Columbus failed to bring back — Sergei Bobrovsky (Panthers), Matt Duchene (Predators), and Artemi Panarin (Rangers) — signed UFA deals totaling $207.5 million. The Columbus franchise entered the league in 2000 for what was then the buy-in price of $80 million. Vegas, by the way, paid an expansion fee of $500 million to enter the league two years ago. Seattle, hoping to open for business in October 2021, ponied up $650 million . . . Bobrovsky, Duchene, and Panarin were among 12 UFAs who signed deals worth $20 million or more once the July 1 swap meet began. Their payouts, averaging upward of $70 million, held the top three spots. No. 4: Anders Lee, who rung up the Islanders for $49 million over seven years to remain with the Fish Sticks.”
- Cale Makar’s younger brother, Taylor, is going to play hockey at the University of Massachusetts too.
- Some CHN site stuff: Yes, this site will have a podcast hosted by yours truly, but it probably won’t start til the first week of September. I’m still trying to figure out some logistical stuff moving forward, including possible use of freelancers to contribute.
- I have booked flights for 10 of the Avs’ 41 road games thus far, all within the first couple months of the season. Obviously, I will book more, depending on overall finances, etc. etc. Thank you to any who have contributed to the Avs Travel Tip Jar. Remember, 95 cents of every dollar goes to fund economical travel to and from Avs games and 5 cents goes to the Thornton Food Bank. We made our first donation there last week, and here’s more on how that went.
- Have a happy Sunday everyone.