Hey everyone, how’s your summer going? I took the weekend off from any writing, partially because there’s absolutely nothing to write about hockey-wise right now, and partially because it’s nice to go outside on occasion.
But we’re almost to the end of July. One more month to go after that, and then we’ll be into September, when Avalanche players will be back on skates here and we’ll have something to write about every single day until next summer.
In the meantime, let’s do a few links and notes and other scattered thoughts (did someone say “scatterbrained” thoughts?):
– I’m a lot more into betting odds than I used to be, partially because – as I mentioned in one of these before – I write regularly for two huge sports betting sites – Gambling.com and Bookies.com. Trust me when I say the intersection of sports media and sports betting will be big in this country before too long, if it isn’t already. I expect sports betting to be legal in Colorado by November, when a ballot measure will be put to the voters whether to legalize or not. It’s expected to win passage.
So, I check out betting sites a lot, to see the latest odds and, lookie here, the Colorado Avalanche is among the top five teams right now when it comes to odds-on favorites to win the next Stanley Cup.
Those odds are from the bookmaker site 888Sport, out of New Jersey, and those odds are pretty much the same at most every other big bookmaker out there. The Avs are +1400 to win it all, which means this: if you put down $100 on the Avs right now with them and the Avs actually win that Cup, you win $1,400. The Avs, as you can see, are tied with Nashville for the fourth-best odds to win it all, behind Tampa Bay, Vegas and Boston.
Of course, those odds will fluctuate all year. But it’s kinda neat to see the Avs ranking that high right now, no?
– What’s going on with the Mikko Rantanen talks? Well, as I wrote the other day, it’s still kind of a game of chicken between RFAs like Mikko, Matthew Tkachuk, Charlie McAvoy, Mitch Marner and a couple others to see who goes first and takes their teams’ offer. But also, it’s July, almost August, and hockey people are mostly all on vacation now. It could be that some teams have told the agents of these guys, “Let’s talk middle of August and see where we are.”
Rantanen’s agent, Mike Liut, isn’t talking these days. I’d be absolutely, positively shocked if Rantanen doesn’t have a new contract by the first day of training camp.
– I’ll be starting a regular series starting this week called “Catching up with Former Avs.” It’ll be exactly as it sounds. I have three players already who have either filled me in on what they’re up to since their playing days ended, or will fill me in soon. It’ll be kind of a Q&A format, where they also reflect on their Avs careers and just talk about their best memories – and/or maybe some that weren’t the best. I hope you’ll like it. My goal is to do one a week, but in the crunch of the regular season, that might not be as realistic.
– So, I have a question for the group here: I’m trying to figure out exactly how I want to “cover” each regular-season game. One thing I won’t be doing is just boring play-by-play recaps of stuff you already know. Big feature stories and plenty of analysis on the games will be my chief goal. One thing though: should I do player grades for every game?
Do you want that, or no? We did them after every game at BSN Denver, and they usually did well traffic-wise. One thing I don’t want to be accused of is stealing their idea on this or anything. It’s not like doing post-game player grades is a unique concept started by BSN alone. I used to do something similar occasionally on my old “All Things Avs” blog for the Denver Post. Lots of media outlets do player grades after games. I don’t mind doing them, but sometimes they can be a bit forced and silly too. Like, how do you give a real grade to a guy who plays, say, four or five minutes?
So, yes or no on this? Leave a comment.
– If you haven’t already heard, Nazem Kadri will wear No. 91 now (his old junior number) instead of the 43 he wore for the Maple Leafs. And, Joonas Donskoi will have his number reversed, from the 27 he wore with the Sharks to 72. What number will Vladislav Kamenev wear? Dunno. They haven’t listed a new one yet. Andre Burakovsky will wear No. 95.
– Back to your summer.