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Dater’s Daily: Grubauer, Saad hit Red Rocks, Vegas bounced, Kessel on trade block



Good Friday to you all. So, the Vegas Golden Knights have been bounced from the playoffs. Does this make you happy, Avs fan? Or, does it make you mad that the Avs didn’t at least lose to the eventual Cup champion or “conference” winner? Myself, I always wish ill will on teams that beat my teams, as a fan. I suspect many of you feel that way. Let’s do some hockey links, starting off with the fun Philipp Grubauer and Brandon Saad seemed to have last night at Red Rocks:

  • The two potential unrestricted free agents of the Avs took in the KYGO show at the venerable outdoor amphitheater in Morrison (I said it was a Lotus show, which I guess is wrong but that’s what a calendar said was the group playing – I don’t know):

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  • That’s from Grubauer’s Instagram page. A lot of people have asked, “Is this a good sign both guys will be back with the Avs?” I mean, I wouldn’t read too much into it either way. But, hey, there’s no question they seem to enjoy being at Red Rocks, and we all know Colorado is an awesome state in which to live.
  • I did do some phone work yesterday, and one thing I can report: I’m told there is a chance – how much of one I don’t know – that Saad could return to the Avs. I thought he had a good year and a good playoff and really added a lot to the team. But the Avs are going to have to clear some money from their cap hits if they want to afford to re-sign Saad. It could go down to the wire of July 28, when players can go UFA.
  • So, Vegas is out. Captain Mark Stone was pretty harsh on himself after the Game 6 loss. (Vegas Hockey Now)
  • Montreal was partying well into the night after their team advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1993. The provincial government still only allowed 3,500 fans into Bell Centre because of Covid restrictions, but allowed thousands of people to party, shoulder-to-shoulder, outside the building. Nothing inconsistent there at all, right? (Sportsnet)
  • Sportsnet/31 Thoughts: Arizona could clean house. The NHL trade market will be flooded with Coyotes, which includes a former Pittsburgh Penguins two-time Stanley Cup champion named Phil Kessel. 
  • Kessel has one more year on his eight-year deal with a cap hit of $6.8 million (Toronto still retains 15% of the original $8 million AAV).
  • Washington: T.J. Oshie, rumored to possibly be unprotected by the Capitals in the expansion draft, played for new Seattle coach Dave Hakstol in college at the University of North Dakota. Is that a further sign Oshie is on his way out of Washington?
  • Detroit: The Detroit Red Wings are connected by four degrees of separation to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s potential dynasty. Mr. Kevin Allen counts the ways…
  • NYI: GAME 7. TONIGHT. Our colleagues in New York think the New York Islanders have found the formula to beat Bolts goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. It’s not a weakness, and it won’t be easy. Read on…
  • Looks like James van Riemsdyk could be a prime target of Seattle from the Flyers roster (Philly Hockey Now)
  • My pick for Game 7 tonight, Isles-Lightning (
  • Mark Messier is joining ESPN as an analyst (
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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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Brian Levesque

I have the same mentality as you do, there is no way I’m cheering for the team that put the Avs out


Depending on time and care, could make a case/for against any of the final four that is defensible (e.g. Lightning – defending champs and located in Sun Belt … defending champs and fans rabidly support team that is consistently good with recognizable names; Isles – vicinity of New York and fairly nondescript lineup … Trotz, turnaround post-Tavares, Varley…memories of Bossy, Trottier, and Billy the Kid). I have always taken relish at being able to rib Canadian friends about it being so long since a Canadian team raising the Cup, so kind of would hate to see that go away…but this… Read more »

John Mauss

Here’s a way to clear cap money to keep Saad. Don’t protect Kadri. If SEA picks him (unlikely) then his salary is gone. If SEA doesn’t pick him up, at least we protected someone we want to keep.


I am glad that Vegas lost, but in my heart I know that we could have beaten Montreal. This just keeps me frustrated. I am betting on TBL tonight. If they win then they will beat Montreal in five. You heard it here first.


I hope the Avs were watching. While we struggled against the Golden Knights all year (despite barely winning the regular season series), the Habs gave them a good dose of their own medicine and out-battled Vegas in every part of their game. The Avs have a far more talented team than either Montreal or Vegas, but we still seem to make the mistake of trying to put our talent center stage instead of applying those “god-given” skills in a gainful manner. It seems to me the Avs are at their best when we keep things simple, but instead we often… Read more »


Dater has an infatuation with players that don’t produce (Girard’s abysmal Vegas series) and Kadri, who is one more suspension away from losing 12 or more games for his next transgression. It’s not a matter of “if” this will happen. It’s a matter of when. Girard? I loved the comment that the “Avs will work on his game.” That’s like asking a leopard to get rid of its spots. I’d expose Kadri and Girard to the expansion draft. There is no way that a new franchise would pick a major headache like Kadri. One of the new faces of your… Read more »


I’ve posted similar sentiments as to the GM and the necessary roster changes – couldn’t agree more. With AD – I’m sure you are as well aware that due to the access aspect he has to exercise restraint with regard to being overly critical – as I have read his opinions, I think there are both subtle hints on occasion (recent comments on one player in particular), so I don’t take exception. As to Girard – just my opinion, and I’m not a hockey expert – I think the issue isn’t him individually, it’s pairing – your point about lack… Read more »


For the most part, I agree with your post. But in the playoffs, the ice shrinks and there isn’t the room there is during the regular season. It gets far more physical and that’s where Girard gets exposed every time. You cannot cover for him or any other small sized defenseman come playoff time. All your weaknesses are on display. You could pair Girard with Godzilla on skates but you still have half the defensive zone and half the front of the net left to cover. The reason the Canadiens bounced Vegas in six games was stout goaltending by Price… Read more »

Yan Girard

This season, Makar is at the 31 rank in NHL for the even strenght time on ice per game with 19:12. Girard is at the 18 rank with 19:34. Respectively, Makar (60.9) and Girard (60.3) are first and second for the corsi in NHL at even strenght among the defensemen that played minimum 40 games (ref.: You can continue to keep your eyes closed but the numbers are there. It’s not a question to be blind about the game by Girard or his ability. The best form of defence is attack. When you control the puck, you can’t get scored. Furthermore, when… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Alexander A

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