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Morning Skate Diary

Lehkonen Immigration Red Tape Persists; Francouz in net vs. Flyers



Artturi Lehkonen

Artturi Lehkonen is Finnish, and the team he last played for is from Canada. So, the immigration work/Visa process for him to play for the Colorado Avalanche is taking some time.

“I’d like to see him get in, but we haven’t heard anything yet,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said. “We’re kind of in the same holding pattern.”

If the paperwork gets done within a reasonable amount of time before tonight’s game with the Philadephia Flyers, Lehkonen will suit up and make his Avs debut. If not, he’ll have to sit out his third game since being acquired from the Canadiens on Monday.

It’s believed that Lehkonen is waiting on an O-1 Visa, which is given by the United States Citizen and Immigration Services to “the individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.” (More on the requirements to get one here).

Lehkonen is able to participate in team activities for now (he skated this morning with the team) but actually playing is considered real “work” and the O-1 Visa must be granted properly before that happens.

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Not much other news from the morning skate, other than the fact that Pavel Francouz will start in goal against the Flyers – who are coming off a surprising win in St. Louis last night and who Bednar said should not be taken lightly.

That said, the Avs are a whopping -380 to win tonight at SuperBook Colorado.

I expect the Avs to come out hungry tonight, after that loss to Vancouver the other night. See you tonight.

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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

If not cleared for tonight I would assume he won’t be cleared for Minnesota on Sunday but should be good to go Tuesday in Calgary

Karl Keen

So if he was still playing for Montreal he could play tonight for them, but he cannot play as an Avalanche?

Matt Briggle

Yes, if he was still playing for Montreal he would be eligible to play because he had his Canadian work visa. Now that he’s moving to a US team, he needs a US work visa. That is where the sticking point is. Same issue happened for Chairot when Florida acquired him. It took about a week for that to go through so the team had him stay in Montreal and just picked him up there when they played the Habs last night.


Can Yan pull some strings?


Illegals have a much easier time getting in…

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