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Some Random Avalanche Thoughts

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For the many years I worked in “big media”, I usually had all of August off on vacation. Working for myself now, vacations aren’t exactly baked into the equation. Not to say I don’t still take vacations. But, yeah, they are more technically “working vacations” now than in the past. That’s fine with me, because I’m one of those people who likes to work and don’t always do well with time where I’m supposed to just sit around and relax. In 2022, too, you always have to keep stoking the furnace that is the content mill. You can’t run a site anymore where it says your last story was seven or eight days ago, though some still think they can. Let me, therefore, write some random Avalanche thoughts on a very slow news day in a traditionally very slow month for hockey news.

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  • I’m hearing nothing going on about the Avalanche being in on any free agents still out there. Now, that doesn’t mean five minutes after this thing posts that they won’t announce some new signing. But I’m just not hearing anything.
  • Which makes me believe even more strongly that the No. 2 center spot will start off as internal hire rather than an outside hire. We went over who might get the job the other day.
  • A lot of people have asked me “will there be a video made of the Avalanche full season, like there was after they won Cups in 1996 and 2001?” And the answer is: I think so, yes. The NHL put out official videos of the previous two Tampa Bay Lightning championship seasons, on DVD, so I don’t know why they wouldn’t for the Avalanche either. If memory serves, they usually don’t come out until the next season starts, because they do a lot of the player/coach interviews when they get back to camp.
  • I still have VHS copies of the previous two Cup videos. Man, I used to watch the 1996 one all the time.
  • This team actually won the Stanley Cup again. Have you caught yourself saying that to yourself at times this summer? Didn’t it seem like the impossible dream for so long again, that it just wouldn’t happen? But they DID it.
  • If I’m in a fantasy hockey league (I was for a couple years, in a media league, and got slaughtered and I’m an extremely sore loser and quit out of spite) I definitely take Artturi Lehkonen as a sleeper early-round pick, for point production.
  • I don’t know why I’m admitting this but: the sore loser thing, I’m not exaggerating much. A couple years ago or so, I actually threw my phone hard on the ground after losing an online chess match, a game that I had in the bag but blew with a stupid move. Broke the phone, had to pay $350 for a new one. And I consider myself much more mild now than I used to be in that department.
  • Man, after watching Lehkonen play here, I just can’t believe the Montreal Canadiens let him go. His defense alone is phenomenal.
  • Judging by his Instagram photos, Valeri Nichushkin’s foot is all healed up again. Or, at least he doesn’t need crutches to walk anymore.
  • Nichushkin’s personal comeback story probably is worth a book or something. Has anyone ever had a more dramatic career turnaround than him in the NHL? I can’t think of any, a guy who came off having his contract bought out, then signed basically to a minimum deal, almost on a tryout basis, then signed to an eight-year contract three years later for big money?
  • I have an Instagram account, but it’s pretty much a ghost. I can’t handle so much social media anymore. Social media has not been my friend too much as it is, so the less I’m on it the better probably. I’ve come to despise social media (Twitter especially) mostly now, because I just don’t think anyone is really genuine on it. Everybody is trying to sound like a perfect person, virtue-signaling, and not being their true selves. It’s phony. People just loooove to moralize to others on it, when they have as many or more skeletons in their closet than anyone.
  • I hear the waiting list for Avalanche season tickets right now is about 3,000.
  • I think Andrew Cogliano will play a couple more years, but I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he jumps right into the NHL as an assistant coach when his time as a player is up.
  • I don’t think Alexandar Georgiev should go into camp too comfortable in his mind that he’s the No. 1 guy no matter what. Not saying he is. Just sayin’ that I think Pavel Francouz has more of a chance to win that role moving forward than maybe he thinks. That said, he will enter camp as the No. 1 guy. But can he put a stranglehold on it?
  • I watched the “All or Nothing” season, on Amazon Prime I believe, on Arsenal of the Premier League – the team owned by the Kroenkes. Josh Kroenke is on it a fair amount. Josh got some very good media training early on, it seems. He’s a pro’s pro when it comes to smoothly handling any question in a diplomatic, calm manner, no matter how tough. Those Arsenal fans were on his and Stan’s case not long ago, but they’ve turned it around there too. They’re currently undefeated in the Premier League.
  • I’m a closet pretty big soccer fan, always have been. I played keeper in high school (we were awful, not my fault) and covered the Colorado Foxes of the old APSL in the early ’90s, a team that won two championships.
  • I also covered the late, great Denver Thunder of the old indoor soccer league, a team that…wait for it…lost…33 games in a row. They played in front of mostly close friends and relatives at the old McNichols Sports Arena, were in town for one year and folded. But I covered that team with as much passion as I ever have for the Avalanche. When it’s your beat, it’s like your own child. You think it’s the most important thing in the world.
  • Man, were we a bad soccer team, my team in high school. Other than not being able to score at all or defend at all, things were just great. You talk about a bad temper after losing – I was bad to be around. We absolutely sucked.
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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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gurnblanston

Val is easily my favorite Av right now. Eric Messier also had a great story. He never signed a huge money deal but his path to the NHL was not as direct as most. How many NHL players who played as long as Mess did also played professional roller hockey? Not many if any.

Glendon Gulliver

If indeed the Avs are done making moves for now, then the question becomes who moves up to the top six and into the bottom 6.. Right now the Avs have Landeskog, MacKinnon, Rantanen, Nichushkin, and Lehkonen on the top 6. The bottom 6 include Newhook, Compher, Cogliano, Helm, and O’Conner. Who may move up and who may move in from the Eagles?

I agree Lehkonen was a steal and will become such a huge addition to the Avs.

Joel Stefaniak

Saturday I was rummaging around in an old box and found a bunch of NHL Media guides from the late 70’s (my step-mother worked at McNichols then and kept a bunch of swag), along with my two VHS Avalanche Championship videos. That REALLY puts it into perspective for me how long the Avs drought went. You’re right, this Cup still doesn’t feel real yet.

Justin Houde

I fully assume to sound ridiculous, but after Cale, I had Nichu winning the Conn Smythe trophy. Against both Edmonton and Tampa he just made life so complicated for opponents being on the ice at the same time. Just to look how much attacks from the opponents he turns into a fail bacause of either his pressure, positioning or use of his stick in the neutral zone Tampa fans had to be really frustrated watching him work against their favorites. He does not look for the highlight reel hit but he is strong as an ox and wins systematically his… Read more »

Harlan Smith

Love Big Val!

dk

Speaking of video… I binged the Quest for the Cup on ESPN+ this weekend. What a letdown. The first four episodes were so Eastern conference heavy and then the last two were more about Tampa losing than the Avs winning.

And on Lehkonen, that guy is a fucking beauty. Easily the best deadline trade in the entire league last season.

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