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Evan’s NHL Daily: Gulyayev’s Preseason, Another World Cup Soon?



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Are we inching closer to another “best-on-best” tournament involving NHL players? It sure seems like the league and the players union are trying to put something together for 2025.

With the Colorado Avalanche, we took a look at the most underrated Avalanche player in franchise history, and we’ll check in on first round pick Mikhail Gulyayev and how he’s doing in preseason over in the KHL.

All that and more in this Saturday edition of Evan’s Daily.

Colorado Hockey Now

I took a look at some recent rankings of the “Best Avalanche Players Ever” and was unimpressed by how low some had Sandis Ozolinsh ranked. I mean, I like JML a lot, but I can’t see how anyone would rank him above Ozo. To me, he’s the most underrated Avalanche player of all-time.

Coming on Sunday, I talked to someone who works for an Eastern Conference team about some of the players the Avalanche picked up this summer, and will have that up. (+)

Gulyayev’s Preseason

The preseason over in the KHL is strange. You have tournaments and “friendly” matches leading up to the regular season, and you play against varying level of competition. The expectation is that Mikhail Gulyayev will play more in the KHL next year than he did the year before, but how is he doing in preseason?

So far, he’s played in four matches for the U23 team at the Sochi Hockey Open, in one “friendly” match, and three tournament games. Confusing, I know, but in total, he’s picked up 5 assists in those 8 games, with some penalties sprinkled in. Again, it’s tough to gauge the exact competition in these tournaments, but not a bad start for an 18 year old.

World Cup Soon?

The last time the best NHL players met in a tournament was in 2016. Who could forget how fun Team North America was in that tournament? Heck, starting next season, the three highest paid players in the NHL will all come from that team.

Well, the NHL and the NHLPA are now working to create an international competition for February of 2025. This World Cup-type tournament would start a rotation of events that would include the NHL players eventually returning to the Olympics.

This is desperately needed, although doing it in-season is a bit strange. I liked the idea of the World Cup happening before the NHL season begins.

One big issue for any tournament right now is the situation overseas, as the IIHF has banned Russia from all events since the start of the war in Ukraine last year.

It’s sad that a lot of the best players on the Avalanche haven’t been able to represent their country in these big tournaments. Cale Makar and Mikko Rantanen have never gotten to represent their countries in a tournament like this before. Hopefully they will be able to soon.

National Hockey Now

Pittsburgh: Sidney Crosby‘s next contract will almost certainly be linked in some way to his number, 87.

Los Angeles: Darryl Sutter wasn’t afraid to play mind games on his players. Just ask Tyler Toffoli.

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