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AJ Haefele

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Yesterday, we looked at “The New Guys” and how they’ve helped change Colorado’s roster at the top. Today, we’re going to look at everyone’s favorite players, “The Glue Guys.” No Stanley Cup has ever been won without the heart, grit, and lovable determination of the guys who go hard every shift of every game, even if they aren’t the most…...

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Player grades from Colorado’s 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. Andre Burakovsky – C He didn’t do a whole lot in this one. Playing next to MacKinnon and Rantanen, he’ll need to be more impactful moving forward. It wasn’t bad at all, just not quite enough. We’ve seen a lot more from him and the Avs will need it. Cale…...

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After falling short last year in seven grueling games to the San Jose Sharks, Colorado’s front office knew it had the high-end talent to make trips to the second round a regular occurrence. It also knew it lacked the kind of depth needed to get beyond that point. Insert an aggressive offseason plan that saw Colorado add talent up front…...

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The NHL announced all of the 31-player rosters at the same time on Sunday afternoon and Colorado’s featured a couple of small surprises. The breakdown of Colorado’s roster resulted in 17 forwards, 11 defensemen, and three goaltenders. The only forward cut from Colorado’s training camp was the minor surprise of the day as Vladislav Kamenev will not join the team…...

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If I wandered around the Denver metro area knocking on front doors and asking if people were familiar with Nathan MacKinnon, chances are I’d get a decent amount of “yes” responses but still enough “no” answers to make me feel inadequate at my job. If I surveyed the casual hockey landscape, however, I wouldn’t find anybody who isn’t familiar with…...

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One of the great advantages of this weird playoff restart following a four-month shutdown is the expanded rosters teams are taking to their bubble cities. While Conor Timmins certainly would have benefitted plenty from whatever playoff run a very good Colorado Eagles team was set to make, him tagging along with the Avs in their quest for the Stanley Cup…...

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Ahhh, yes, the time for another Tyson Jost conversation. This seemed inevitable when Jost opened Avalanche training camp as the 13th forward and hasn’t really moved up in the lineup in the week since the team first hit the ice. He’s moved around some but has consistently hung around on what you’d consider the “fifth” line, or the top healthy…...

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Ever since the Avalanche returned to the ice last week, we’ve talked about the need for intensity to ramp up and reach a level fit for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Apparently Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar agreed. Just before beginning a structured five-on-five drill, Bednar stopped the practice the unleash a verbal tirade directed at his team. He loved the…...

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When I went on the podcast this week and said I wasn’t worried about any of the teams out west being able to beat Colorado, I figured I was just getting the hype train prepped for what will surely be a fun playoff experience regardless of the outcome. What I wasn’t expecting was the hype train to be just as,…...

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One of the many things that make hockey great is the opportunity to show what you’re made of. Teams regularly play 12 forwards and six defensemen every night, meaning players are competing for roles among a handful of specific jobs. But not goaltenders. At any given time, there’s just one man standing in net as the last line of defense…...

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Training camps open up across the NHL tomorrow morning and with that, the Avs released their full roster of participants. The 34-player roster has some interesting names included that will lead to an interesting two weeks of battling for spots in the pecking order when injuries inevitably hit during the postseason. The Avs are slated to leave for the “bubble”…...

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After what felt like an eternity of haggling over the details, the NHL and NHLPA have agreed on basic terms of a CBA extension as well as putting the finishing touches on the plan to Return to Play. Let’s start there as it is the most immediately relevant information. Return to Play The agreement on hub cities took several twists…...

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The NHL held Phase One of the NHL Draft lottery last Friday and the results were predictably hilarious as last-place Detroit followed in Colorado’s footsteps and tumbled all the way down from the first pick to the fourth pick. The real surprise of the event, however, was not Los Angeles getting the second pick or Ottawa landing at pick three,…...

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Let’s just straight into it today. Conor Timmins is an exciting young prospect on defense with a bright future ahead of him. He’s weathered the storm of concussions that cost him an entire season of development and is coming off a strong debut season in pro hockey. In a normal organization under normal circumstances, it would be a straight line…...

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Anytime a rebuild starts to produce results, looking back and trying to figure out what decisions most directly led to the turnaround is something other organizations frequently do when facing the reality of their painful rebuilds. When looking back at the Chicago model, it was clear drafting Hall of Fame players was at the top of their list. When it…...

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The reality of sports returning is beginning to creep up on us a little more every day. While the NBA has publicly talked about their…let’s call it “adventurous” plan to return with regular season games and the entire league hanging out in Orlando, the MLB continues to fight over money as they try to win the PR war and the…...

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It’s been a while since we’ve had a roundtable as the topics continue to dry up with very little going on and another month or so to go until training camps get going and such. As awards balloting wrapped up this week, the fate of the Calder Trophy is up for discussion. Cale Makar’s brilliant rookie year is going head-to-head…...

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It’s been just under three months since the NHL season abruptly came to a halt just when things were getting really good and we’re still finding things about the Avalanche to talk about. Couple the (unexpected) long break with what’s going on in the world around us and it has me kind of curious. So I ask the Avalanche guys…...

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