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Sakic Makes Up Mind, Will Play
by November 30, 1999 @ 12:00 am (Category : Blogs )

Aug 27th 2008 4:05PM by Bruce Ciskie (author feed)
Filed under: Avalanche, Western, NHL General, NHL Free AgencyUnlike our friend Mats, who apparently has issues with this “decision-making” thing, Joe Sakic has figured out what he wants to do.

The future Hall of Famer announced Wednesday that he intends to play again in 2008-2009. He signed a one-year deal with the Colorado Avalanche, setting him up to begin his 20th season in the NHL.
When healthy last year, Sakic was still effective, averaging around a point per game in the regular season and exactly one point per game in ten playoff games. However, he wasn’t the impact player we’re used to seeing.

He’s still a great leader and a super representative for the Colorado organization, but if the Avalanche are leaning on him to lead them to a Stanley Cup, they’re crazy.

Not only that, but Sakic’s return doesn’t even begin to make up for the loss of Jeff Finger.


PuckToons: Honoring the 4-S Club
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Blogs )

Aug 21st 2008 2:00PM by Earl Sleek (author feed)
Filed under: Avalanche, Ducks, Maple Leafs, Rangers, NHL General, NHL Free Agency

I was inspired by this week’s column by the Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek that contemplated the short-term future of the members of the 4-S Club: Joe Sakic, Brendan Shanahan, Teemu Selanne, and Mats Sundin. All four remain unrestricted free agents that for various reasons have not signed for the coming season and may even end up hanging up their skates and retiring from the NHL.

These four superstars have been lighting up the league for the greater part of two decades, combining for 5,225 regular season games played, 2,380 goals scored, and 5,448 points. All are among the top 50 point-scorers and the top 25 goal-scorers in NHL history, and are members of the exclusive 500 goal club and the 1,000 point club. Collectively, it’s not like their game has slowed down considerably, either. If you tallied all their seasons before the 2004-05 lockout and pro-rated the results to an 82-game schedule, the pre-lockout 4-S Club averages 38 goals, 48 assists, 86 points. If you did the same exercise with the same group’s post-lockout results, the foursome averages 36 goals, 48 assists, 84 points. Not a noticeable drop-off at all.

I don’t know who among that group has really played their last NHL game, but it would be stunning if all four heroes rode off into the sunset together. After the break, I’ll point out where these 4-S members stand on the all-time and active scoring lists, thanks to the resources at Hockey-Reference.com. Continue Reading

Milan Hejduk: Two More Years and Out
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Blogs )

Aug 3rd 2008 4:10PM by Jes Golbez (author feed)
Filed under: Avalanche, Western, NHL General, NHL RumorsWhile Avs fans are understandably nervous about whether Joe Sakic will retire or not this summer, we can’t forget that 32-year old Milan Hejduk is no spring chicken, either.

In an interview on Pardubice’s (his ‘home’ Czech club) website, Hejduk all but confirmed that he’ll be retiring from the NHL after his contract with the Avalanche expires. This means it’s two more seasons and out for the Czech sniper.

I talked to a Czech source of mine, and after translating the interview for me, he gave me a synopsis of Hejduk’s future plans.

“He says that his health problems have limited him already for some time and that it won’t get much better. Milan has an option to undergo major surgery, but would need to rehab for nearly a year after that and it isn’t absolutely sure that his knee will be all right again after that. Right now he is at about 80% of his mobility. The Avs wouldn’t let him to play at the World Championships because of his knee problems and he himself didn’t feel like playing there exactly because of his knee.

Milan will return to Colorado on August 15th, and on 20th he will hit the ice for the first time. He hasn’t been skating at all back home this summer. He still played his beloved tennis this summer, but couldn’t do any jumping and his running was hampered.

Milan also says that last season was fairly successful in Colorado, but admits that the Red Wings were the better team. In the end, he says that he doesn’t plan to play in the Czech Extraleague after finishing his NHL career like David Vyborny or Martin Rucinsky are doing.”

So, it appears that once Milan’s NHL career is over, that is it for good. Enjoy it while it lasts!

The Goalie Shuffle
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Blogs )

Jul 1st 2008 5:17PM by Pat Lackey (author feed)
Filed under: General NHL, Sabres, Senators, Maple Leafs, Lightning, Capitals, Blackhawks, Wings, Avalanche, NHL Free AgencyThere are a lot of big names still on the board through the early stages of free agency today. The one position that there’s been no shortage of movement at? Goalie. Goalies are changing teams left and right today and the effects of some of the moves are going to be pretty wide-ranging. Let’s take a look at some of the moves that have taken place and what they might mean. All of the exhaustive contract details are via TSN.

It’s a two-year, $9 million deal and Eric’s got the details below. Theodore did seem to regain some of his form this past year with the Avalanche, but he melted down in the playoffs against the Red Wings while suffering from a bad case of the flu. He’ll probably give the Caps an upgrade over what Olie the Goalie was giving them earlier in the year, but he won’t carry them the way Huet did down the stretch last year. And $4.5 million seems like a lot of money for a guy that just might be washed up, doesn’t it?

With a ton of moneyalready tied up in Nikolai Khabibulin (~$7 million a year), the ‘Hawks are now paying Huet $5.635 a year as well. Huet’s an upgrade over what the Blackhawks have, for sure, but I’m trying to wrap my mind around paying more than $12 million a year for their top two goalies.

More goalie moves after the jump.Continue Reading

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