Crosby, MacKinnon surprise seven-year-old Nova Scotia boy fighting cancer

Jared Clinton
MacKinnon-Crosby

It’s hard to believe that a town of less than 30,000 could produce two no-brainer first overall draft picks, and harder yet to believe those two would become partners in crime, making a difference in their hometown during the offseason.

That’s exactly the case for Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon, however.

Over the past few days, Crosby and MacKinnon, who both hail from Cole Harbour, N.S., made headlines by working the drive-thru at a local Tim Hortons after a photo of the pair in full uniform was posted online. The drive-thru work was for a commercial for the coffee chain, so there was a reason why the pair was behind the counter. But Wednesday, the duo was back in the headlines, this time by trying to perform a good deed away from the camera. Read more

Take a look at the Avalanche’s reported Stadium Series jersey, Rockies inspired logo

Jared Clinton
Colorado alternate Stadium Series featured

The Colorado Avalanche have a big season ahead, and in time for the 2015-16 campaign, the club will be unveiling some new threads.

According to Icethetics, the Avalanche are in line for at least one new jersey this upcoming season before the club hits the ice for the Stadium Series contest against the Detroit Red Wings in February, with the possibility of a second alternate.

With two new uniforms on the way, it was only a matter of time before we got a sneak peek at what might be in store for the Avalanche, and, courtesy of Icethetics, we now have a first look at what could be worn for the Stadium Series: Read more

Futures Mailbag: Blueline prospects in Philly, Dylan Strome and more

Samuel Morin (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Welcome to my new mailbag, a spot where I will answers questions from readers who reached out to me on Twitter using the hashtag #thnfutures. The idea behind this space is to bring you info on prospects and the draft, so anything in that world is game. There was a pretty good crop of questions right off the bat, so if you don’t see yours answered this week, check back next Friday. Here we go:

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Grigorenko’s one-year deal with Avalanche could be his last chance

Jared Clinton
grigorenko-183586054

In 2012, any trade between the Buffalo Sabres and Colorado Avalanche that involved Ryan O’Reilly could have centered on Mikahil Grigorenko. In 2015, the 21-year-old Russian winger was more of a throw in.

Nearly three weeks following the completion of a deal that saw Buffalo send Grigorenko, Nikita Zadorov, J.T. Compher and a 2015 second-round pick shipped to Colorado for O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn, it appears the Avalanche are prepared to give Grigorenko his shot at becoming a full-time NHLer. If he doesn’t make it happen this year, though, it might be his last.

The Avalanche announced Thursday they have re-signed Grigorenko to a one-year, one-way contract worth $675,000. He won’t be able to go back to the AHL without clearing waivers, but, at this point, it might be hard to find a team who would take a shot on Grigorenko, the 2012 12th overall selection. Read more

10 players facing make or break seasons in 2015-16

Justin Schultz  (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

The Edmonton Oilers avoided arbitration with Justin Schultz Wednesday by inking the 25-year-old blueliner to a one-year, $3.9 million deal. But the arbitration wasn’t Schultz’s choice. Rather, it was the Oilers who wanted to plead their case for a lower cost on Schultz’s contract.

However, by opting for team-elected arbitration – which, as mentioned, has now been avoided with the one-year contract – Edmonton was essentially giving Schultz an ultimatum: if he wants to keep his spot in the Oilers lineup for what he believes to be fair value, he’s going to have to prove that he’s worth it. Thus, the one-year deal.

Schultz isn’t the only restricted free agent signed to a one-year contract and he’s not the only player who can, as Mike Babcock put it with regards to Nazem Kadri, “put the screws,” to his club. On the flip side, though, one bad year could see some franchises giving up on their young guns.

Here are 10 players who could have make-or-break seasons in 2014-15: Read more

Brandon Saad and Ryan O’Reilly sign huge deals with new teams

Brandon Saad

The contracts came in within minutes of each other and both came with big dollar amounts. Columbus signed new left winger Brandon Saad to a six-year, $36 million contract, while Buffalo extended recently acquired center Ryan O’Reilly for seven years at $7.5 million per season. Let’s walk through the sticker shock.

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Avs look to bolster defense corps with veteran Francois Beauchemin

Ken Campbell
Francois Beauchemin  (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Colorado Avalanche needed someone to defend, so they went out and got a defenseman who established a career-high in goals last season when they signed Francois Beachemin to a three-year deal worth a reported $4.5 million per season.

This, however, will be a good addition for the Avalanche, at least in the short term. Beauchemin is a veteran defenseman who can help stabilize the blueline corps in Colorado. The 11 goals last year was nice, but the Avs don’t necessarily need him to score that way with the likes of Tyson Barrie and Erik Johnson providing much of the offense they need from the back end. Read more