Daily Cupcakes - Links From Around The NHL - March 14th, 2012

DENVER, CO - MARCH 12: Ryan O'Byrne #3 of the Colorado Avalanche defends against Teemu Selanne #8 of the Anaheim Ducks as goalie Semyon Varlamov #1 of the Colorado Avalanche defends the goal at the Pepsi Center on March 12, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Colorado Avalanche 's Gabriel Landeskog is starting to get some Calder mentions.

Although plus-minus is a statistic that is rightfully criticized for not telling the whole picture, it's hard not to be impressed with Landeskog's plus-20 rating. He's compiled that number despite playing on a team that has allowed more goals than it's scored this season and Landeskog is one of just two Avalanche players with a plus-rating of better than three.

...

There may be faster and more-skilled rookies in the NHL this season, but nobody has become more essential to their team's success than Landeskog. Take Read away from the Flyers and they're still likely a playoff team. The same probably goes for New Jersey and Adam Henrique, who has two more points (46) than Landeskog for the rookie scoring lead.

Gabe did make his way into the Colorado Avalanche's record books with his overtime goal against the Ducks.

Despite feeling sick, Landeskog laced up his skates and worked his way into the franchise record book. With a slap shot in the second period, the Swedish player broke the team mark for most shots by a rookie in a season. Landeskog moved past former Quebec Nordiques star Peter Stastny, who had 232 shots in 1980-81.

Some news about Karlis Skrastins. Karlis was one of the 44 victims of the airplane crash of the Lokomotiv team in September.

The Latvian national ice hockey team has withdrawn the No. 7 shirt in memory of ex-NHL defenseman Karlis Skrastins, who died in the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl air disaster in September, Latvian newspaper Diena has reported.

Skrastins and the entire Lokomotiv roster were among 44 people killed when their plane crashed shortly after take-off on the way to the first game of the KHL season in Minsk, Belarus.

Maris Baldonieks, general manager of the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation, said Tuesday that no Latvia player would wear Skrastins’ number again, Diena reported.


Karlis's wife was pregnant when the crash occured, she recently gave birth to a little girl.

The widow of former NHL star Karlis Skrastins, who was killed in the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash in September, has given birth to his daughter, the Kontinental Hockey League said Friday.

The entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl roster was killed when their plane crashed shortly after take-off on the way to their first game of the season in Minsk, Belarus. The sole survivor was Alexander Sizov, a member of the cabin crew.

Zena Skrastins has named her new daughter Vivien, the league said on its official Facebook page.

Is Sean Avery done with hockey?

It seemed like the 31-year-old was done with the game when he appeared on Bravo’s late-night talk show What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on Monday to talk about what’s next for his career.

"I am officially retired," Avery said on the show. "I threw my skates in the Hudson [River]."

He also told the New York Post on Tuesday that the TV announcement was serious.

"No, that wasn’t a joke; yes, I’m retiring at the end of the season, and it’s OK," he said, adding that he wanted to get into advertising.


The Sudbury Star is giving Michael Sgarbossa props.

By now, Sudbury Wolves centre Michael Sgarbossa should be, at the very least, a short-list candidate for the OHL's Red Tilson Trophy, handed out yearly to the most outstanding player in Ontario's major junior hockey league.

It's not just that Sgarbossa is an elite player -- and he is, one of the best in junior hockey today, in fact -- but the 19-year-old from Campbellville, Ont., also makes his team and his teammates better, even during tough times.

Wolves including Andrey Kuchin, Josh Leivo and Nathan Pancel have are having career years, in no small part, due to contributions from Sgarbossa, despite a difficult schedule and a slew of injuries to key performers in January and February.

Having interviewed Sgarbossa several times, I can tell you he comes across as mature and thoughtful, as one who takes the game seriously but still enjoys playing in one of the league's most hockey-mad markets.

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