Daily Cupcakes - Links From Around the NHL - April 5th, 2012

Mar 26, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Matt Hunwick (22) warms up before the game against the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion. San Jose defeated Colorado 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

According to the Denver Post, Colorado Avalanche's Semyon Varlamov will be starting agains tthe Columbus Blue Jackets, while Jamie McGinn might be out of the lineup due to a sore back.

Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said goalie Semyon Varlamov will make his eighth consecutive start in Thursday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Pepsi Center, and winger Jamie McGinn is questionable with a back injury.

McGinn, who has 12 points (eight goals) in 15 games with the Avs, missed Colorado's previous game, a 4-1 win at Calgary last Friday that kept the club's slim playoff hopes alive. He said he injured his back March 22 at Phoenix but played in ensuing games at San Jose and Vancouver. He practiced Wednesday for the first time this week.

"Five days rest, so hopefully that's enough," McGinn said.

The award for the NHL's outstanding rookie goes to Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche, especially with his play in the last third of the season as the Avalanche surprised many by staying in the Western Conference playoff hunt. Landeskog's excellent play proved an added blessing with the injury woes of Matt Duchene.

Runners up are Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of Edmonton and Justin Faulk of Carolina. Faulk flew under the radar for most of the season with the early season struggles of the Hurricanes. The signing of Tim Gleason to a new contract rather than moving him at the trade deadline and the return from injury by Joni Pitkanen bodea well for the Carolina blue line next year.

The Phoenix Glendale mayor is mad at Gary Bettman. She wants her city's 25 million dollars back.

Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs is hopping mad at the NHL over the $25-million (all currency U.S.) that is due from the city May 2 to cover part of the Phoenix Coyotes losses this season and wants to play tough with the league.

In addition to blasting the NHL during a budget meeting Tuesday, the mayor asked her colleagues on city council to petition NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to return most of the $20-million that is currently in an escrow account for the May 2 payment. The city did not have enough money to put all of the $25-million it promised the NHL in the account and Scruggs indicated it still does not have the shortfall of $5-million.

The money is desperately needed to help cover a potential budget deficit of $30-million. In any event, Scruggs said, the money should be the NHL’s problem because the league did not play straight with the city about its prospects of selling the Coyotes.

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