Daily Cupcakes - Links From Around the NHL - April 9th, 2012

April 7 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov (1) waves to the crowd following the last game and the lose to the Nashville Predators at the Pepsi Center. The Predators defeated the Avalanche 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Mike Chambers had a blog up about the pending RFAs and UFA's. It seems that Matt Duchene isn't as sure as Ryan O`Reily that he's going to be re-signed. As well a pretty good quote from Shane O`Brien.

"It’s the way I play the game and we have a lot of character in here, and a lot of guys who want to win," O’Brien said. "Sometimes that’s more important than skill and size and speed. If you have a group of guys who like to be with each other and want to win and are willing to buy in, that’s almost more important than that other stuff put together. We have that here, and we made some good strides this year and hopefully we can have a good off-season, stick together and see what we can do next year."

The Globe and Mail has a scary story about concussions in hockey - at youth level.

No one wants to see children live in bubble-wrap. And the eight concussions on the Ottawa Sting AA team (not even the highest level of play) are not necessarily any more than happened in the past – you can’t count what you won’t look at, and nearly everyone looked away. Typically, children and teenagers returned to play, putting their brains at risk over the long term.

The refusal of many parents to adapt has held back safety improvements to the game. In Peterborough, Ont.’s youth hockey program, considered a national leader in concussion awareness, parents surrounded the car of a referee after a game and berated him. Hockey Canada made rule changes before the season meant to make the game safer, but woe to any teenage referee who tries to enforce the new rules. Researchers have documented multiple cases of parents on a single team of 16- to 21-year-olds resisting the advice of doctors to keep their concussed children out of the lineup.

A story on the aqcisition of Semyon Varlamov.

The Colorado Avalanche raised some eyebrows last summer when they acquired goaltender Semyon Varlamov from the Washington Capitals for their 2012 first round pick and a second round pick in 2012 or 2013. Colorado was taking a huge risk, not just because Varlamov was young and still largely unproven, but because the Avalanche were coming off a 68-point campaign and that first round pick could end up being very valuable.

It might be several years before we know who won this trade, but the Avalanche can at least breathe a sigh of relief: the nightmare scenario did not happen. While the Avalanche will participate in the draft lottery, they are currently projected to hand the Capitals the 11th overall pick.

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