The Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL - December 5th, 2013

Derek Leung

The Avs take on the Oilers.

The Colorado Avalanche own the best road record in the NHL.

The Edmonton Oilers have the fewest points at home.

The Avalanche look to capitalize on a visit to Edmonton on Thursday night in the opener of a potentially taxing three-game trip through Western Canada.

Colorado (19-6-0) has won nine of 11 games as the visitor, thanks in large part to yielding an average of 1.7 goals. The Avalanche won their third straight road game Friday, beating Minnesota 3-1 before sweeping the home-and-home set the following day with a 3-2 shootout victory.

The Rangers have rewarded Lundqyist.

Henrik Lundqvist said he wanted to be a Ranger for life, and now he will have that chance. The Rangers announced Wednesday that Lundqvist had signed a seven-year contract extension, ending speculation that he might depart when his contract expired at the end of the N.H.L. season.

“I know there’s been some speculation,” Lundqvist said at a news conference at the Rangers’ practice rink. “But from the heart, it was never an option to leave this club.”

The new deal, for $59.5 million, with an $8.5 million annual salary-cap hit, makes Lundqvist the highest-paid Ranger and the highest-paid goalie in the N.H.L. It represents a significant raise from his old contract, which had a $6.875 million cap hit per year. Lundqvist turns 32 in March, meaning he will be 39 if he stays through the term of the contract, which is one year shorter than the maximum allowed by the new collective bargaining agreement.

There's an in-depth article on Globe and Mail about a former NHL'er who is still feeling the pains of the NHL life.

First of all, there’s pain, lots of it, the by-product of 17 surgeries, which wouldn’t be so hard to live with if it weren’t for the depression and widening holes in his memory.

At 59, Kurt Walker is three decades removed from the seven seasons he played professional hockey; he still feels pretty much every minute of them in his body.

The rangy Massachusetts native wasn’t known for his skill or gentility – “Put it this way: I wasn’t a Lady Byng player” – he was just one in the steadily-flowing pipeline of tough guys to play in hockey’s rub-some-snow-on-it era.

With all the stories of ex-NHL'ers still feeling the pain, what is the NHLPA and the NHL doing to help them?

Among the many questions this escalating concussion issue raises is whether the NHL will do something to help former players.

The answer is that assistance programs exist, but they’re hard to find.

Parker said he had to fight to gain eligibility for the league’s health insurance plan in which he gets a $1,800 monthly allowance.

The program allows him to consult a doctor of his choice and receive the treatment his condition requires.

But for every former player who takes control of his destiny, several others are vegetating.

A Montreal Canadiens executive, asked about Odjick after Tuesday’s game against the Devils, said victims need to help themselves.

Gino was admitted to a hospital in Gatineau, Que. on the weekend, but he’s not the one who checked himself in. He was driven there in a state of extreme agitation.

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