The Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL - July 29th, 2013

USA TODAY Sports

Since I'm using a computer that actually works on an internet connection that doesn't suck, I'm able to provide a couple more links than the past couple of days. Hooray for everyone! Up first is the continuation of fellow Avalanche blog Mile High Sticking's list of the Top 18 Avs Players, ringing in #4 with The Nose himself, Adam Foote.

Adam Foote wasn’t the flashiest player on the ice and certainly wasn’t the attention-grabber Patrick Roy was, wasn’t the consistently great player Joe Sakic was, nor the dazzling two-way player that Peter Forsberg was. But he went about his business as a quiet, physical, effective stay-at-home defender.

In a Bleacher Report-style effort, an interesting look at 7 guys you've all heard of who remain free agents. Honestly, I'm kind of surprised myself that some of these guys are still out there. I'm curious if it'll be like the NFL where guys are in demand but will wait for inevitable training camp injuries to occur to open up valuable spots, meaning the free agent is able to hand pick a place where he won't have as long a shot to make a pro roster. Or maybe the KHL is offering all of them a ton of money, those sly dogs. Either way, some interesting names remain on the market.

Bought out by the Maple Leafs, Grabovski is still apparently looking for upwards of $5M per season, which is probably why he hasn’t signed yet. He would be a nice fit for a team in need of a 2nd-3rd line centre, but that price would have to come down to a $2.5-$3.5M cap hit for it to be worthwhile for his new team. Apparently he is down to 3 teams and a decision could come down this week.

In an article that has made some waves already, Larry Brooks takes a look at the NHL's record of success in staying out of the hated PED discussion and posits that the squeaky clean record is indeed legit. I think it's incredibly naive to think not a single of the 2K plus players to play in the NHL since 2004 hasn't tried to gain that little edge by putting something questionable in their body but it's definitely an interesting debate.

Porter Fischer, a former employee of Biogenesis who has become a whistleblower/snitch in the ongoing baseball investigation/scandal, claimed on Thursday that he knows of up to a dozen as yet unnamed athletes from MLB, the NBA, the NCAA, the pro tennis tour, boxing and mixed martial arts who did business with the clinic.

Fischer at the same time said the Biogenesis clinic did not have a client from the NHL.

A short article that should still spawn some interesting discussion, top Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov comes right out and says he plans to follow Ilya Kovalchuk's example and return to Russia at age 30. Of course, Kuznetsov has yet to appear in an NHL game as he re-signed in the KHL for two more years last off-season, further delaying his debut on North American ice and raising questions about if he'll ever come over. Certainly this quote suggests he plans on it eventually, albeit apparently not for very long. The Russian Factor somehow gets more enigmatic with every twist and turn, eh?

Interesting in that the now 21-year-old Kuznetsov, the Capitals first-round pick from the 2010 NHL Draft, has actually yet to play a game in the National Hockey League, or in any league outside of Russia.

He has spent three previous seasons with Traktor Chelyabinsk in the KHL.

Let's bookend this with some more Avs talk, as it appears Duchene and MacKinnon have been spending some time skating together with some Crosby guy. It's hard not to be excited about Mackinnon hanging around these guys after the leap Duchene took last season when his off-season friendship/workout regiment with Crosby became public knowledge.

“Yeah it’s been busy for sure but it’s been a very exciting past month or so,” MacKinnon said following a Wednesday training session at the Halifax Civic Centre.

“I’m deep into my training now so I feel very good, I feel really good on the ice and I’m definitely looking forward to (the Avalanche) training camp.

“It’s going to be a huge challenge heading into next season. But the time I’m putting in now is important and going forward it’s going to be beneficial.”

Our friends over at The Hockey Writers take an intriguing look at the Avalanche continuing their faith in the two kids they felt made Kevin Shattenkirk expendable once upon a time.

That still shows a significant amount of faith in the young lineup that finished bottom of the Western Conference and considering the apparent lack of defensive depth, blueliners Tyson Barrie and Stefan Elliott in particular. Both players were drafted back in 2009 and although it’s widely accepted defensemen need time to develop they look to be entering a key year for their NHL careers.

That's it for today! Hope everyone has a nice start to their week :D

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