The Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL - September 20th, 2013

You ate it, and it was mine! - Doug Pensinger

NHL.com has an article up about Erik Johnson.

Soon after, Roy had what he hopes will be a career-changing conversation with Johnson, who said it hasn't been easy living up to the expectations of others.

"Patrick said you can't control what happened in the past and you can't control what people think about you; you can only control how you play," Johnson said. "That's all you're thinking about if you're free and clear; you're just going out and playing hockey and having fun and using your instincts and using your skills and not worrying about messing up, and not worrying about making a mistake and just playing your game."

Though still inconsistent, Johnson worked on his defense last season and made some progress in that area. But he averaged 2.06 shots on goal per game for an Avalanche team that produced just five goals all season from its defense corps.

The Oilers have locked up another youngster for seven years.

The Edmonton Oilers have taken another step in locking up their young core by signing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to a seven-year contract.

Nugent-Hopkins got US$42 million, the same amount the Oilers gave Taylor Hall on his seven-year deal. The $6-million cap hit is also the same as Jordan Eberle’s, making for uniformity among Edmonton’s top young forwards.

Another suspension has been handed down.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Adam Erne has been suspended three preseason games for an illegal check on St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka, the NHL's Department of Player Safety announced Thursday. Erne appeared to target Sobotka's head on a first period check during Wednesday's preseason bout. You can check out the hit below in the video below, as well as an explanation from the league.

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