NHL, Avalanche and MHH Year in Review: 2013

Bruce Bennett

So what did 2013 look like?

In addition to our favorite things, some other important events went down in 2013. Here is a sampling:

NHL

  • The lockout ended, and despite many fans' vow to hold a grudge forever, most took the league back like an ex they just couldn't quit.
  • Toronto and Detroit get the Winter Classic, while Stadium Series in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago are scheduled.
  • New rules were instituted, introduced hybrid icing and "let's do what we can to eliminate fighting without actually saying we're going to eliminate fighting so keep your helmet on even if you have a visor," and smaller goalie pads.
  • Chicago Blackhawks started the 2013 season with an unprecedented 21-0-3 record until our beloved Avalanche beat the shit out of them to end it in game 25.
  • Speaking of the Hawks, they kinda won a trophy or something.
  • The league underwent a realignment, giving us four divisions: two Western conference divisions in the Pacific (Anaheim, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Phoenix) and Central (Colorado, Winnipeg, Dallas, Chicago, St. Louis, and Minnesota); two Eastern conference divisions in the Atlantic (Boston, Tampa Bay, Montreal, Toronto, Detroit, Ottawa, Buffalo, and Florida) and the ridiculously named Metropolitan (New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh, Washington, New Jersey, Carolina and Columbus).
  • Touted as the Number 1 pick forever, Seth Jones dropped to 4th on draft day with MacKinnon, Barkoff and Drouin rounding out the top three.
  • Teemu Selanne and Jaromir Jagr set aside their walkers and returned for another season. Selanne got the award for most awesome way of announcing it.
  • Re-entry waivers dropped from CBA.

Avalanche

  • Ryan O'Reilly held out for more cash, finally getting a contract from the Avalanche only after Feaster and the Flames threw down a ridiculous offer sheet of 2 years for $10 million, which doesn't seem bad until you realize that the Qualifying Offer on that when the contract expires is $6.5 million if they want to keep his rights.
  • The holdout created the Slap Fight meme, but despite the sarcasm behind it, there was reason to believe that Matt Duchene didn't approve of his teammate's decisions.
  • In response to having four quality centers, O'Reilly was moved to the wing...on Duchene's line.
  • Joe Sacco was fired, and David Quinn was hired as assistant coach and then resigned to be head coach for Boston University.
  • The Avalanche brought in Patrick Roy as head coach, Andre Tourigny as assistant coach, Mario Duhamel as video coach, Francois Allaire as goalie coach, and Adam Foote as a defense development consultant.
  • The front office got a face lift as Pierre Lacroix stepped aside into a consultant role, Josh Kroenke took over as president, Joe Sakic became the executive VP of hockey ops, Roy double-dutied as a VP of ops, and Greg Sherman graciously accepted a demotion to simply general manager.
  • The Pepsi Center also got some work done, including a behemouth scoreboard and ridiculously amazing sound system.
  • Seven players were selected at the draft: C Nathan MacKinnon (1st round, 1st overall), D Chris Bigras (2nd round, 32nd overall), G Spencer Martin (3rd round, 63rd overall), D Mason Geertsen (4th round, 93rd overall), D Will Butcher (5th round, 123rd overall), D Ben Storm (6th round, 153rd overall), and D Wilhem Westlund (7th round, 183rd overall).
  • Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog signed extensions: 5-year at $30 million and 7-year at $39 million respectively.
  • Semyon Varlamov was arrested for third-degree domestic abuse and kidnapping and then charged with only the domestic abuse. All charges were later dropped due to insufficient evidence.
  • Adam Foote's jersey was lifted to the rafters.
  • Joey Hishon returned to the ice and played in his first professional games, already showing why he was so coveted by the Avalanche organization when drafted in the first round in 2010.
  • Player transactions (in chronological order):
    - Aaron Palushaj claimed off waivers
    - Cory Sarich and Alex Tanguay acquired from the Calgary Flames in exchange for Shane O'Brien and David Jones
    - Greg Zanon placed on waivers and then his contract was bought out
    - Matt Hunwick placed on waivers and then assigned to the Lake Erie Monsters
    - Nick Holden, Nate Guenin and Andre Benoit signed as unrestricted free agents
    - Steve Downie traded to Philadelphia for Max Talbot
  • Player injuries (in order of my memory)
    - Steve Downie: torn ACL, loses entire 2013 season
    - Gabriel Landeskog: misses a month due to a concussion on a questionable hit by Brad Stuart
    - Ryan Wilson: injured by something, came back, injured again, came back, injured again, etc.
    - Alex Tanguay: recovery process from a knee injury led to a hip injury, return date still TBD
    - PA Parenteau: sprained MCL, putting him out 6 weeks

Mile High Hockey

  • Our beloved leader, DDC, stepped down from his position as managing editor after a decade (or something like that) of blood, sweat and tears for the site, handing the reigns to me. Fool.
  • Earl was added as a writer, bringing us fantastic news from LEM.
  • MHH faced off against Burgundy Brigade in their first After Hours meet up. We'll get 'em next year.
  • C6 began his epic trolling campaign against the Avalanche on Twitter in hopes of sparking the decision to introduce new jerseys.
  • Mike began his Anatomy of a Goal campaign, arguably the most loved article series at MHH in the past few years.
  • New memes were created, including Slap Fight! (referencing Adrian Dater's repeated focus on the idea that Duchene and O'Reilly hated each other had major issues due to O'Reilly's contract situation) and Fatty McGinn (based on Jaime McGinn's absence at a voluntary captain's practice in the days prior to the start of the locked out season (a meme which was hilariously picked up by McGinn's teammates.)
  • Dario went into a deep depression upon finding out that Chuck Kobasew would not be re-signed.

Miscellaneous

  • Both the Denver Post and Puck Daddy redesigned their websites for the worse, and the DP even decided to charge for the privilege to view theirs! (These developments made the list because they seriously hindered my ability to write this damn article.)

I'm sure we've missed some. Add them in the comments section!

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