The Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL - January 31st, 2014

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Varlamov signed a five year extension.

Varlamov, who would have been a restricted free agent after this season, was named to Russia's team for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. It will be his second straight appearance at the Olympics; he was named to the Russian team in 2010 but did not play.

"It's a good thing to sign the deal right now so I don't have to worry about the contract situation anymore," Varlamov said. "Now I can stay focused on my game. The Olympics is coming and that's a big thing, too. I don't have to worry about the contract and the Olympics."

Mike Weaver wants to teach the next generation of hockey players.

The unique school teaches young teenagers - whether a forward or blue-liner - the aspects of the defensive game. The thoughtful Weaver is a big believer in skill development.

He also has a telecommunications degree with a minor in web design and software development. Weaver already has plans to create an internet program that will help teach the game more effectively down the road.

"I was reading an article recently that predicted that Europeans will eventually overtake North Americans in all aspects of hockey because in Canada it's all about games, games, games, it's not about perfecting your skills," Weaver said before the Panthers visited the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.

"It's a lot easier to throw a forward on the ice and tell him to score a goal than to tell him to stop an opponent from scoring a goal. That's what our school tries to teach."

It's possible Stamkos has his first game back from injury while in Sochi.

Steven Stamkos revealed that he could play for Canada at the Sochi Winter Games even if he doesn't suit up for a game with the Tampa Bay Lightning next week prior to the Olympic break.

"I guess the more time the better," Stamkos said on Tuesday after he participated in his team's morning skate at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.

"The objective is to play a game [with the Lightning], that would be something I would really love to do. But if that's not the case, there's going to be another discussion about whether or not I'm still going to be on that team if I can't play a game.

"We've had brief discussions about that. It's more or less been, 'We'll cross that bridge when we need to.'"

Brodeur is willing to waive his no-trade clause.

Martin Brodeur is synonymous with the New Jersey Devils and has been their No. 1 goalie since 1993.

That has come to an end, since Cory Schneider has the starter’s role now. And just as the Devils looked to the future in acquiring Schneider last summer, Brodeur is looking to his own future.

It appears he wants to keep playing, and not as a backup.

He told northjersey.com he’s willing waive his no-trade clause.

“I’m open to anything,” Brodeur told the paper. “I just want to play. So . . . if there’s a better situation for me, I’ll take it. If it’s here or somewhere else, it doesn’t matter.”

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