The Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL - February 7th, 2014

Jim McIsaac

Martin St-Louis has made Team Canada.

In the 14 games since he was snubbed, St. Louis had scored eight goals and 16 points to keep a Stamkos-less Lightning team in second place in the Atlantic Division.

"Of course, I was bitter," said St. Louis, who is tied for 16th in league scoring with 54 points. "I’ve answered those questions before. Was I motivated? I don’t think it’s motivation. I think I’ve been motivated the past four years, the past 10 years. If you’re not motivated, you’re not even considered for these things."

St. Louis’ inclusion, of course, comes at the expense of Stamkos. The Lightning forward had hoped his fractured leg would be healed in time to play in the Olympics, but a CT scan revealed on Wednesday that he was still two to three weeks away. The news came as a shock, Stamkos said, who was expecting to return to the lineup on Thursday night against the Leafs.

"At the same time, when you are dealing with a bone you can never be 100% until you see it on the CT scan," he said. "If anything, I wish maybe we would have done that a little earlier, so I did not have my hopes as high as I did going into the meeting."

Nathan MacKinnon is getting some love.

There were a lot of fans and experts who thought the Colorado Avalanche made a mistake by selecting Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon over Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones with the top pick in the 2013 NHL draft.

The Avalanche already had plenty of center depth with Ryan O’Reilly, Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny giving new head coach Patrick Roy a talented three-headed monster down the middle. But general manager Joe Sakic chose to take the player who drew comparisons to NHL superstar Sidney Crosby, and after the first four months of the 2013-14 season it appears that the first-year executive made the correct decision.

MacKinnon leads all rookies with 42 points, and he’s the only one with at least 20 goals and 20 assists. The Avs center ranks first among rookies in power-play goals (eight), game-winning goals (five) and shots (164). He also has five goals and eight assists in his last nine games, including a six-game point streak. His nine goals in the month of January were the third-most in the league.

Well, someone isn't happy that NHL players are in the Olympics....

Shuttering the National Hockey League for two weeks and sending its best players to the Winter Olympics is “ridiculous,” a marquee NHL owner says.

Philadelphia Flyers boss Ed Snider told reporters he has major problems with the league’s involvement in the Games, comments likely to further talk that Sochi may be the final time NHLers take part.

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