Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL May 22, 2014

Doug Pensinger

A couple of Avalanche prospects faced off at the Memorial Cup.

On Tuesday, two Colorado Avalanche prospects faced off in the Memorial Cup. In both teams’ final round robin contest, Samuel Henley of the Val-d’Or Foreurs took on Cody Corbett and the Edmonton Oil Kings. Val-d’Or was able to prevail in the contest, winning in double overtime by a score of 4-3.

Both players played a major factor in the game. Corbett had 2 assists for the Oil Kings, while Henley was able to get the equalizer with less than five minutes remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime. Anthony Richard scored early in the second overtime to seal the victory.

The Oil Kings won the Western Hockey League championship to earn a spot in the Memorial Cup. An assistant captain for the squad, Corbett has three points in three Memorial Cup games. He was signed by the Avalanche in March, finishing the Oil Kings’ regular season with 61 points in 65 games.

Does Rick Nash need to win a Cup to increase his star power?

In the rosters the London Knights drew up before training camp that fall, the skinny winger was pencilled in for the fourth line. Rick Nash, a 16-year-old from a Toronto suburb two hours to the east, was still only 160 pounds, as thick as a wire hanger.

The team was not projected to be a powerhouse that year, either, in 2000, still only a few years removed from the worst season in junior hockey history, when it won only three of 66 games. Lindsay Hofford was the new coach, and Nash would be his first big surprise.

“He had his first shift and we’re like, ‘Oh my god, this kid’s something special,’ ” the old coach said with a laugh earlier this week.

Hofford said the teenager had two goals before the end of his second shift in practice, and even though he was skinny, “he was fearless; he had great skills, and his focus around the net was definitely something that set him apart from other players.”

Th Habs have not been playing Peter Budaj, even with the injury to Price.

Put him in, coach. Again.

Even though the Montreal Canadiens dropped a 3-1 decision in goalie Dustin Tokarski's Stanley Cup playoff debut on Monday, his coach Michel Therrien should play the 24-year-old netminder from Humboldt, Sask., once again.

Why?

Because backup goalie Peter Budaj's record in the NHL post-season isn't any better. He has no wins in seven appearances.

And because Tokarski could not be faulted for Montreal's Game 2 loss in its first game without the injured Carey Price.

Will there be a lot of trades and movement on Draft day?

The NHL draft floor could feel as much like an auction house as a drafting venue when teams gather in Philadelphia for the annual event in late June.

“Some teams are going to be looking to move some salaries, and I just have a feeling there could be a lot of moves,” Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill said.

Adding further spice to the event is that Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon isn’t ruling out trading the No. 1 draft pick.

“I’ve already had a few guys kicking tires,” Tallon said. “We are going to get more calls.”

Tallon said he isn’t ruling out anything, including taking a player at No. 1, accepting a deal to move back in the draft or packaging his No. 1 and other assets in an effort to acquire a top player.

“When I look at my team, I would like to add a couple of top-notch veteran (defenders),” Tallon said.

An interesting news piece in Quebec.

BAR OWNERS REVOLT

The New York Rangers aren't the only headache for the Montreal Canadiens these days.

Quebec's bar owners association is going to Superior Court to stop the Molson brothers from selling beer at the Bell Centre during sold-out bashes when the team is on the road.

Association president Peter Sergakis announced the move after the Quebec Liquor board refused to hear his group's case.

The Liquor board says the Molsons are allowed to fill their building for road games and sell the beer that bears their name.

Sergakis, who owns 40 Montreal-area bars, claims the Molsons are only allowed to sell beer when the Habs are at home.

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