Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL May 28, 2014

Bruce Bennett

For some people getting compared to their father might be annoying.... but Claude Lemieux's son doesn't think so.

The offspring of famous athletes will sometimes go to great lengths to escape their father’s all-encompassing shadow.

Wayne Gretzky’s son Trevor ditched hockey skates for a pair of baseball cleats. Popeye Jones’ son Seth traded a basketball for a puck. Even Tie Domi’s son Max has made a point of playing a style of hockey that is far from the one his enforcer dad played.

But when teams at this week’s NHL Draft Combine ask what type of player Brendan Lemieux hopes to be, the 18-year-old prospect does not shy away from familial comparisons.

“I want to be a young Claude Lemieux,” said Brendan Lemieux, while sitting at a hotel restaurant where the combine is being held. “That’s the style I want to play. That’s the model. If that means there’s comparisons, then so be it. I’m happy to be compared to him.”

The Blue Jackets like their coach enough to give him an extension.

Coach Todd Richards signed a two-year contract extension through the 2016-17 season Tuesday after leading the Columbus Blue Jackets to the most successful season in franchise history.

The Jackets won a team-record 43 games in the regular season and reached the NHL playoffs for the second time in history, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games during the opening round.

“Todd has done an outstanding job for the Columbus Blue Jackets and we’re pleased that he will continue to lead our team,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. “We believe he is one of the top young coaches in the NHL because of his knowledge of the game, work ethic and ability to communicate well and bring out the best in our players.”

An interesting twist, the OHL has reduced a suspension.

The Ontario Hockey League has reduced Windsor Spitfires forward Josh Ho-Sang’s 15-game suspension to six games.

The suspension will take effect at the start of the 2014-15 season.

Ho-Sang received the initial ban on April 7 for hitting London Knights defenceman Zach Bell from behind in a playoff game.

The league says it made the decision to reduce the suspension after “further consideration of the incident,” which took place in the second period of Game 4 of the Western Conference quarter-final.

Sandis Ozolinsh is retiring from hockey, and joining politics.

It is planned that Ozolins will become the association's general-secretary.

''I would like to thanks my parents, family, coaches, teammates and others who have supported me throughout my professional career. With this, I would also like to announce that I am ending my career in professional sports. I have played ice hockey for many years, and have always done so with much passion and love for the game. The time has come to retire,'' said Ozolins, who captained the Latvian national ice hockey team to its best ever performance at the Olympics earlier this year.

Speaking about his future plans, Ozolins said that he seriously considered what to do with his future, and said that he made the decision to join former Prime Minister Einars Repse's association ''Future Forum of Latvia''. ''I am ready to continue working for the good of Latvia and Latvian society,'' Ozolins added.

''It is no secret I have met with political leaders in the past, but I have now made my choice. I will most likely be criticized for my decision, but I do not wish to remain on the sidelines, but be active with my ideas. As a businessman, I was interested in this model, and I agreed to join the association,'' said Ozolins about joining the party which includes many entrepreneurs.

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