The Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL - May 6th, 2014

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday I mentioned that some people on Twitter suck, but social media can help some players out as well.

Carey Price can relax — his Labrador retrievers are back home.

The Montreal Canadiens goaltender’s dogs Motty ("short for Mozart") and Duke got loose overnight. But, after word went out on Twitter, both were found and returned Monday morning.

"When I left the house at 6:15 a.m., I heard that Carey Price lost his dogs in Candiac, he lost his two labs," Mastromonaco told The Canadian Press.

"Almost at the same time, I see this jogger with two Labradors following him, but the dogs didn’t look like they were with him."

After checking with the jogger, Mastromonaco realized he’d happened on the goaltender’s dogs.

Hurricanes fire their coach.

Ron Francis wasted little time putting his stamp on the Carolina Hurricanes.

One week into his new job as general manager, Francis fired coach Kirk Muller and most of his staff.

Now leading a franchise that has made the playoffs just once in eight years, Francis cited the need for a "fresh start" and warned that nobody on the roster — from the marquee names, to the grinders at the end of the bench — is untouchable.

"I don't think changing the coaches lets the players off the hook," Francis said. "I think there has to be a lot of responsibility on their shoulders as well to turn this thing around. Hopefully we can do that going forward."

Francis, a Hall of Fame player and former captain and assistant coach with the Hurricanes, took control of the team last week when Jim Rutherford stepped aside after a two-decade run as its GM.

As part of his first big housecleaning move, assistants John MacLean and Dave Lewis also were fired and goaltending coach Greg Stefan was reassigned back to the team's pro scouting department.

And then "who will the Avs keep, who will the Avs sign" game has begun.

Ryan O’Reilly might be one of the most intriguing free agents in the NHL this off-season. What makes him an intriguing option is that he is not an unrestricted free agent, he is just a restricted free agent.

The thing is, the Colorado Avalanche are in a bit of bind in what do do with their center situation. While O’Reilly’s cap hit is $5 million, the offer sheet he signed with the Calgary Flames ensured that the Avalanche would be paying in $6.5 million in actual cash during the 2014-15 season if they qualified him.

The problem is that the Avalanche have fellow center Paul Stastny set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. With his performance this season, Stastny will be getting a lot of the money in his next contract and the Avalanche would probably like to retain his services.

So O’Reilly’s pay increase causes a problem. While the Avalanche have tons of room under the salary cap, so they could probably re-sign both of them and still have some room left, they are not a cap team. They look to be a team that has it’s own salary cap. Keep in mind that the Avalanche have at least six players becoming UFAs or RFAs on July 1.

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