Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL June 11, 2014

Doug Pensinger

The Rangers are feeling the pressure.

The day after the Los Angeles Kings grabbed the Stanley Cup final by the throat, winning 3-0 to lead the series by the same margin, the murmured questions were all some variation of: “How dead are you, exactly?”

“I’m not going to lie to you, today is tough. It’s pretty much impossible to be upbeat,” said Brad Richards, one of the Rangers’ de facto captains, in the absence of a real one. “But you have to be professional. The series is not over. You get through today, get a good meal, get a good night’s sleep and all this will be behind you.

It will take some doing to get them re-energized to try to avert elimination in Game 4 Wednesday night.

“It’s the waiting and thinking that’s the tough part. We’ve got to get back in the battle and see where it goes.”

The message differed only slightly at every stall.

A former head coach has been named as assistant coach by the Oilers.

The Edmonton Oilers have hired Craig Ramsay as an assistant coach.

The 63-year-old has over 40 years of NHL experience since being drafted by the Buffalo Sabres as a forward in 1971.

After spending his entire playing career in Buffalo, Ramsay moved behind the Sabres’ bench. He served as an assistant with the team during the 1986-87 season and took over as interim head coach late that year.

Sportsmedia101 looks at John Mitchell. (There is an automatic video that starts on this page)

This is where the Avalanche front office comes in. They have a knack for spotting quality players that have yet to prove themselves, players that other teams don't want anymore, and in the summer of 2012, Mitchell signed with Colorado. He has played in 122 games for the Avalanche, missing only eight total contests over the last two seasons. This past year, he had a career high 32 points (11 goals, 21 assists) and a career high plus-13 rating. He has proven to be very versatile in Colorado's lineup, as he has played left wing, center, and right wing on the third line or the second line, whatever the team's current situation required. Whenever someone is injured and the lines need to be shuffled, Mitchell plays consistently well wherever he is placed in the lineup, and that makes him invaluable to the Avalanche.

USA Hockey is endorsing the look-up line.

USA Hockey, the sport’s governing body in the United States, announced Monday that it had endorsed use of the look-up line, an orange warning track painted on the ice designed to reduce paralyzing neck injuries that could result from collisions into the boards. However, the measure fell short of mandating its use in U.S. ice rinks.

Under the measure, rinks that wish to employ a look-up line are permitted to do so and are encouraged to report their results to the USA Hockey look-up line safety task force.

“I was hoping for a strong recommendation, at the very least,” said Tom Smith, a 24-year-old hockey player from Boston who walks with the aid of two canes after suffering a spinal-cord injury when he crashed into the boards in 2008. “But I’m told this is a giant step, considering that we put down the first look-up line on May 9, 2013, and now we have it down in the policy and rules sections for USA Hockey and the NCAA.”

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