Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL July 4th, 2014

Jonathan Daniel

National Post looks at some of the Free Agency deals thus far.

WORST DEALS

Calgary Flames sign Deryk Engelland for $8.7-million over three years

When word of Engelland signing for three years at $2.9-million came out, many thought that was the total price. No, it was the average value of the deal for a bruising, 32-year-old defenceman who previously made less than $600,000 with the Penguins.

Colorado Avalanche sign Jarome Iginla for $16-million over three years

Iginla showed in his one season with the Boston Bruins that he could still play a prominent role on a winning team and produce. But the Avalanche took a bit of a risk by giving the power winger a three-year deal on his 37th birthday.

Jay McClement is now a Hurricane.

Jay McClement has left the Maple Leafs to sign a one-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes.

McClement will make $1 million during the 2014-15 season.

"Jay is a veteran centreman who is proficient in the faceoff circle," Carolina general manager Ron Francis said in a statement. "He’ll also provide elements of consistency and leadership for our club."

Giroux apologizes.

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux says "a misguided attempt at humour" resulted in his Canada Day arrest in Ottawa, according to a statement released Thursday on his team's website.

Giroux spent Tuesday night locked up at an Ottawa police station after an altercation with a male police officer in the ByWard Market in Ottawa.​

Witnesses said Giroux "mocked" the officer and grabbed his buttocks three times, while also swearing at the officer. Giroux was arrested but he was not charged.

On Thursday, Giroux commented publicly for the first time.

"I regret my actions on Canada Day and sincerely apologize to my fans, teammates and the Philadelphia Flyers organization for my misguided attempt at humour," a statement read.

Laraque is trying to take a stand against a pig festival.

A popular pig festival is in a tense public relations battle against former NHL enforcer Georges Laraque.

The hulking tough guy launched a Facebook campaign against the upcoming event held in Saint-Perpetue, Que., east of Montreal, saying it "terrorizes pigs and wild boars."

The pig festival, held since 1978, features a pig-wrestling contest in which participants try to corral slippery beasts in a mud pit.

Win or lose, the pigs end up on the barbecue.

Surprise, surprise the Avalanche drafted yet another Avalanche fan.

High River’s own Conner Bleackley turned hard work and dreams into reality last Friday night when he was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

Bleackley was drafted 23rd overall by his favourite hockey team, making the experience that much more special.

Bleackley said the experience of being drafted was quite nerve-racking.

"I was pretty anxious and nervous and excited," said Bleackley. "I spent the whole day kind of just waiting for the draft, and then once we got there, I guess just the anticipation of getting picked, and then finally getting picked was a little bit of a relief, and then definitely some excitement of going to Colorado."

Bleackley grew up watching his favourite player, Joe Sakic, lead the Colorado Avalanche, so it was serendipitous that Sakic was the one to call Bleackley’s name at the draft as Colorado’s new executive vice president of hockey operations.

Former Colorado Avalanche player, Ryan O'Byrne hosted his annual charity camp and Tyson Barrie lent him a hand.

The Ryan O'Byrne camp featured other Island NHLers such as Matt Irwin of the San Jose Sharks and Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche. The camp raised $34,000 this year to push the total collected for KidSport-Greater Victoria to more than $100,000 over three years. That doesn't include the 28 full sets of hockey pads the National Hockey League Players Association has given out each year.

Meanwhile, former NHLer O'Byrne is looking for a new team after his Lev Prague team of the Russian-based KHL folded this week. O'Byrne helped lead Lev Prague to Game 7 of the 2014 KHL Gagarin Cup final this spring.

The Ryan O’Byrne camp featured other Island NHLers such as Matt Irwin of the San Jose Sharks and Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche. The camp raised $34,000 this year to push the total collected for KidSport-Greater Victoria to more than $100,000 over three years. That doesn’t include the 28 full sets of hockey pads the National Hockey League Players Association has given out each year.

Meanwhile, former NHLer O’Byrne is looking for a new team after his Lev Prague team of the Russian-based KHL folded this week. O’Byrne helped lead Lev Prague to Game 7 of the 2014 KHL Gagarin Cup final this spring.

- See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/sports/worthy-cause-brings-benn-brothers-home-1.1193261#sthash.Dtui6QZY.dpuf

The Ryan O’Byrne camp featured other Island NHLers such as Matt Irwin of the San Jose Sharks and Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche. The camp raised $34,000 this year to push the total collected for KidSport-Greater Victoria to more than $100,000 over three years. That doesn’t include the 28 full sets of hockey pads the National Hockey League Players Association has given out each year.

Meanwhile, former NHLer O’Byrne is looking for a new team after his Lev Prague team of the Russian-based KHL folded this week. O’Byrne helped lead Lev Prague to Game 7 of the 2014 KHL Gagarin Cup final this spring.

- See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/sports/worthy-cause-brings-benn-brothers-home-1.1193261#sthash.Dtui6QZY.dpuf
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