#40 / Center / Colorado Avalanche
Jan 01, 1988
2011 Cap Hit: $850,000
2012 Status: RFA
Anyone who was paying attention should have known that the Avalanche banked on Mark Olver for last season. His play during the 2010-2011 season earned him the benefit of the doubt at training camp with his spot being up to him to lose. Unfortunately, he plays for the Colorado Avalanche. Therefore, he was sidelined with the requisite concussion. Thus, any plans the Avs had of him supplying a scoring touch were sidelined. When he fully recovered, he spent some time with the Lake Erie Monsters, getting back up to speed. He played 15 games with the Avs' AHL affiliate (2g, 7a) before getting the call up to Denver.
Here's the thing with Olver. He's not big. He's not an elite scorer. But he is tenacious. He works his ass off every shift and is absolutely fearless. He goes into the corners. He goes for the big hits (43 in 24 games). And he gets under the skin of opposing teams like a gnat that just won't go away. He's also versatile. He saw success in the bottom six as well as the top six and played both wing and center (the dude really sucks at face offs, though). He really found some chemistry with Matt Duchene towards the end of the season, something Duchene definitely needed. Olver is the kind of player that will end up shining in the playoffs, and you better believe the Avs know the value he has.
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