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News of the Colorado Avalanche - Links from around the NHL - March 19th, 2013

Doug Pensinger

Martin Brodeur might be back soon.

A pinched nerve in his neck and upper back sidelined New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur for 12 games, and doctors told the NHL’s winningest goaltender there was a chance it could have been a lot longer.

Brodeur returned to Devils practice for the first time in nearly a month Monday and felt pain-free after working out for an hour at the team’s practice rink at the Prudential Center. The 40-year-old will not start against the rival New York Rangers Tuesday night, but he did not rule out backing up Johan Hedberg, who has started every game in his absence. has a piece about The Factor.

The adjustment period has ended for Ryan O'Reilly, who missed training camp and the Colorado Avalanche's first 19 games during a contract dispute that lasted longer than either he or the team would have liked.

"Definitely there are certain areas that need to be better, but we don't have time for that," the 22-year-old center said of his game. "I have to start making an impact right now and do whatever I can to help the team win."

Matt Duchene no longer has an OHL home, the Battalion are moving to North Bay.

Ford’s basement is crammed with Battalion memorabilia. So much, in fact, that he joked about how happy he is over the team’s move because he has no space left.

Ford said attendance at the Powerade Centre dwindled greatly after the Battalion’s run in the 2009 playoffs, when the team lost in the OHL final to the eventual Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires.

“We had a load of talent,” Ford said of that team, which boasted current NHLers Cody Hodgson and Matt Duchene. “They were the best chemistry we had.”

Something people may not know, Frank Selke Jr was a great advocate for Canada's Special Olympics. Hepassed away Monday.

Noted Canadian sportsman Frank D. Selke Jr. has died at the age of 83.

The son of former Montreal Canadiens general manager Frank S. Selke, Frank Selke Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps as an executive and publicity director of the hockey club from 1951 to 1965.

He appeared in the team photos of six Stanley Cup-winning Canadiens rosters but never had his name engraved on the trophy.

This is the second time in three weeks that someone has alleged that Ben Johnson crossed a line.

New Jersey Devils prospect Ben Johnson, a forward with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL, was charged with two counts of sexual assault Monday by Windsor cops.

Johnson, an 18-year-old from Calumet, Mich., was arrested early Monday morning and appeared in provincial court later in the day. Bail was set at $30,000 but he was held overnight.

"Earlier today our organization was made aware of accusations involving a player on our hockey team," the Spitfires said in a statement. "Our organization will allow the legal process to run its due course at this time. The team will have no further comment."