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News of the Colorado Avalanche - Links from around the NHL - March 7th, 2013

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Kirk Irwin

A fight in the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators game lead to a player being knocked out.

Frazer McLaren said he was looking to create a "spark." Something to breathe life into the Toronto Maple Leafs, who had been notoriously slow starters at home. So 26 seconds into Wednesday night’s game against the Ottawa Senators, he challenged Dave Dziurzynski to a fight off the faceoff.

What happened afterwards illustrated the dangers of dropping the gloves in a hockey game.

After trading five or six punches, the 6-foot-4, 222-pound McLaren caught the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Dziurzynski with a right hand that caused the Ottawa forward to collapse unconscious face-first on the ice. He eventually got up, but was wobbling as two teammates helped him off the ice.

The Senators later announced that he had a concussion.

Good news for Marc Staal.

Doctors are optimistic that New York Rangers defenceman Marc Staal will recover fully after being struck in the eye by a deflected puck.

Staal was injured Tuesday night in the third period of New York’s 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. The 26-year-old defenceman will be sidelined indefinitely, but was already showing improvement on Wednesday, the Rangers said in a statement.

Do white goalie pads give them an edge?

White pads have become de rigueur among NHL netminders, but one manufacturer is wishing they’d add a little more colour.

"Stores have been purchasing all white," said Sonya Dibiase, Reebok’s goalie product manager. "As a company where you want to have an identifiable brand and they white it all out, it’s starting to make all companies look the same."

Reebok, which also owns hockey equipment maker CCM, is frustrated by the nearly league-wide white-out. NHL goaltenders are skating advertisements for them, showing off their gear to thousands who play the position.

Sad news, Stompin' Tom Connors died at the age of 77. Connors gave us The Hockey Song. He left a message for his fans that his family passed along to

"Hello friends, I want all my fans, past, present, or future, to know that without you, there would have not been any Stompin' Tom."

"It was a long hard bumpy road, but this great country kept me inspired with it's beauty, character, and spirit, driving me to keep marching on and devoted to sing about its people and places that make Canada the greatest country in the world."

"I must now pass the torch, to all of you, to help keep the Maple Leaf flying high, and be the Patriot Canada needs now and in the future."

"I humbly thank you all, one last time, for allowing me in your homes, I hope I continue to bring a little bit of cheer into your lives from the work I have done."

Your Friend always,
Stompin' Tom Connors

Cheryl here...I just saw this on Puck Daddy and thought it worth sharing. This is what every person fears when a player goes down after a hit. My heart goes out to Ronny and his family. (Forewarning: the video is brutal)

It’s the nightmare for any hockey player, fan or league: That this inherently dangerous game will lead to a catastrophic injury through a vicious play.

It happened in a Nationalliga B playoff game this week. It happened to a player named Ronny Keller, a 33-year-old defenseman for Olten, who doctors confirmed is a paraplegic due to this hit from Langenthal player Stefan Schnyder: