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News of the Colorado Avalanche - Links from around the NHL - April 12th, 2013

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Jeff Gross

It's official: You Can Play and the NHL have a working relationship.

‘This is evolution for us,” says Gary Bettman from his office in New York, after an afternoon spent running the media gauntlet. The National Hockey League and the NHLPA had formally announced a partnership with You Can Play on Thursday, becoming the first league to partner with a group dedicated to fighting homophobia in sports, and the commissioner had toured the major networks. Now, Bettman sounds happy. He sounds proud.

There is a brain study happening with former NHL players.

Today VandenBussche is one of about 25 retired NHL players taking part in a brain study at Toronto’s Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, one of the leading groups studying the aging mind. The researchers are about 15 months into their study involving NHL alumni and other men from the general population, who serve as a control group.

The study involves brain scans and cognitive tests, but that’s not all. Their lifestyles are examined from health conditions to concussion history, drug and alcohol use and genetics. Even samples of their blood and cerebrospinal fluid are examined. It’s all part of a thorough study that’s tracking the brain health of retired NHL players over several years to identify factors that could lead to cognitive decline as they age.

Joe Sakic is heading to another Hall of Fame.

Former NHL star Joe Sakic and Olympic cycling medalist Alison Sydor are headed to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

Sakic played 21 seasons in the NHL for the Quebec Nordiques and Colorado Avalanche and already is in the Hockey Hall of Fame.