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The Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL - July 31st, 2013

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Doug Pensinger

Josh Harding has started a charity.

What Harding is doing is more than just playing through MS. The 29-year-old started Harding's Hope with the goal of raising awareness and helping those stricken with the disease that attacks the nerves in the brain, spinal cord and eyes.

When he launched the endeavour last week, Harding said he wanted to be a role model for those with MS and show that it's an incorrect perception of the disease to think about wheelchairs and death. No doubt continuing to play goal in the NHL serves that purpose.

"I felt great," Harding said in an interview Monday. "I almost feel better. I've really put my mind to this — not that I wasn't before — but I know I've worked so hard to get to where I'm at."

The Sharks have signed Pavelski.

The San Jose Sharks have signed centre Joe Pavelski to a five-year, $30-million US contract extension.

It was a deal the 29-year-old centre signed not only for long-term security but also because he believes this group can win a championship.

Want to own a piece of Gretzky history?

When Wayne Gretzky was 13 years old, coach Ron St. Amand already had an idea to help his star player’s hockey career.

“I remember him saying to Wayne, ‘We’ve got to beef you up to get bigger to go on and play this as a career,’ ” Ron’s son Rick St. Amand recalls. “Wayne actually came and worked at our printing company, sweeping floors and emptying garbage pails and doing that kind of stuff.”

Even then, Gretzky was no ordinary 13-year-old and his hockey career was already the subject of media attention. That will happen when a kid scores 378 goals in a season.

Walter Gretzky started keeping track of his son’s stats, so by the spring of 1974 Brantford, Ont., was abuzz about the prodigy’s 1,000th lifetime goal. When he scored it in a late-season exhibition game, Gretzky signed his stick and gave it to Ron St. Amand and it remained in the coach’s house until last year when he died at age 73.

Seth Jones will be in NHL '14 before he steps foot on NHL ice.

Jones, an avid video game player, approached the company about the chance to get his likeness on screen.

“It’s cool to see what goes on behind the scenes,” said Jones after the brief photo shoot.

Sitting under bright lights in a small studio on what is known as the “hot seat,” Jones puckered up, smiled, grimaced and delivered other facial expressions upon instruction while EA employees stood by and cameras recorded his moves.

“The expressions are actually kind of funny, but you’ve got to do them,” said Jones, an 18-year-old Plano, Tex., native,. “It’s cool to have them be able to make you talk in a game and all sorts of things.”