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The Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL - August 23rd, 2013


There's always a "next One", and he's training with NHL'ers.

The Next One is The Nervous One

It is Day 3 of the BioSteel strength and conditioning camp and 16-year-old Connor McDavid is on the ice for the first time against a two-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner and other veterans who were playing in the NHL before he was even born. But that is not what is worrying McDavid, who has played above his age level since he could he skate and who does not look out of place against Steven Stamkos and the other pros training at St. Michael’s College this week.

No, what worries McDavid is how he will look when the Ontario Hockey League season begins next month. The Erie Otters centre, who was the youngest player in the league last season, was named top rookie after finishing with 66 points in 63 games. But with great success comes great expectations. And McDavid, who Sidney Crosby has said “reminded me of myself,” knows he has to continue to get better.

Hockey Canada's Olympic orientation will not include any ice time.

Steve Yzerman would prefer to get Canada's players on the ice at the upcoming orientation camp for the Olympic men's hockey team.

But the price tag to insure players against injury is too high for Hockey Canada, so the four-day camp starting Sunday in Calgary will consist of informational meetings about the Games in Sochi, Russia, and fostering team chemistry off the ice.

"Not going on the ice isn't the end of the world," says Yzerman, the executive director of the national men's team. "There's lot of other things that need to be done in preparation, logistically going through how we're going to get there, where we'll stay, where family and friends may stay, a walkthrough of the venues, drug testing policy, a lot of informational things we need to go through and get out of the way. This is a good time to do it."

More people are going to be helping Shanahan out.

Smart, really, for Brendan Shanahan to add to the Department of Player Safety heading into the first full season in two years, undoubtedly with lots and lots of issues soon to be on his desk.

Until this week, Burke the Younger was executive director and president of the You Can Play Project in honour of his late brother, Brendan. The project emphasizes the right of all to play the sport regardless of sexual orientation. Burke will stay on as president while making former NFL player Wade Davis become the more active face of the organization.

While Brian Leetch, the former Norris Trophy winning blueliner and briefly a Leaf, simply replaces the departed Rob Blake, Shanahan has added a position and hired Patrick Burke, son of former Leaf GM Brian Burke.