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The Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL - August 27th, 2013

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Mike Stobe

The NHLPA Rookie Showcase is happening.

Every year before the puck drops on the NHL season, fans are given a unique glimpse into hockey’s immediate future at the NHLPA Rookie Showcase. The event brings dozens of the NHL’s top prospective and rookie players to Toronto for a two-day experience that allows our trading card partners - Panini and Upper Deck – to gather photography and signatures that will be used in creating upcoming memorabilia items.

Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin (two of the top three 2013 NHL Entry Draft picks) are just two of the many potential-packed players attending for the event’s fifth instalment.

Adam Henrique will be a Devil for a little while longer.

The New Jersey Devils have re-signed centre Adam Henrique to a new multi-year contract.

Henrique, 23, will enter his third NHL season in September, and will be counted on heavily on a team light on offence. Henrique had 11 goals and 16 points in 42 games last season with New Jersey, after a memorable rookie season with the Devils in 2011-12.

Canadian hockey players are also being asked about boycotting the Olympics.

Fourteen-year NHL veteran defenceman Dan Boyle says when he arrived in Calgary for training camp, he was caught unaware by the questions about the anti-gay legislation. It hadn’t been discussed in the dressing room by the men’s players, who were instead concentrating on learning the team system in the 48-hour mini-orientation.

“To be honest with you, I wasn’t quite informed about what [the law] was,” Boyle said. “I was told that it’s okay to be gay, but if you’re caught kissing [in public], you could get arrested. My comment on that is, ‘Wow.’ I can’t believe that.”

Handfuls of athletes – summer and winter, retired and active – have been representing the Canadian Olympic Committee at gay pride parades this summer. But the COC says it is not a reaction to the Russian legislation, nor is it a political strategy.

Speaking of the Olympics... players aren't allowed to skate, but they can play ball hockey, apparently.

Seeing Sidney Crosby and the rest of the Canadian men's Olympic team play ball hockey on an international ice surface was humorous to some, but there was a method to head coach Mike Babcock's madness.

He wanted his players to have a physical feel of the size of the ice surface, how he wants the team's breakout to go as well as the forecheck. It was really no different than what football and basketball teams do during off days.

So the ice was covered and the Olympic hopefuls went out in running shoes with sticks and gloves. Call it a ball hockey walk-through.