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The Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL - August 8th, 2013

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How do you like them apples, Gilmore!?
How do you like them apples, Gilmore!?

A ex-NHL'er believes that his days playing hockey might have contributed to the fact that he now suffers from Parkinson's.

Through a clearing in the trees beyond his back porch, Steve Ludzik motioned toward the valley below, where a cluster of houses was encircled by the lush green of Ontario’s wine country. The late morning sun sparkled across his pool.

“It’s like paradise back here,” he said.

He and his wife, MaryAnn, had only been in the house for three months. They used to be in a house down in the valley — they started dating as teenagers — but they always liked the hill. Plus, everything in the new house was concentrated on one floor, which could one day be its most important feature.

Last spring, Ludzik, who spent parts of nine seasons playing as a forward in the National Hockey League, mostly with the Chicago Blackhawks, revealed he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He is 52 years old, but said he first began experiencing symptoms before his 40th birthday.

The NHL has a new - old- director officiating.

Terry Gregson retired as the NHL’s director of officiating on Wednesday and will be succeeded by his predecessor, Stephen Walkom.

It may seem unconventional but Walkom, 49, begged out of his former job in 2009 in order to return to the ice as a referee. Four years later, after Gregson decided to retire, Walkom agreed to return to his old post to oversee the NHL’s referees and linesmen. Gregson will remain as a consultant to the league and work on the NHL’s participation in the Sochi Olympics.

“We are fortunate to have someone with [Walkom’s] on– and off-ice experience ready to step in to this position,” NHL senior executive vice-president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell said in a statement. “From 2005 to 2009, Stephen provided tremendous direction and guidance to our team of officials as the league implemented several rule changes that brought more flow and speed to our game. That management experience, combined with the fact that he has been back on the ice as a referee for the last four years, will be of tremendous benefit to the League and the game.”

Doug Gilmour just traded his son. Seriously. For a draft pick.

A strong family connection might have brought forward Jake Gilmour to the Ontario Hockey League’s Kingston Frontenacs, but it didn’t keep him there.

Frontenacs general manager Doug Gilmour sent his son packing Wednesday, shipping Jake Gilmour, goaltender Blake Richard and a conditional 12th round draft pick in 2015 to Niagara for the IceDogs’ 12th-round pick in 2015.

Phoenix is going to get an All-Star game "soon".

The $170 million sale of the Phoenix Coyotes comes with a present from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

The league boss told the Arizona Republic the franchise, which was sold to IceArizona earlier this week, will get the NHL all-star game "at some point" in the near future.

"I don't know what the date is yet, but it'll be a pleasure to honour a commitment to bring the all-star game here," Bettman said.