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The Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL - September 11th, 2013

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Christian Petersen

The National Post lists some junior-eligible players that might make their NHL team

Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche

The top pick in June’s draft doesn’t have any uncertainty. He’s going to Denver and will be a big piece of Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy’s Avalanche facelift. MacKinnon collected 32 goals and 43 assists in 44 games last season for the Halifax Mooseheads. The bigger question than if he’ll be in the NHL is how Colorado will juggle things around with Ryan O’Rielly, who’s expected to move to the wing, and Paul Stastny. A year after former QMJHL star Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers won the Calder Trophy, MacKinnon goes into this season as the rookie-of-the-year favourite.

Ovie is already trying to juggle the Olympics and the NHL.

“We just have to find a plane,” Ovechkin said Tuesday.

Ovechkin said his agent is working with the organizers of the Sochi Games to figure out the logistics. He joked he could “take some medicine” to sleep while flies back and forth across the Atlantic. It helps that the Capitals aren’t scheduled to practice on Sept. 29, but he’ll want to be back in time join his teammates on the ice the next day for their final skate before travelling to Chicago.

“It’s a huge honour for me,” Ovechkin said. “I’m very proud the Russian federation asked me to do that. ... It’s only a once in your life opportunity to carry the torch and represent your country.”

St-John's will host the 2014 AHL All-Stars game.

Mile One Centre in St. John's — home ice for the AHL St. John's IceCaps — will host the AHL All-Star Classic hockey game Feb. 12.

"The announcement today is really unique," said Glen Stanford, CEO of the St. John's IceCaps.

"You're going to have one American hockey league all-star team playing a team from Europe."

Stanford said the AHL all-stars will face off against Farjestad BK, one of the top professional teams in the Swedish Hockey League.