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The Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL - September 17th, 2013

Doug Pensinger

Another hockey player has had his neck cut by a blade while on the ice. (Warning graphic image included in article)

A Minnesota hockey player can thank his lucky stars after a teammate helped save his life when an artery in his neck was severed by a skate.

Tony Proel  was rushed to hospital in Edina, Minn., earlier this month during a rec league game after another player fell and a skate blade sliced Proel’s neck, which started squirting blood.

Luckily for Proel one of his teammates, Dan Gruenstein, happened to be a pediatric cardiologist and sprung into action.

“I could actually see the artery severed where the blood was pulsating from,” Gruenstein told NBC affiliate Kare 11. “So I just slapped my hand on it. It doesn’t take a doctor to stop bleeding. Anybody with a hand can stop bleeding.”

Proel returned to the ice a week later.

Bissonnette has been suspended for ten games.

Paul Bissonnette didn’t take long to put NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan to work this season.

The Phoenix Coyotes left-winger was suspended 10 games Monday after he left the team’s bench to fight Jordan Nolan of the Los Angeles Kings following the latter’s hit against Coyotes defenceman Rostislav Klesla in Sunday’s pre-season game.

Bissonnette was handed a game misconduct for leaving the bench, an infraction which calls for an automatic 10-game ban. He will forfeit $37,820.51 in salary and will be eligible to make his return Oct. 24 against the Kings. has a preview of the Avs.

After the Colorado Avalanche finished at the bottom of the Western Conference standings in 2008-09, the outlook didn't seem especially promising for the following season.

Though pundits weren't expecting much from Colorado, the team regrouped in a hurry. Buoyed by a draft that saw the addition of center Matt Duchene with the No. 3 pick and a brilliant season in goal by Craig Anderson, the Avalanche claimed a Stanley Cup Playoff berth on the strength of a Duchene shootout goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the final week of the regular season.

The three seasons since have seen Colorado fail to return to the postseason, and following a 15th-place showing in 2012-13, sweeping changes were made. The Avalanche have a new coach, Patrick Roy, and another high draft pick, Nathan MacKinnon. Expectations may be low outside Denver, but that won't be the case inside the team's dressing room.