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Colorado Avalanche: News From Around the NHL October 21st, 2014

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USA TODAY Sports

The league acted quickly in the case of Voynov.

Last month at a luncheon in Toronto, Bettman foreshadowed the league's heightened awareness of its responsibility.

"Whenever that phone rings, and sometimes it does at two in the morning, you've got to respond and you've got to have your A-game, otherwise you're liable to make a mistake. And when you make a mistake in this position, it gets magnified," he said. "And it doesn't matter if you're right 99 out of 100 times, which is a pretty good batting record, it's that one that you'll have to live with and deal with."

Slava Voynov is free on a US$50,000 bond and cannot practise or play or be around the team for an unspecified period.

The Avs players aren't worried about their "slow start".

"Everyone's talking about our slow start, but I'd rather face adversity now than later in the year," center Matt Duchene said. "We're right there. We should have won the last two if we just closed out the third period. We just need a little bit more relaxation in there and just get the job done."

Colorado's high shooting percentage and exceptional goaltending last season were the two areas that appeared ripe for a drop. The loss of starter Semyon Varlamov and his backup Reto Berra in consecutive games in Toronto and Ottawa certainly doesn't help maintain the goaltending numbers, but the Avalanche are also having trouble scoring at the same rate as last season.

Through five games the Avalanche are scoring on 5.1 percent of their shots at 5-on-5, down from 8.8 percent a season ago, according to the website war-on-ice.com.

Blame it on Pracey?!

Overall, I'd say Pracey may have more question marks, but again the O'Reilly success trumps all of this. There's nothing in the Avs drafting record in the last six years-beyond several traded selections-that suggests there's a problem. The lack of depth in the organization, real and established, is at least as much a reflection of trade as it is draft failure.

Roenick discusses his concussions and what his life is like with the after-effect.

Former National Hockey League star Jeremy Roenick says that at age 19, he was knocked out of a game with a concussion that caused him to lose consciousness for 15 minutes.

Though he has no recollection of how he got from the ice to the Chicago Blackhawks locker room, the sole treatment he received that day was being given an ice pack to put on his head. He says he was back in the lineup the very next evening.

During the rest of his 20-year career with the Blackhawks, Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, and San Jose Sharks, Roenick, now 44, would suffer at least 12 more concussions - an injury defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as when a person takes a blow to the head that changes how that person's brain functions.

The repeated blows to the head found in contact sports have also been linked to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease that has been found in several high-profile athletes who have committed suicide.

The CHL is facing a class-action lawsuit.

An unprecedented class action lawsuit striking at the economic foundations of junior hockey in Canada alleges the Canadian Hockey League and its teams "conspired" to force young players into signing contracts that breach minimum wage laws.
A statement of claim filed in a Toronto court Friday and obtained by the Star, seeks $180 million in outstanding wages, vacation, holiday and overtime pay and employer payroll contributions for thousands of young players given as little as $35 a week for practices, games, training and travelling that could add up to more than full-time hours.
The league and its teams "conspired and agreed together . . . to act in concert to demand or require that all players sign a contract which the defendants knew was unlawful," the claim alleges. "Such conduct was high-handed, outrageous, reckless, wanton, deliberate, callous, disgraceful, wilful and in complete disregard for the rights of the (players)."