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Colorado Avalanche: News From Around the NHL December 18th, 2014

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The Flames are happy with Hartley. They gave him a multi-year contract. []

He has guided the NHL team to a 17-14-2 start this season. The Flames were tied for eighth in the Western Conference standings Wednesday with 36 points.

The Flames haven't made the playoffs in five seasons. Calgary flirted with the Pacific Division lead in November, but their current six-game losing streak knocked the Flames down the standings.

More possible mumps cases... []

Just when you thought that the mumps crisis was over for the Pittsburgh Penguins with the end of Sidney Crosby 's isolation, it turns out Robert Bortuzzo, Olli Maatta and Marc-Andre Fleury could have them too.

ICYMI: The Avs director of player development game an interview. []

Q. How has the relationship been with the Komets?

A. From our end it's been good. We've used a lot of the guys we've had down here in Fort Wayne. We've obviously had a lot of guys going up and down. That's encouraging for the players. And it's encouraging for us developmentally because the guys who have gone up to Lake Erie have done a great job. And there are lot more here who will get a look by the end of the season.

Also, the Capitals and Panthers had a really long shoutout... []

Nick Bjugstad took a deep breath before his second attempt in the longest shootout in NHL history.

And when he finally exhaled and scored, the Florida Panthers had outlasted the Washington Capitals in a whopping 20 rounds.

"I've never seen anything like that," Florida goalie Roberto Luongo said.

Is the KHL heading for financial ruin? []

When it began in 2008, the Kontinental Hockey League was envisioned as President Vladimir Putin's ambitious challenge to the NHL, a bid to keep Russian players in Russia by paying them exorbitant sums out of oil coffers.

Now, its survival - especially of its most vulnerable teams - may be at stake.

With oil prices dropping, Western sanctions increasing and the ruble cratering, sponsors have been forced to pull funding to a lot of KHL teams; as a result, many players are getting paid late or not getting paid at all.

Connor McDavid will be representing Team Orr at the CHL prospects game. []

Team Canada's Connor McDavid and Lawson Crouse, the only two draft eligible players on the roster, were named to Team Orr on Wednesday for the CHL prospects game on Jan. 22.

Orr, coincidentally, is McDavid's agent.

"It's going to be pretty funny," said McDavid. "He's obviously been very good to me, and to have him behind the bench is going to be pretty special. I met him when I was just a youngster, I think I was 12 or 13. Just kind of got invited to his camp . . . got things rolling."

Gordie Howe is set to make a public appearance with Gretzky. []

Despite his recent health woes, Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe will reportedly make a scheduled appearance in Saskatoon early next year.

Howe will appear at the city's Kinsmen Club sports celebrity dinner on Feb. 6 along with Wayne Gretzky, according to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix.

The event is being billed as a tribute to Howe, a native of Saskatchewan.