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Colorado Avalanche: News From Around the NHL December 9th, 2014

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Varlamov injured his groin again. []

Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov re-injured his groin at practice Monday and will miss the game Tuesday against the Nashville Predators.

"[Varlamov] won't play," coach Patrick Roy told the Avalanche website. "He's going to see our team doctor. He doesn't feel comfortable with his groin again. He was a little sore [Sunday] after practice, but today, he just didn't feel good enough to play tomorrow. We'll make another decision after we speak to the team doctor this afternoon whether we call up [goalie Calvin] Pickard or not."

Evander Kane will be out for two games. []

Evander Kane will miss the Winnipeg Jets' next two games for his dangerous hit on Anaheim's Clayton Stoner, Sunday.

The NHL department of player safety handed the suspension down Monday, meaning Kane will miss games in Dallas, Tuesday, and Colorado, Thursday.

He'll also forfeit more than $56,000, which goes to the players' assistance fund administered by the union.

Will the NHL have a team in Vegas shortly? []

The NHL's board of governors will not stand in the way of Las Vegas testing the waters on a potential expansion team, commissioner Gary Bettman said.

Potential owner William Foley asked the league if he could have a season-ticket drive to determine the level of interest in NHL hockey in Vegas.

Bettman brought that notion to the board of governors and said "there were no objections" to it.

Senators have fired their coach. []

Less than 18 months after being honoured as the NHL's coach of the year, Paul MacLean is out of a job.

The Ottawa Senators fired MacLean on Monday after an 11-11-5 start, though the problems team executives had with the coach extended back into last season when the Senators missed the playoffs.

Senators general manager Bryan Murray told a news conference Monday that assistant Dave Cameron will be the new head coach of the team.

Some of the Leafs have gotten into the holiday spirit... Kessel rocks an elf shirt. []

Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf shared an Instagram photo of himself and teammate Phil Kessel getting into the holiday spirit in their own way.

Given the time of year, it's pretty safe to assume that they were at some sort of ugly Christmas sweater party. Kessel took it up a notch by wearing an Elf shirt.

The Sharks don't want to be outdone, so they released a holiday video. []

The San Jose Sharks, by and large, haven't been much fun to watch this season.

The usually-dominant Western Conference team is currently sitting on 32 points, a point outside the final Wild Card spot in the West.

And on Monday, a few hours after laying an egg in a 2-1 loss to the lowly Edmonton Oilers, the Sharks released a quirky rap music video through its official Twitter account.

Jonathan Bernier made a blunder on the red carpet. []

Bernier and several teammates were among those in attendance. He was also, I dare say, the only person there who evidently had never heard of Mandela.

This became apparent in his jaw-dropping comments to reporters who stuck a microphone in his face.

It pains me to resurrect those remarks but unfortunately they will live on in infamy:

"Well obviously he's been, uh, a tremendous, uh, athlete and you know obviously what, uh, he means to all the sports . . . when you know the world can, uh, be changed by the sports, it's pretty amazing. And I think he's definitely, uh, got a lot of respect in every sports and, uh, he's definitely one of the athletes I watched growing up as well."

Further: "You know, I love supporting uh any kind of cause obviously it's for the Afri-, in African it's obviously uh a great cause and enjoying, I guess, the basketball game."

The AHL is helping shape the NHL by trying out rule changes. []

Like most hockey people, Dave Andrews would prefer not to see games decided in shootouts. So far this season, Andrews, president and CEO of the AHL, has gotten his wish.

Last season, 65 percent of overtime games in the AHL went to shootouts. This season, entering this weekend, only 23 percent of overtime games had to be settled in shootouts.

The reduction stems from a rule change introduced this season following a proposal by the AHL's competition committee. Overtime is now seven minutes. Like the NHL, teams play at four on four to start OT. But upon the first whistle following three minutes of play, teams go to three on three.

Jeremy Morin wants the Hawks to either play him or trade him. []

And it's becoming increasingly likely that won't happen in Chicago.

Two sources told the Sun-Times that Morin is unhappy with his situation with the Blackhawks and is asking to be traded if there's no spot for him in the lineup. Morin has been a healthy scratch for eight straight games, and with Patrick Sharp expected to return to a deep and crowded lineup on Tuesday in New Jersey, there's little hope for Morin to get back on the ice anytime soon.