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Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL June 20, 2014

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Winnik is going to be available on July 1st.

Centre Saku Koivu and goalie Jonas Hiller are done with the Anaheim Ducks.

Koivu, Hiller and forward Daniel Winnik won't be offered contracts by the Ducks for next season, general manager Bob Murray confirmed Thursday.

The Pacific Division champion Ducks are cutting ties with several dependable veterans after the best regular season in franchise history and a second-round playoff exit.

Along with Teemu Selanne's retirement, the departures of Koivu and Hiller will allow the Ducks' young talent to assume bigger roles next season. Anaheim also is in the trade market for an elite centre.

There are a lot of Avs up for awards this year, and a brief recap of the conference yesterday.

The Colorado Avalanche could be wearing out the red carpet at the NHL awards show next week with all the players they have up for honours.

Semyon Varlamov is in the running for top goalie, Nathan MacKinnon up for best rookie and Ryan O’Reilly a candidate for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct. Coach Patrick Roy also could be recognized for his work behind the bench.

It was just that kind of season for the surprising Avalanche, who tied a franchise record with 52 wins as they returned to the post-season after a three-year absence.

The attention now — with the nominations and all — is “exciting,” Roy said.

The attention they’re sure to draw come next season?

Ryan O'Reilly vs the Avs, is it just business?

It’s the kind of statement an agent has to make, and the kind of statement that makes one choke down laughter after hearing it.

“Some people might look a little sideways at a club doing that to a special player,” said Pat Morris, agent for Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly, after his team took him to salary arbitration this summer rather than hand him a qualifying offer.

Essentially, the Avalanche had two choices: Take O’Reilly to arbitration, where he could be awarded a one- or two-year deal worth 85-percent of his salary for last season, or qualify him at $6.5 million, which was a wage Colorado never negotiated with O’Reilly.

But Calgary did. The Flames and O’Reilly agreed to an offer sheet in 2013 for two years and $10 million, structured so the second year carried a higher salary ($6.5 million) and thus forcing the Avs’ hand to either negotiate a long-term deal based on that number or deal with the arbitration fallout.

Because, you see, some people might look 'a little sideways' at a player doing that to his team after what was, at the time, one good season …