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Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL June 24, 2014

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The only player to be nominated to the Hockey Hall of Fame this year, who wasn't a first ballot player was Rob Blake. It was a deep class and the Avalanche are represented not only by Gentlemanly Blake, but by Peter Forsberg as well.

While growing up in Sweden, Peter Forsberg never dreamt of going into what he called the "NHL Hall of Fame."

That was a slip of the tongue, and after announcing a six-man class of 2014 that includes Forsberg, Canadian defenceman Rob Blake, American centre Mike Modano, Czech goaltender Dominik Hasek, late coach Pat Burns and referee Bill McCreary, selection committee chairman John Davidson expressed pride in the diversity of this group.

"We make it very clear that this is the Hockey Hall of Fame, it's a world renowned hall of fame," Davidson said on a conference call Monday. "When we have a class like this coming into the Hall, I think that says a lot about our game and how worldwide it really is."

If you live in Southern Ontario, and want to see Joey Hishon play, you will have your chance. (More info will be provided as we hear it)

Members of Unifor Local16-O, the union that represents the workers at the Sifto Salt Mine in Goderich, presented a cheque for $5,000 at the Goderich-Huron YMCA Maitland Recreation Centre on June 20 to support Hometown Heroes: Raise a Little Health's goal of reaching $50,000.
Unifor Local16-O plans to have a few of their workers play in the game as well.

"We're very happy to support and contribute to this event," said Lionel Carter, the local president for Unifor. "We look forward to having our union members on the ice."

Ben Lobb, MP for Huron-Bruce was also in attendance to announce some more NHL and hockey players that will be taking part in the game.

Lobb said NHL players such as Joey Hishon, centre for the Colorado Avalanche, and Justin Peters, goaltender for the Carolina Hurricanes have recently signed on to play.

"We will announce more players every week leading up to the game," Lobb said.

Brian O'Reilly, co-founder of the fundraiser and father of Ryan O'Reilly of the Colorado Avalanche and Cal O'Reilly who currently plays for the American Hockey League, was there to support the announcements.

Andre Benoit is back in the Simcoe area.

Colorado Avalanche defenceman Andre Benoit returned back to his Tiny Township residence recently with his wife, Kelly, and their two daughters.

Benoit had a successful season with the Avalanche, placing third in scoring among Colorado defencemen with 21 assists and 28 points in 79 games. He ranked third on the club in ice time, averaging 20:12 minutes per game.

Scott Hartnell was traded for Umberger. Are more splashy trades to come?

The deal that sent Scott Hartnell from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Columbus Blues Jackets in exchange for R.J. Umberger and a draft pick certainly kicked off what should be an eventful draft week.

The draft has become a haven for big trades in recent years, beginning with the Flyers jettisoning Mike Richards and Jeff Carter in separate moves to the Los Angeles Kings and Blue Jackets in 2011.

Some of the high-profile players who could find new homes this week include: Evander Kane (Winnipeg), Ryan Kesler (Vancouver), Dion Phaneuf (Toronto), Jason Spezza (Ottawa) and Joe Thornton (San Jose), who has a no-trade clause and unlike Spezza and Kesler has not asked to be dealt.

USA Today takes a look at the NHL Awards. (Video starts automatically)

Calder Trophy (rookie) finalists: Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche). The absence of Jacob Trouba (Winnipeg Jets) prompted anger and debate among fans, but whether Trouba was or wasn't on the list wasn't going to change the outcome. MacKinnon is the runaway favorite to win this award. He posted 29 goals and 34 assists for 63 points. At times, he was Sidney Crosby-like as a rookie. The Professional Hockey Writers vote on this award.