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Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL July 9th, 2014

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Doug Pensinger

There is an effort to unionize junior hockey players.

Canada’s largest private sector union will likely hold a formal meeting early next week as it attempts to begin the process of representing major junior hockey players from around the country.

A Unifor spokesperson said internal meetings will be held Wednesday as the union continues to put leadership plans in place for the project. However, there are no firm plans to meet with players at this time.

"Once we feel that we have everything in order, then we’ll call that meeting," said Unifor spokesperson Sarah Blackstock. "We don’t want to rush into anything and I think the stakes are really high. The need for the union is great and so we’ve got to move carefully and make sure that we get it right."

Reached a short time later, Unifor president Jerry Dias said plans should be finalized in the coming days at a venue yet to be determined.

Dominic Moore may have had a good playoff and post-season, but now his mind is on Smashfest.

Moore doesn't have time to relax now that the season's ended and his contract has been signed, sealed and delivered. He's been busy putting the final details for the third annual Smashfest, a charity ping-pong tournament in downtown Toronto that will once again see NHLers and other celebrities go head-to-head on July 24.

The event, which has amassed $120,000 combined in its first two years, raises money for concussion and sport head injuries as well as rare forms of cancer and has become a popular night for Moore's peer group in the NHL.

"I think it's a combination of a bunch of things," Moore said. "It's different. It's so unique and all the players have such a good time being there. It's so interactive with other guests and fans. We're able to be in a different atmosphere that we normally don't see each other.

"It's all about fun. I know some of the guys weren't sure what to make of it. But everyone who has been there comes away excited and happy they were there. So that's what we have tried to build on."

Which are the Top Three new Avs to watch? Peter McNab gives his thoughts.

Peter McNab, a former NHL player and Avalanche game analyst for Altitude TV network, helped answer that question during his appearance on the CBS4 show Xfinity Monday Live.

With the loss of star and fan favorite Paul Stastny to the St. Louis Blues, the Avs immediately signed proven veteran Jarome Iginla, and then added veteran defenseman Brad Stuart. McNab agreed that it was almost like a trade losing Stastny and then gaining Iginla. He also thinks the Avs got tougher with the addition of Brad Stuart. And even though he’s unproven, backup goalie Reto Berra is a good pickup.

Bleackley is in town for the Avs development camp. (Video)