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Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL September 17th, 2014

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Clark is back with the Avs.

The Colorado Avalanche returned a familiar face to the fold on Tuesday, officially announcing Brett Clark as its newest player development consultant.

Clark, 37, is a veteran of nearly 700 NHL contests and spent a good chunk of his career in Denver, scoring a career-high 10 goals and 39 points for the Avs during the 2006-07 campaign. Clark was also a member of the '11 Tampa Bay Lightning squad that came within one game of advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.

There's an increase in European rookies signing in the NHL.

62 European rookies either moved to or signed with NHL teams – that’s a 13 per-cent increase compared to last year. Sweden set a new record with its contingent of 29 players.

The number of 62 European rookies is the highest since the IIHF started with studies on transfers of rookies from Europe to the NHL in 2005. The numbers in 2010 came closest with 61 new Europeans in the NHL system. On top of the 62 players, eight Europeans with NHL experience returned from their home continent to sign with NHL teams, several join preparation camps without contract and 11 North Americans who spent last season in Europe earned a contract with an NHL franchise.

The Canadiens are not naming a captain.

The Scarlet Letter, it turns out, is actually not scarlet at all. It's blue on the Montreal Canadiens' white away jerseys, and white on the home reds.

There are four of them, four letters A to be mixed and matched by full-time assistant captains Andrei Markov and Tomas Plekanec, with P.K. Subban and Max Pacioretty splitting the other games, in the 2014-15 NHL season.

Hester Prynne, who wore it in the Nathaniel Hawthorne novel (her A stood for adultery or affair), won't be getting one. She doesn't play the 200-foot game, and besides, everyone knows there is no adultery in the NHL.

There seems to be something faintly scarlet about that A, though, as worn by NHL players, whatever its colour, as if it has come to represent just the hint of a shortcoming, some minor flaw that keeps them from being awarded the captain's C.