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Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL September 18th, 2014

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Jeff Zelevansky

There is an app available that is called Shnarped... and it's all about news about hockey players (I used it last season). They recently did a Q & A with Conner Bleackley.

What’s it like to actually be drafted by your favorite player?

If you told me how it was all going to play out when I was 10 or 11 years old, I’d tell you that you’re crazy. Meeting Joe and talking casually about hockey with him was pretty surreal. He’s a real laid back guy and the way he carries himself on and off the ice is something everyone can look up to.

How are you preparing going into a pro camp in Colorado?

I went to development camp after the draft but there was no skating there, it was more of an orientation camp. Going into the fall camp, I want to do everything I can to make it as hard as possible on them to send me back to junior. Either setup for me in Colorado or Red Deer is good and they’ll know what’s best for me.

Who are you excited about getting on the ice with at camp?

Obviously it’s pretty exciting that they’ve got a young core group of forwards in Colorado. I met Gabe Landeskog at the development camp and had a little talk with him. Just to be able to skate with all those guys like Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan O’Reilly is going to be pretty cool.

Jori has your back with a look into the Rookie Camp.

Mason Geertsen

Mason Geertsen doesn’t steal headlines like more flashy prospects; few defensive defenseman do. Yet, like Duncan Siemens he could one day fill a needed role as a rugged defender for the Avalanche down the road. He’s a strong and physical presence and at the peak of conditioning. He was one of the few players who got through the Avs post practice bag skate without gasping for air. Geertsen was successful in keeping most of the forwards he faced in check; specifically Bleackley and Rendulic.

Wyman was reportedly invited to the Canucks training camp.

The Vancouver Canucks hope to roll four lines in 2014-15, so that means doing due diligience in finding as many options as possible. Apparently that includes handing journeyman forward J.T. Wyman a training camp tryout, according to the Vancouver Province’s Ben Kuzma.

Claude Lemieux likes Nathan MacKinnon, but likes Roy more.

“A big part of the credit goes to Patrick with his ability to get the max out of players,” Lemieux said. “When he was a teammate, he was pushing everyone to the next level. This year becomes critical in truly evaluating where the team is going.”

A main factor will be whether MacKinnon can follow up on his success last season, which earned him a Calder Trophy. It’s not unusual for a star player to suffer a “sophomore slump,” but MacKinnon truly impressed Lemieux beginning with the first game of his NHL career.

MacKinnon looked nervous, Lemieux thought, but he steadily got better as the game wore on.

“He could have cut ice time down, but Patrick kept throwing him out there, throwing him out there. His philosophy is that these young guys are here to stay. I’m going to win or lose with them,” said Lemieux, who played for the Avs from 1995-2000. “MacKinnon was lost and running around in his own end, but then all of a sudden he utilized his gut instinct. He became very physical, used his speed, made some big hits. This kid is gonna be a heck of a great player.”

Yip was invited to the Ducks training camp.

The Anaheim Ducks released their 2014 training camp roster on Wednesday, revealing two tryout invites: forward Brandon Yip (pictured) and defenseman Brendan Bell.

Yip, 29, only managed to play two games with the then-Phoenix Coyotes last season. He spent most of his time with the AHL’s Portland Pirates, collecting 87 penalty minutes while generating 34 points in 66 games.

For the fellow Frenchies, or those who like Google translate here is an article about Giguere. Some key things he mentioned were that a) his father had to take out a second mortgage so that Jiggy could play hockey  b) he and his siblings had paper routes so that he could play hockey c) when his mother passed away she had Alzheimer's and no longer recognized him d) he refers to Allaire as a second father (he credits him for bringing him to a higher level