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Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL September 23rd, 2014

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Avs managed to lose twice last night. Info on the first game. Info on the second game.

Alex Tanguay and Zach Redmond scored for Colorado. Calvin Pickard played the entire game and made 23 saves.

Another name to watch out for in the future.

If you're not familiar with Noah Hanifin, you soon will be. And, yes, it would appear he's on course to do great things, certainly in the hockey arena.

This year's NHL draft is billed as the Connor McDavid draft. Or Connor McDavid vs. Jack Eichel. McDavid and Eichel have been labeled generational talents, potential NHL franchise centres, the undisputed top two in the Class of 2015.

Hanifin, a defenceman, will be hard pressed to displace either of the star centres, but the Boston College freshman goes into this season as a potential elite offensive blueliner who could yet transform the high end of this draft from a dynamic duo to a tremendous trio.

"There's not a huge gap between McDavid or Eichel and Hanifin but there is, to start the season anyway, a gap between those top three and everyone else," said one head scout of an NHL team. "(Hanifin) is at a disadvantage simply because he's a defenceman and the other two guys are centres. But (Hanifin) could be Scott Niedermayer. He skates like him."

Bettman talks off-ice conduct.

Bettman said the NHL’s security department and behavioural health counsellors have talked to players about the topic of domestic violence for more than a decade.

“Based on our experience to date, we believe that the appropriate procedures are in effect that we can do what we need to do on a case-by-case basis,” he said in an interview with The Canadian Press. “I am extraordinarily proud of our players and how they conduct themselves. If and when something needs to be addressed in terms of discipline, it will be. But more importantly we try to focus, with the Players’ Association, on educating and counselling.”

The collective bargaining agreement includes procedures on how to handle off-ice incidents and gives the NHL power to suspend a player amid a criminal investigation if failing to do so would “create a substantial risk of material harm to the legitimate interests and/or reputation of the league.”

Speaking of Bettman, he also says that the Leafs couldn't veto another team in the GTA.

The NHL isn’t looking to expand right now, but if it wanted to one day put a new franchise in the Greater Toronto Area it could happen without the approval of the Toronto Maple Leafs, says league commissioner Gary Bettman.

In an interview following his appearance at the Canadian Club Monday, Bettman bristled when asked if the league or its teams would be able to enforce territorial exclusivity.

“If you’re asking me what the vote is if we’re going to grant an expansion franchise? An expansion franchise is a three-quarters vote. Nobody has a veto,” said Bettman.