Good morning all. August is all but over and this time two weeks from now Avalanche rookies will be reporting for physicals and readying themselves for on-ice activities on Monday the 14th. Yesss!
- Even though the Avs vets don't report for camp until the 17th it seems a good portion of the guys are in Denver and starting to whip up the Captain's Practices. Our good friend Zoso3737 spotted Dutch, Landy, Mack, Zads, Guenin and McLeod working out at the rink earlier this week. Zads was the tall one.
- The Q has been in preseason mode for a few weeks now. Last night our boys from Rouyn-Noranda took on Val d'Or once again and really poured it on. Shots were 47-23 in the 5-2 Huskies victory. Julien Nantel had 8 shots and a couple of goals, J-C Beaudin had 4 shots and won 7 out of 10 faceoffs. Big Al Pepin had a few shots, a few hits, an assist and a slashing penalty for Val d'Or.
- Over in the WHL, Avs 7th round pick Gustav Olhaver seems to be impressing the Seattle Thunderbirds staff so far. They wrapped up training camp last night with their Blue-White scrimmage and Olhaver had a goal and a couple of assists playing with Mathew Barzal.
- Also in the Dub, Red Deer confirmed to no one's surprise that Conner Bleackley would be attending Avs training camp. Seven other Rebels will be going to NHL camps, good news for Bleacks. This looks like a much deeper team than in the past.
- Turning to my forte, the AHL released their schedule this week. The beloved Rampage will play the Texas Stars 14 times this season (18% of the schedule) while playing their division-mates from California 6 times each and old friends from the Central 4 times each. SAR will return to Cleveland for a pair of games against the Monsters in late February.
- Michael Schumacher confirmed he's headed to Denver for training camp once again, joining what is now a large contingent of large Swedish forwards in the organization.
- The Fort Wayne Komets acquired the ECHL rights to Rampage defenseman and Avs Dev Camp attendee Justin Hamonic from the Alaska Aces.
- There was an interesting interview with Sami Aittokallio in the Finnish media this week. He claims that he won't be attending Avs training camp even though he just signed a contract extension. Which again begs the question, why was he signed? The Avs still held his rights until 2020 as far as I can tell. The only reason I can come up with is that Sami is some sort of fail-safe if lots of goalie injuries pile up during the season. The only way he can play in North America this year is if he's signed before December 1st. We're also still not clear if this contract will count against the limit of 50 if he is loaned to Karpat full-time. Also not clear is what type of situation would tempt him to come back over during the season. NHL only? Full-time starter in San Antonio?
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That's all for now, there's two weeks of fantastic tennis at the US Open and of course the Vuelta a Espana to keep you busy until pucks hit the ice (some other sprots things too, I guess). Enjoy August while you can!