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Morning Flurries: Hockey is back for reals

The Colorado Avalanche have officially opened training camp which means the season is just around the corner

Training camp is here. Yesterday your Colorado Avalanche took to the ice for their first official day of preparation for the 2018-19 season.

We’re only one day in and already the idea of a controversy between the pipes has emerged. Newcomer Philipp Grubauer spoke to the media about wanting to win the starting job from incumbent Semyon Varlamov:

“That’s the next step for me, taking over as the No. 1”

That most certainly doesn’t sound like the words of a man who is content with being a backup.

If history is any indication, there isn’t going to be a controversy. Varly has been unable to prove he can stay healthy, so when he eventually gets hurt again, the position will be Grubauer’s by default.

Remember how exciting the Avalanche were to watch last season, win or lose. Well it looks like Coach Bednar has no desire to change that:

“We want to play with pace. We want to play with speed. The tenaciousness is important.”

That’s music to the ears of anyone who loves to watch Nathan MacKinnon fly through the neutral zone with total freedom.

Oh and the award for best flow at camp definitely goes to Mason Geertsen.

For those of you who don’t want to get ahead of yourself when it comes to the Ottawa Senators pick turning into Jack Hughes. Let me introduce you to Kaapo Kakko, the young man who is going to go second behind Hughes next summer. For those keeping score, he’s further along in his development than Patrik Laine was at the same age.

We can’t forget the news from around the league.

Yesterday the Tampa Bay Lightning place defenseman Jake Dotchin on unconditional waivers with the purpose of terminating his contract. The team claims the move is based on a “material breach of contract” by the 24-year old.

Dotchin is set to fight the move claiming the Lightning have no recourse to terminate his contract. It’s a weird story, and something new general manager Julien BrisBois likely didn’t expect to have to deal with during his first week on the job. [RawCharge]

Up in Montreal, there isn’t a whole lot to be happy about. After coming over as the key piece of the Max Pacioretty, Nick Suzuki is one prospect Habs fans can get excited about. [Habs EOTP]

From one of the league’s oldest franchises to it’s 32nd. Yesterday, Seattle city council voted 7-0 in favor of a $700 million renovation of KeyArena. This was one of the final hurdles before the league officially announces Seattle as the newest expansion team. [Sportsnet]

Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts is a must-read for many hockey fans every week. The column made it’s return this week and was mostly focused around the Karlsson trade. That said, there was one interesting tidbit in there that relates to the Avs:

14. You’ll remember that Washington traded defenceman Brooks Orpik to Colorado at the draft. The Avalanche bought out Orpik from the one season remaining on his contract, and he went back to the Capitals one month later. Savings for Washington: $4 million in cap space. A couple of weeks ago, the league notified the individual clubs that it reviewed the situation, and explained its concerns. Teams viewed the memo as a warning, that if the NHL could make an example of someone, it would.

Joe Sakic used his cap space to lessen the price the Avalanche paid to acquire Grubauer. Smart teams are able to find loopholes in the CBA and exploit them to their advantage. That’s exactly what the Avs did in this situation and it seems the league it’s too happy about it.