It’s officially #hockeyszn, Avalanche fans!
With the rookie tournaments beginning this weekend, there’s finally enough news to bring back the return of the daily Flurries. It’s been a long, hot drought of a summer, but the world is finally right again - and we’ve got all your hockey news to show for it.
For starters, it’s time to give a big, warm welcome to Ben Scrivens, who will be sticking around in Denver full-time now that he’s hung up his skates at the professional level.
Undrafted, Scrivens went pro after a collegiate career playing for the men’s team at Cornell, manning the crease for one team while his now-wife, Jenny, started for the women’s side.
He went on to play for the Los Angeles Kings, Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, and Montreal Canadiens before topping off his North American career with a highly-successful trip overseas. Two seasons in the KHL saw Scrivens record a .918 and .917 in each season, respectively, and he topped things off with a bronze medal at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang this past February.
Now, he’s going to pursue his master’s at the University of Denver, and he’ll serve as the manager of the men’s team in the process. [Mile High Hockey]
Speaking of collegiate hockey, here’s a cool look at how the Avalanche have looked to Canadian universities for players to invite to training camp. [MHH]
And there’s what Craig Billington had to say yesterday after the first official day of camp:
Once training camp is over, our own Jackie Kay broke down which players could make their Avalanche debut this year. [MHH]
And speaking of prospects, Nikolai Kovalenko officially scored his first KHL goal! [MHH]
Nathan MacKinnon was interviewed by ESPN’s Emily Kaplan to talk about some semi-hysterical controversy that’s been floating around the NHL ever since Jalen Ramsey, noted shit-talker extraordinaire, had some fun ruffling feathers by suggesting he could hit the NHL in six months.
On the scale of “Jack Eichel seems so butthurt he may not be capable of sitting down for weeks” to “Evgeny Kuznetsov kind of wants to invite Jalen Ramsey to live with him and become linemates”, MacKinnon seems to fall somewhere in the middle.
He certainly wasn’t happy with Ramsey’s assertion (assuming, as everyone seems to, that Ramsey was actually serious), but had some interesting comments about how he wasn’t mad at Ramsey for speaking out as a principle that deserve a read:
“It’s good for the NFL, for someone to go out and talk like that. It brings a lot of attention,” MacKinnon said. “If it happened in hockey, it would make the sport a little more popular, too, and we’d take it.”
To catch the rest of the piece, check it out here. [ESPN]
Oh, and we almost forgot: the Vegas Golden Knights have officially seen their first adversity storyline start to play out, via a massive suspension for defender Nate Schmidt:
Nate Schmidt suspended 20 games for violating the NHL's performance enhancing drug program. In a statement, the @GoldenKnights say they "strongly disagree" with the ruling.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) September 2, 2018
Schmidt was shockingly candid when he responded to the suspension, explaining that the microscopic amounts of a banned substance found when he was drug tested were the result of a tainted supplement he took sanctioned by the team.
Speaking with some of my friends in the industry, this isn’t all that uncommon. Even science supports it; there’s a lot of warning about how supplements can be produced and packaged in facilities that also produce and package non-FDA-approved substances, and there can be some cross-contamination that gets players flagged. When it comes to things like supplements, it’s nearly impossible to be completely sure what you’re putting in your body, and this isn’t the first time - nor is it likely to be the last - that a player will be banned for something like this.
For more info on the league’s drug-testing policy, Athletic subscribers should check out Katie Strang’s article on the subject. [The Athletic NHL]
Speaking of Athletic subscribers: here’s a look, by the numbers and by the analysis, at what to expect this coming season for the Avalanche. [The Athletic Colorado]
By the way, remember that time the NHL wouldn’t send players to the Winter Olympics in South Korea last year?
Well, cool thing, they’re sending players there for preseason exhibition games:
Coach Cassidy chatting with media here at the Boston Bruins Foundation Golf Tournament at The International in Bolton.— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) September 4, 2018
Says Noel Acciari, Zdeno Chara, Danton Heinen, Torey Krug, Sean Kuraly won’t travel to China.
Trent Frederic, JFK, and Jack Studnicka will make the trip. pic.twitter.com/ClVuVCkcDt
Very cool for the young players who are getting this experience, including Jack Studnicka (whom our overlord Tom Hunter has a serious case of fan fever for, as he does all Oshawa Generals players ever).
Not so cool, of course, for Leon Draisaitl, Thomas Greiss, Philipp Grubauer, and Tobias Rieder, who don’t always have a guarantee of Olympic Qualification playing for Germany. Not so cool for the other players who viewed the Olympics as a once-in-a-lifetime thing, either.
Anyways, I’ll end with this travesty:
Auston's sweater here is legit $1300 USD. pic.twitter.com/yxaMOMzCnf— Arvind (@arvi) September 7, 2018
Just a friendly reminder that there’s a bell curve to how stupid you look when it comes to clothing and price tags.
It’s never too early to think about next year’s draft - especially when you have a bunch of extra picks like the Avalanche do. Mitchell Brewer is a young defender hockey fans are going to want to keep an eye in. [OHL Collective]
As with last year, friendly reminder: see something you want to share with the rest of the Flurries world? Send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @catmsilverman and I’ll toss it into our links.