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Morning Flurries: Voting centers and Gabriel Landeskog praise

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Nathan MacKinnon REALLY likes Gabe

St. Louis Blues v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche have reached the quiet part of the off-season; training camp is a ways off, free agency has all but died down, and the Avalanche have very little in the way of controversy or question marks to mar their down time as they wait for the 2020-2021 season to get under way.

For American Avalanche fans, though, the next week is important for a non-hockey reason. The 2020 general election, which will determine the next US president, is on November 3rd — and in the wake of a global pandemic raising concerns about available space to safely vote, the Avalanche are one of the dozens of sports teams that have stepped up to help out.

The team has confirmed that Ball Arena — formerly known as the Pepsi Center (we’ll still call it The Can) — will serve as a voting center for Denver residents:

Via the official press release:

“We are proud that for the first time ever Ball Arena will host in-person voting services,” said KSE Vice Chairman Josh Kroenke. “Our players, employees and fans, as well as election officials and nonpartisan voting organizations, ask that we help facilitate greater access for all Coloradoans to cast their ballots leading to the general election. Voting is one of the greatest rights and responsibilities in our democracy. Regardless of political affiliation, exercising the right to vote is the most impactful way to have our voices heard on a local, state and national level.”

Added KSE Vice President of Community Relations Deb Dowling: “For those Coloradoan voters who haven’t yet participated in the record-setting absentee voting and prefer to cast their ballots in person, they can do so at Ball Arena starting Friday, Oct. 30 and continuing through election day on Tuesday, Nov. 3, with the exception of Sunday, Nov. 1. Drive-through drop-off/curbside services also will be made available during posted hours. We ask that voters continue to wear masks and practice social distancing.”

Speaking of the pandemic and ways that teams are helping: the Avalanche are also making things easier on parents who aren’t sure what to do about trick-or-treating this year by offering a “trunk-or-treat” event for families.

With close contact discouraged to prevent the spread of covid-19 (and many immunocompromised individuals needing additional safety measures to ensure they don’t spread germs through a busy event like trick-or-treating), Halloween has been a tough topic to tackle in many homes this October. Hopefully, the Avalanche providing a safe alternative will give some Denver-area kids a chance to still get their spook on.

In some hockey-related news, Hunter Miska is back with a new deal — and some new pads for the upcoming season:

Miska, who was an Arizona Coyotes prospect before signing with Colorado during the 2019 free agency period, earned his way from an AHL-only contract last season to a standard NHL deal late in the year. Now, he’s back on an extension that gives him NHL call-up options from the get-go — and it seems that he’s celebrating with a sweet new setup to boot.

Outside of the Avalanche (but still in hockey-related news), Trevor Daly has officially retired from playing professional hockey after a 16-year career.

He’s not done in the hockey world, though: he’s going to stick around Pittsburgh, joining the Penguins as a member of their hockey operations staff. (NHL.com)

That announcement comes with the news that, while general manager Jim Rutherford is still sticking around to provide us all with some exciting trades for the upcoming season, his second-in-command won’t be. Jason Karmanos, who has been with the Penguins since 2014 and has been the team’s assistant GM since 2017, is leaving the organization — and in his place, the club has put their Director of Hockey Research Sam Ventura in an interim position. Erik Heasley, who has been the team’s manager of hockey ops, will take over interim GM duties for the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins as well:

Finally, a delightful video to get you through your Tuesday: come for Nathan MacKinnon calling Gabriel Landeskog a ‘man rocket’, stay for his staunch defense of the term.