It’s December already? It’s hard to believe time passes as quickly as it does, but in the case of 2020, we can forgive it for trying to be brief. However, this means time may be running out to plan and execute a 2020-21 season. Check out this article right here on Mile High Hockey for the latest on what the NHL and NHLPA are negotiating.
The Colorado Avalanche would be in the midst of their 25th anniversary season if not for the pandemic. During that first season of play, the Avalanche would acquire a certain future Hall-of-Fame goaltender with a volcanic temper... and multiple Stanley Cup rings under his belt. December 2, 1995 the Montreal Canadiens would solve the missing piece of the Stanley Cup puzzle for the newly relocated Colorado franchise by trading them Patrick Roy. Since the trade of Roy, the Canadiens have not been back to the finals since and the Avalanche have won two titles (1996 & 2003). Thanks to the power of Twitter; Montreal and Colorado fans alike the got the (un)pleasant reminder of this franchise-altering trade repeatedly yesterday!
THIS DAY IN HOCKEY HISTORY - Dec. 2, 1995:— SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (@SiriusXMNHL) December 2, 2020
Patrick Roy is pulled after allowing nine goals against, and tells @CanadiensMTL team president Ronald Corey he was done in Montreal. Roy is traded to the @Avalanche four days later and leads them to the Stanley Cup later that season. pic.twitter.com/nJkEQP3Br1
Twenty-five years ago today, the Montreal Canadiens and Patrick Roy parted ways and shocked the hockey world as the Habs ended up trading their star goaltender to the Colorado Avalanche.— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) December 2, 2020
Re-live the news from TSN’s Michael Whalen in this #TSN Rewind: https://t.co/zrLnVTrXgh pic.twitter.com/SE747QLxdh
Sweet, sweet memories, if only Patrick Roy’s coaching career for the Avalanche went so well.
Greg Wyshynski of ESPN put together an interesting piece on the best players from different countries for each team (ESPN+ Required). The Avalanche have a pretty deep lineup of players in this format with Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg highlighting the list (representing Canada and Sweden, respectively). From the Avalanche’s current roster, Mikko Rantanen holds the title of best Finnish player in team history.
Canada: Joe Sakic, C (1995-09, 870 games, 1,015 points)
USA: Chris Drury, C (1998-02, 314 games, 222 points)
Finland: Mikko Rantanen, RW (2015-present, 281 games, 250 points)
Sweden: Peter Forsberg, C (1995-04, 2007-11, 544 games, 705 points)
Germany: Uwe Krupp, D (1995-98, 144 games, 55 points)
Slovakia: Marek Svatos. RW (2003-10, 316 games, 164 points)
Czech Republic: Milan Hejduk, RW (1998-2013, 1,020, 805 points)
Russia: Valeri Kamensky, LW (1996-99, 289 games, 261 points)
Best of the rest of the world (Latvia): Sandis Ozolinsh, D (1995-2000, 333 games, 253 points)
In World Juniors news, Drew Helleson made his impression on U.S. National Junior team coaches making the preliminary roster for the IIHF World Junior Championship team. The U.S. roster is loaded with highly rated prospects including 2019 top-10 draft picks Alex Turcotte and Trevor Zegras. Helleson was Colorado’s second round pick in 2019, going 47th overall.
In non-Avalanche news, the Seattle Kraken are still on the market for a new head coach. With the uncertainty of the 2020-21 season, Seattle General Manager Ron Francis told ESPN that there is “no real rush on the timeline”. With the Kraken due to start play in 2021-22, if there is a season, there may be other options by the time the Seattle expansion franchise hits the ice.
Finally, the silliest piece of news is saved for last. Internet celebrity Jake Paul knocked out former NBA Slam Dunk contest winner Nate Robinson in an undercard fight on the Mike Tyson/Roy Jones Junior spectacle from Saturday night. The YouTube personality took his KO of the diminutive Robinson as an opportunity to call out former UFC World Champion Conor McGregor. At this point, you might be thinking “What does this have to do with hockey?!?”. Well, with Paul’s bold choice in post-fight beef, a few other contenders stepped up to his challenge.
I would **** you up.— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) November 29, 2020
Evander Kane has been busy battling everyone on Twitter lately. Between this challenge of Paul and his exchanges with the entire Reaves family (NSFW language), Kane seems to really be itching to get back on the ice.
Aren’t we all?