O’Reilly not viewed as a player who can transition to wing


The consensus is 22 year old center Ryan O’Reilly has played his last game as a Colorado Avalanche as the relationship between O’Reilly and Av’s management is believed to be ruined after numerous low ball offers by the Avalanche brass. Although no trade is believed to be imminent, the Avalanche have begun shopping O’Reilly to Eastern Conference teams. The early asking price, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger is a roster player and a top prospect. With the Penguins eyeing a top-6 winger, I asked around yesterday to see if maybe the Penguins were sniffing around on O’Reilly and if evaluators felt O’Reilly had the ability to transition to wing. The answer has been a resounding no. I asked three talent evaluators yesterday on whether O’Reilly could be an ideal candidate to transition to wing were a center heavy team interested in him and I got all “No’s” from the threeRead More »

3 Thoughts Pens – Av’s Fallout: How Fleury stacks up against top Vezina Candidates


Pens – Av’s Fallout PUTTING AWAY INFERIOR TEAMS 1. Pittsburgh rolled to a 5-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche last night as Evgeni Malkin, Arron Asham, Richard Park and Deryk Engelland all scored to help the Penguins stretch their winning streak to a season-high five games. What we have seen from the Penguins in three of the last four games is putting away inferior teams like they did against Tampa Bay, Columbus last weekend, and Colorado last night. PENS SURGING DOWN THE STRETCH 2. With their fifth straight win, Pittsburgh improved to (38-21-5, (81 pts) on the season and hold a four point lead for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference entering today’s action. “It’s huge,” defenseman Brooks Orpik said of the Penguins peaking right now. “We’ve learned from the past couple of years if you stumble into the playoffs there’s a carry-over to how you play inRead More »

NHL Free Agency Buzz: Vrbata viewed as a fit in Pittsburgh


Latest Buzz on Vrbata, Markov, Fleishmann, Richards & more “Complete player” Vrbata could surface as target If the Penguins don’t resign Tyler Kennedy and fail to bring in Jaromir Jagr, a name who could surface on their radar is Phoenix Coyotes right winger Radim Vrbata, assuming the term (2 years) and price makes sense. Vrbata is a Dan Bylsma type of player due to his complete two-way game but has some scoring touch and offensive skill to go with his two-way play. Vrbata, 30, scored 19 goals and 48 points last season for a defensive minded Phoenix Coyotes team. He tallied 24 goals in 2009-2010 and scored a career high 27 goals in 2007-2008. According to Vrbata’s agent Rich Evans, what makes Vrbata a unique player that could hit the open market is his ability to score at the NHL level but also matchup against the oppositions top forwards. “He’sRead More »

Busy day of moves as Boston lands Kaberle and Wheeler is shipped off to Atlanta


A busy day of moves in the National Hockey League and it’s not even 2:00 p.m. as Tomas Kaberle has been officially traded to the Boston Bruins. The Bruins landed their coveted puck moving defenseman and the Maple Leafs will receive prospect Joe Colborne, the Bruins’ first round pick in 2011 and a conditional 2nd round draft pick in 2012, if Kaberle resigns in Boston which is a strong possibility or if the Bruins reach the Stanley Cup Final. Toronto has acquired two first round picks for the 2011 draft, in a matter of days. To make room for Kaberle, the Bruins as expected shipped off Blake Wheeler and defenseman Mark Stuart. Wheeler and Stuart have been dealt to Atlanta in exchange for Rich Peverley and defenceman Boris Valabik. Wheeler has 11 goals and 15 assists with a plus-8 rating through 58 games. He was coveted by several teams. AtlantaRead More »

Post-Game Notebook: Penguins take over in third period, beat Av’s 4-1


Penguins have won 8 of 10 Sidney Crosby had two goals and an assist and Bill Guerin added a power play goal in the third period as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 Thursday night at Mellon Arena. The Avalanche in the midst of back-to-back games, played a tight defensive game but Pittsburgh took over in the third period out shooting the Avalanche 14-1 in the period. Pittsburgh added an empty net goal by Jodan Staal (7) at 19:11 of the third period and Sidney Crosby added another 18 seconds later as the Penguins prevailed 4-1. Crosby’s three point night gives him 11 points in his last three games. Goaltender Marc Andre Fleury made 15 saves to record his 17th win of the season. Post-Game Wrap up *The Colorado Avalanche like to play a tight defensive game in the neutral zone similar to the Phoenix Coyotes and lookRead More »

Colorado @ Pittsburgh pre-game buzz; Goligoski out; Hejduk (GTD)


Colorado (15-8-6) @ Pittsburgh (19-9-0) The Colorado Avalanche have been the surprise of the NHL, jumping out to a 15-8-6 record. Many NHL pundits predicted a rebuilding year for the Av’s. The Av’s hot start has them one point out of first place in the Northwest division but Colorado has a lot to prove moving forward. Colorado’s play in the month of December could tell which direction their season will go. The Avalanche are already showing signs of slowing down in the midst of a 3-4-3 stretch. The Avalanche face a big test tonight against the Stanley Cup champions, coming off of a 6-5 loss to the Florida Panthers Wednesday night. The Avalanche are led by forward Paul Stastny (30 pts). Stastny is among the games top playmakers but could be without linemate Milan Hejduk (11 goals) tonight. Hejduk did not play Wednesday night and will be a game timeRead More »

NHL: Avalanche fire GM Francois Giguere


The Colorado Avalanche fired general manager Francois Giguere on Monday after posting a 32-45-5 record. Team president Pierre Lacroix said the fans and management “deserved better” “We are too proud of what we have accomplished in this market to ignore where we are and what happened in just a very short period of time,” Lacroix said in a statement. “Ownership and the dedicated Avalanche fans throughout the region deserve better results.” Source: TSN.CA

Blue Jackets, Leafs, Avalanche, Senators in Tyler Bozak’s top 5


University of Denver forward Tyler Bozak has received over 20 offers but a source close to Bozak indicates he has trimmed his list down to 6 teams with the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs leading the pack. Colorado, Anaheim and the Blue Jackets are two of the other six teams Bozak is considering. Bozak is expected to sign by Friday. Pittsburgh