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Stienburg's Unexpected Path to the Avalanche

Colorado's fourth pick in the 2019 draft had to overcome Osteomyelitis, twice

by Samantha Wexler /

Matthew Stienburg's plan was not laid out like this.

At 15 years old, Stienburg was working hard in hopes of impressing Canadian Hockey League scouts and get drafted into the major-junior leagues. Instead, the forward was limited to just 15 games.

It appeared to be the flu coupled with shoulder pain, but it soon turned into something much worse for the Halifax, Nova Scotia, native.

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Avs Fill Out Roster With Free Agency Frenzy

Nazem Kadri, Joonas Donskoi, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Calle Rosen join Colorado

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

The Colorado Avalanche made major moves on the first day of NHL Free Agency, and its 2019-20 roster is a little more balanced then when the frenzy began.

Colorado began Monday's proceedings by signing Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Joonas Donskoi, forwards that will provide key depth in the lineup as the Avs aim to build a squad that is tough to play against in all three zones. The Avalanche also re-upped two-way forward Colin Wilson, who, like Bellemare and Donskoi, was also an unrestricted free agent but ultimately decided to return to the squad that he spent the past two seasons with.

"We decided to add as much depth as we could to our group," said Colorado executive vice president/general manager Joe Sakic in an early afternoon conference call. "We like the depth that we have right now. Now we are at a next phase where we sit back and maybe there's a trade we could do or explore."

The biggest transaction of the day for Sakic was indeed in the form of a trade and came just before 5 p.m. MT. The Avalanche sent defenseman Tyson Barrie, forward Alexander Kerfoot and a sixth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Nazem Kadri, defenseman Calle Rosen and a third-round selection in the 2020 draft.

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Timmins Skates at Development Camp

Defenseman missed the entire 2018-19 season

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

CENTENNIAL, Colo.--There was plenty of excitement among the Colorado Avalanche prospects on the first day of on-ice activities at the team's development camp.

But for defenseman Conor Timmins, the drills and practices were especially meaningful after 14 months of battling back from a head injury that included post-concussion symptoms.

"I think every day you take a step forward, it's a big step with this kind of injury," Timmins said. "Obviously it's been awhile, but for me to get out there with the boys, it's really fun. I really enjoyed myself out there."

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Avs Open 2019-20 Season at Home against Flames

Colorado hosts Calgary in a rematch of their Stanley Cup Playoffs series

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele /

The Colorado Avalanche announced on Friday that the team will open the 2019-20 season at home against the Calgary Flames on Thursday, Oct. 3.

The Avs will open their season at home for the 11th time in the last 14 seasons, and it will be the first time that they have played the Flames to begin the year since arriving in Denver.

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Decisions Await Avalanche on Draft Day

Colorado taking wait-and-see approach with its first-round picks

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

Draft day is the biggest day of the year for scouting departments in the NHL. It's where their hard work comes to fruition after spending countless of miles traveling via car, train, ferry and plane and watching games almost daily in cold rinks throughout the world.

Draft day is where tomorrow's stars enter the NHL, and the Colorado Avalanche looks to select a few of them at the June 21-22 draft in Vancouver, British Columbia.

"There is always pressure," said Avalanche director of amateur scouting Alan Hepple on Thursday. "I think there is always pressure in the first round. I think the last few years with Mikko Rantanen, we got him at 10. Tyson Jost at 10. Cale Makar was four obviously. There is always pressure in the first round I think."

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Colorado's Braedon Greenwood in Gaming World Championship Regional Final

"frogstomp33" is among eight players competing for the U.S. championship

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

Braedon Greenwood's love for hockey and eSports has led him to the United States Regional Final in the 2019 NHL Gaming World Championship.

What might make Greenwood--aka frogstomp33, his gamertag--different than some of his opponents in the regional final is he doesn't regularly compete in gaming tournaments. The NHL's second annual competition using EA Sports' NHL franchise is Greenwood's debut.

"This is my first actual tournament," Greenwood said to "I don't really compete or anything, but I thought I would sign up for this one.

"I didn't really think I was good enough to get to the actual stage and get first or second place, so I never really tried. But for the World Championship I was like I might as well try and here I am."

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Avalanche Has Busy Summer Ahead

General manager Joe Sakic has several goals he wants to accomplish in the offseason

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

The Colorado Avalanche finished this past season the closest it had been to a championship in more than 10 years, but close isn't good enough for the club.

Winning the Stanley Cup remains the ultimate goal for the Avs and is the center focus of general manager Joe Sakic heading into a busy offseason for the squad.

"Just got to keep building and getting better. As great as the end of the year was, we still didn't accomplish the end goal," Sakic said. "We still got to find a way to get better and it starts here in the offseason. We took a little break here. [I'll] meet with the coaching staff here, go over our players and just got to go to work and get ready for the draft and free agency."

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Makar Learning Quickly in Playoffs

Rookie defenseman has earned the trust of his Avalanche teammates and coaches

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

At this time a month ago, Cale Makar was preparing for the biggest games of his college hockey career as the University of Massachusetts was in the Frozen Four for the first time in program history.

Jump ahead to early May and every game Makar is playing right now is the next biggest one of the season with the Colorado Avalanche in the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The defenseman hasn't looked out of place in his first eight NHL contests and has played a significant role in the Avs' success in the postseason.

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MacKinnon Continues to Elevate His Game

The forward is tied for the league lead with 12 postseason points

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele /

Nathan MacKinnon helped lead the Colorado Avalanche all season and the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs are no different.

The 23-year-old forward finished the 2018-19 campaign first on the Avs with a career-high 99 points (41 goals, 58 assists) in 82 games. Through eight postseason contests, MacKinnon has recorded 12 points (five goals, seven assists), tied for the league lead.

His 12 points are the most by an Avalanche player since Joe Sakic also had 12 in 2004. The last time that a Colorado player had 13 or more in a playoff year was 2002 when Peter Forsberg (27), Sakic (19), Alex Tanguay (13) and Greg deVries (13) did it.

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Nieto Making Impact During Avs' Playoff Run

Colorado forward is playing his former team in the second round

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

Matt Nieto has found a home with the Colorado Avalanche, but he will always have a connection in San Jose Sharks history.

He became the Sharks' first-ever California-born player drafted by the franchise after the team used its first selection on him (No. 47 overall, second round) in 2011.

The Long Beach native played his first 221 games in the league with San Jose and remains a popular player with the Bay Area media whenever the Sharks visit Denver or the Avs travel to San Jose.

Nieto helped the NHL's Northern California club in two playoff campaigns, including the team's Stanley Cup Final run in 2016, but he is now tasked with trying to eliminate his former teammates in the second round of the 2019 postseason.

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