Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Avs open preseason with a W

The Avs (well half of them anyway) opened up their 2010 preseason schedule tonight with a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. There was no video feed of the game but thanks to some Blues fan, there was audio for those of us who weren't lucky enough to live in Denver.

The Avs were without their top 2 centers Paul Stastny and Matt Duchene and scoring wingers Milan Hejduk, Chris Stewart and Peter Mueller. They did get a healthy David Jones back after his knee injury last season. Jones contributed in a big way scoring a goal that ended up being the game winner. Rookies Kevin Shattenkirk, Colby Cohen and 2010 5th rounder Luke (sky)Walker made their Avalanche debuts as well. Shattenkirk scored the opening goal and Walker put the Avs up 3-1 just 30 seconds after Jones' goal.

All the offense came against the goalie who shut down Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby in the playoffs last season, Jaroslav Halak. Halak played the whole game and stopped 15 of 18 Av shots. Peter Budaj started the game for the Avs. He played half the game and stopped 9-10 shots while Trevor Cann came in for Budaj and played a very solid game stopping all 24 shots fired on him.

The Avs play again tomorrow night at the Pepsi Center against the Kings. I'd bet good money on Craig Anderson getting his 1st start of the preseason as well as some offensive help of Stastny, Duchene, Hejduk, Stewart and Mueller.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Avs and Mueller Finally Reach Agreement

Just about one week before training camp is set to begin, the Avs and restricted free agent Peter Mueller have finally come to terms on a new 2 year deal worth $4 million. Mueller will get $1.5 million next season and $2.5 million in 2011-12. Not a bad value for Mueller especially since the Avs were still under the salary cap floor - the only team that was still that far down.

Mueller only had 37 points last season with the Coyotes and the Avs but 20 of those points came in the 15 games he played after he was dealt to the Avs at the trade deadline. He was a major reason why the power play started picking it up at the end of the year as he was able to get off quality shots and scoring chances from the right point (something the defensemen were unable to do).

His point total after coming to Colorado probably had him thinking huge pay day but that last concussion he received after being put into the boards by Rob Blake had something to do with the lower salary. He missed the entire playoff series with the Sharks with that concussion and it was his 2nd concussion in his young career. The 2 years he received is a fair contract as it will give him enough time to show that he can stay consistent and injury free before being paid the big bucks.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Stewart re-signed for 2 more years

After an offseason that made me wonder if the Avs had a pulse, some good news finally rolled in. They came to terms on a new 2 year deal with last season's leading goal scorer Chris Stewart. The deal is worth $5.75 million over the 2 years with a cap hit of $2.875 million. He will make $2.5 million next season and $3.25 million in 11-12.

This seems like a great deal for both the Avs and Stewart. The money is less than I expected the Avs to give him and it gives Stewie 2 more years for him to show that last season's 28 goal campaign was no fluke.

With Stewart signed, the Avs can now focus on getting the other RFA, Peter Mueller, signed. Mueller's signing should put the Avs over the cap floor, which they are around $1 million away from. Training camp is still 2 weeks away but hopefully a deal will be worked out sooner rather than later.
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