By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1716
Posts tagged ‘Colorado Avalanche’
Posted: April 15th, 2014

Five former Erie Otters are set to play in the Stanley Cup playoffs, which begin tonight…
(includes position, age, current NHL club, total NHL games played and years played) 

Michael Blunden

RW Mike Blunden (27), Montreal – 102 games (2006-08, 2009-14)
* Spent most of the season with Hamilton (AHL), where he scored a career-high 18 goals and had 36 points, one shy of his career high (37 with Rockford, 2007-08) … had no points and five penalty minutes in seven games with the Canadiens … hasn’t recorded a point in the NHL since the 2011-12 season (two goals, four points in a career-high 39 games)

D Carlo Colaiacovo (31), St. Louis – 401 games

Carlo Colaiacovo

(2002-04, 2005-14)
* Played in 25 games, and was a healthy scratch numerous times … has one goal, four points, a minus-4 rating and 18 penalty minutes this season … has played in 31 games the past two seasons after topping the 60-game mark every year from 2008-12 … has 20 games of playoff experience, including nine with Detroit a season ago

Jordan Nolan

C Jordan Nolan (24), Los Angeles – 134 games (2011-14)
* Set career highs with six goals, 10 points, 54 penalty minutes and 64 games in his first full season with the Kings … made his playoff debut a season ago (no points, no penalty minutes in seven games) … played in his 100th career game Dec. 21 against Colorado … son of Buffalo Sabres head coach Ted Nolan

F Ryan O’Reilly (23), Colorado – 345 games

Ryan O'Reilly

* Led the Avalanche with 28 goals, third with 64 points and fourth with 36 assists … set career highs in goals and points, and was one assist shy of matching his season best (37 in 2011-12) … nearly became the first player in NHL history to finish a season without any penalty minutes … had two PIMs this season and eight in the past three seasons

Michael Rupp

LW Mike Rupp (34), Minnesota – 610 games (2002-04, 2005-14)
* Played in only 13 games this season, partly because he was recovering from offseason knee injury … has to serve the final three games of a four-game suspension for a hit to St. Louis center T.J. Oshie’s head last week … has played in 58 NHL games the past two seasons after playing in 60 or more every year from 2006-12
Note: Detroit C Riley Sheahan, 22, was the Otters’ fourth-round pick in the 2007 OHL Priority Selection, but never signed with the club. 
Posted: October 7th, 2013

Erie native Justin Mercier, 26, has signed with the Idaho Steelheads, the ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars. He joins the Steelheads, which began training camp Monday, after spending the 2012-13 season playing in Germany with the Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams (2 goals, 5 points and 49 PIM) in 35 games. The Miami (Ohio) University alumnus began his professional career in the 2009-10 season, where he played 64 games for the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters (13 goals, 10 assists, 23 points) and 9 more with the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche (1 goal, 2 points). He had 26 goals and 53 points in 156 games with the Monsters from 2010-12.

Posted: September 17th, 2013

Former Erie Otters captain Ryan O’Reilly is adjusting to his new role on left wing with the Colorado Avalanche. Read more here

Posted: June 13th, 2013

Millcreek Township native Bryan Sienerth, who played for the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite’s Under-16 hockey club this past season, has verbally committed to Miami University, a NCAA Division I school in Oxford, Ohio. Sienerth, 17, chose the RedHawks over scholarship offers from Dartmouth and Mercyhurst.
Sienerth also had interest from other schools both in and out of the Ivy League. “I pretty much fell in love (with the school) as soon as I got there,” Sienerth said of Miami. He credited advice from Justin Mercier, a Millcreek Township native and former Miami standout who has played professionally in the NHL (Colorado Avalanche) and overseas, for helping him make his decision. “Everything fell into place,” Sienerth said.
Sienerth would join the RedHawks as part of the incoming freshman class for the 2015-16 season or 2016-17 season, depending on how well he plays in the next two seasons. He will play for the Penguins Elite’s Under-18 team next season, and possibly some games for the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Stampede, which selected Sienerth in the eighth round of the United States Hockey League draft last month. He hopes to play full time for Sioux Falls in the 2014-15 season.
The Erie Otters chose him in the 13th round of the 2012 OHL Priority Selection. He attended training camp in Ancaster, Ontario, last August as well as the club’s rookie development camp a month ago. He hasn’t ruled out the OHL in the future, since NCAA players can leave school to play at the major junior level.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: February 28th, 2013

The Colorado Avalanche have announced they matched the Calgary Flames’ offer sheet for former Erie Otters captain Ryan O’Reilly. Check out this story from the Denver Post.

Posted: February 28th, 2013

Former Erie Otters captain Ryan O’Reilly could be a member of the NHL’s Calgary Flames at this time next week.
The Denver Post reported Thursday that the Flames have signed O’Reilly to a two-year, $10 million offer sheet. According to the report, the Colorado Avalanche, the team O’Reilly played with for the first three seasons of his NHL career, have seven days to match the offer.
If the offer isn’t matched, the Post reported, the Avalanche would receive the Flames’ first-round and third-round picks in the NHL Entry Draft this summer as compensation. O’Reilly, 22, earned a reported $2.64 million during during his three-year, entry-level contract, which expired at the end of the 2011-12 season. He totaled 39 goals and 107 points in 236 games with the Avalanche, including a team-leading 37 assists and 55 points a season ago. O’Reilly hasn’t played this season while awaiting a new contract. Reports have indicated he rejected two past offers from the Avalanche for $7 million over two years and $17 million over five years.

Posted: February 26th, 2013

Mark Guy, agent for former Erie Otters captain Ryan O’Reilly, from Newport Sports Management Inc. in Mississauga, Ontario, had little to say Tuesday about his client’s contract situation with the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.
But Guy did say “there has been zero discussions with Colorado for weeks now.” When asked if a trade is the most viable option to resolve this impasse, Guy said, “You can infer that, I guess, by the fact that we haven’t had any discussions. But likely that’s going to be the outcome, I would say. (That’s) not for sure. Things can always change. But likely that’s going to be the outcome.”
When asked how O’Reilly has handled the situation, Guy said, “Ryan’s good. He’s a player and competitive. He wants to play, but he’s competitive in all aspects of his life.”
Guy declined to comment on any further details.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: October 10th, 2012

Former Erie Otters captain Ryan O’Reilly, who played the past three seasons with the Colorado Avalanche and is now a restricted free agent, shared his thoughts recently on the NHL lockout and the state of negotiations between the league’s owners and Players Association:

On when the season could begin:
You hear all sorts of things. I’ve been hearing November, end of November. Then they’re saying January (in time for) the Winter Classic. Then people are saying there won’t be (a season). So it’s tough to tell what it’s going to be. I try to hope for the best. I’m hoping in November we’re back playing hockey, at least any time in November playing hockey. Then again it’s not really up to me.

On the biggest issues between owners and players:
It’s not just one issue. There’s a bunch of issues. We’re willing to take less in revenue and have a growth period because we see how much (the league is growing. Our proposals I think have been very good. They (the owners) still don’t think that it’s right. That’s the way it goes through a negotiation. We’ve just got to keep staying with it.

On the state of negotiations:
They did meet (recently) on some non-core issues and stuff. So definitely the communication is back now, which is huge. That’s what we need. Now that we’ve got that first one out of the way after the lockout, to finally get that going now is a step in the right direction. Now hopefully we just continue to keep scheduling meetings and getting further and further.

On not having a contract with the Avalanche:
I can’t sign during the lockout. I understand the way things work. It happens. When there is a CBA (collective bargaining agreement) in play, negotiations will start (on a new contract). It just takes a little while. My situation is a bit unique. Having more point production and being looked at as a two-way forward playing against top lines, it’s not the typical player you see at this age (21). I don’t have any expectations. I know it’s going to be a waiting game. I’m just trying to keep a level head and keep focused on things I can control, which is staying in shape.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: August 28th, 2011

Russian-born forward Vladimir Tkachev, the Erie Otters’ second first-round pick in the 2011 CHL Import Draft, isn’t reporting to training camp Monday – or anytime soon.

Sherry Bassin, Otters managing partner and general manager, said the Russian Ice Hockey Federation has denied Tkachev a visa that would allow him to join the OHL club.

Bassin said he believes federation officials coerced Tkachev to sign a letter stating he wants to remain in Russia. Bassin also said he was told Tkachev signed a contract with AK Bars Kazan.

The 6-foot, 182-pound center had nine goals and 18 points in 39 games with AK Bars Kazan in Russia last season. He also played alongside Nail Yakupov, Sarnia’s standout forward, on Russia’s Under-18 National Team last season.


Bassin said “we’re fighting it” through the International Ice Hockey Federation, the sport’s worldwide governing body. Yet Bassin is unsure how long it will take to resolve the issue. He said other OHL clubs have needed several months to resolve similar problems in the past.

Russia doesn’t have a transfer agreement with the IIHF.

Meanwhile, Norwegian-born left wing Sondre Olden, the Otters opening CHL first-round pick, won’t arrive at camp until Wednesday because of travel problems caused by Hurricane Irene. His flight to New York City on Sunday was cancelled. So he will fly to Toronto on Tuesday before being picked up by club officials.

Close to signing: Defense prospect Liam Maaskant, an 2010 eighth-round pick, expects to sign with the Otters soon.

“It’s just about done, (just) got to sign the papers,” said Maaskant, 17, a Clinton, Ontario, native who chose not to sign last season since he hadn’t decided between the OHL and the NCAA. But Maaskant chose the OHL after speaking with former Otter and current Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly, a native of nearby Varna, Ontario.

“I came to the final decision that the O was meant for me,” Maaskant said. “I’m ready to take the next step and come to Erie for sure.”

- Victor Fernandes





Posted: February 3rd, 2011

DENVER (AP) — Colorado forward Ryan O’Reilly, a former Erie Otter, will miss his sixth straight game with a shoulder injury when the Avalanche host Minnesota on Thursday night.

Avs coach Joe Sacco said after the morning skate that he’s “hopeful” O’Reilly will be ready soon, but he won’t be available against the Wild. O’Reilly has been out since crashing into the boards headfirst on Jan. 14 at Minnesota.

Peter Forsberg participated in the morning skate as he considers a comeback. He’s been testing his fitness and the strength of his chronically injured right foot to see if he can return. Forsberg had a solid skate Thursday. He sounded a bit discouraged the day before following an intense workout. As for a return, Sacco said: “Peter’s the only one that’s going to be able to tell us really how he feels.”

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