Denver

Jon Gray howls for season-high dozen Ks, Rockies’ offense explodes with six-run inning in win over

Jon Gray howls for season-high dozen Ks, Rockies’ offense explodes with six-run inning in win over

23/06/2018, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 27055874

The Gray wolf howled — and the Rockies had one of those offensive innings where even the longest beer line still gets you back to the seats for some action — as Colorado beat Miami 11-3 in the series opener at Coors Field on Friday.

Jon Gray turned in a dominating performance, allowing only one run through seven innings while striking out a season-high dozen batters. And the Colorado offense stunned Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen for six runs in the fourth, building a huge lead the Rockies wouldn’t come close to relinquishing in a fourth straight win.

Tom Murphy got things rolling for Colorado in the second, doubling home Ian Desmond. Miami then tied the game 1-1 in the top of the next frame via outfielder Derek Dietrich’s line-drive, 363-foot homer to left.

But Gray, who turned in his best outing since allowing no runs on four hits in seven innings in a win against the Angels on May 8, wasn’t phased by the dinger.

The right-hander continued to deal up to, and through, the Rockies’ outburst in the fourth, working in rhythm with Murphy and effectively pitching around the seven other hits Miami scattered. Gray walked none for just the second time this year.

The momentum-shifting fourth was initiated by an Ian Desmond single. Carlos Gonzalez followed that up with a double, sending Desmond to third, and then the first baseman scored on the same play by hustling home following a Starlin Castro misplay in the infield to make it 2-1 Rockies.

Noel Cuevas continued the hit brigade with an infield single; an effective Gray sacrifice bunt, a DJ LeMahieu sacrifice fly and a Charlie Blackmon single later, Colorado had extended its lead to 5-1.

But the home team wasn’t done. Nolan Arenado stepped to the plate with two outs and hit a 420-foot no-doubter to left, admiring it for a brief moment before trotting around the bases to make it 7-1.

The Rockies tacked on three more insurance runs in the seventh with Gerardo Parra’s bases-clearing double, and Miami got a couple unearned back off rookie Yency Almonte in the eighth. Win the win, Colorado (38-38) is playing .500 ball for the first time since June 9.



https://www.denverpost.com/2018/06/22/jon-gray-rockies-dominates-marlins/
Go inside the Colorado Snowsports Museum after $2.6 million modernization

Go inside the Colorado Snowsports Museum after $2.6 million modernization

23/06/2018, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 27055144

VAIL — Over four decades, the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame has undergone two name changes to reflect the evolution of skiing and snowboarding in the state while serving as the steward of its rich history.

This week, it begins a new era, with the unveiling of a $2.6 million modernization that includes new exhibits, historical artifacts and interactive media stations with state-of-the-art features.

The museum, located at the Vail Village Transportation Center, was closed for a year for a complete renovation. The finishing touches were completed Tuesday, and a grand opening with a ribbon-cutting will be held Saturday. Admission is free, as always (donations are encouraged), and daytime parking in the transportation center parking structure is free in the summer.

“The vision was that, for the state of Colorado, which is the epitome of skiing, we needed to lift this to the level that the state would be proud of, that the United States would be proud of,” said Susie Tjossem, executive director of the museum. “It’s been a four-year process of having a vision, doing a feasibility study — Could we raise the money? — having some initial plans done of what the space could be, then pulling the trigger and going for it.”

Condit Exhibits of Denver created the interactive technology; Insight Designs of Boulder produced the graphics.

“We did not want to have a cluttered museum,” Tjossem said, “but there was so much information, so what kind of technology could we get so that somebody could dig deeper?”

One new interactive exhibit allows visitors to view historical photos and artifacts of Colorado ski resorts, including many of the state’s “Lost Resorts” such as St. Mary’s Glacier, Geneva Basin at Guanella Pass and Hidden Valley at Rocky Mountain National Park. Another involves a monitor that slides along a timeline representing decades of the state’s snowsports history. When a visitor moves the monitor over the display devoted to the 1980s, for example, options pop up to delve deeper into the 1989 world alpine championships that were held in Vail, the Olympics of 1980, 1984 and 1988 and Coloradans who competed in them, plus World Cup and World Pro Tour racing in that decade.

New museum artifacts include items taken as spoils of war from Mussolini’s villa at Lake Garda in northern Italy after it was captured in 1945 by 10th Mountain Division troops who trained for mountain warfare at Colorado’s Camp Hale near Leadville. The 10th was best known for routing German positions in the Northern Apennine mountains, and its story is key to Colorado ski history because many veterans of the 10th came home after the war to start ski areas in Colorado and elsewhere.

Also new to the 10th Mountain section of the museum is a German uniform, backpack and skis, which are displayed next to a Japanese Rising Sun flag left behind after an engagement in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.

Other museum additions: a new area highlighting the history of backcountry skiing and snowboarding in Colorado; Mikaela Shiffrin’s Olympic outfit from this year’s PyeongChang Games; and one of Lindsey Vonn’s World Cup racing suits from this past season. The gear worn by Shiffrin and Vonn is part of a display that includes Phil Mahre’s 1981 World Cup overall globe — the first won by an American — and the Olympic medals won by Billy Kidd and Jimmie Heuga in 1964. They were the first Olympic medals won by American men.

Colorado’s repository of snowsports history was created in 1976 as the Colorado Ski Museum and was renamed the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum in 2010. This year, it was rebranded the Colorado Snowsports Museum to highlight the modernization. The museum and hall of fame always have been privately funded and have always been located in Vail.

Since 1977, 224 people have been inducted into the hall of fame, and there are 60 living members. Each of them has an interactive display to tell their story.

Tjossem, whose mother grew up in Leadville, remembers hearing her tell stories about the 10th Mountain soldiers who visited town during their time at Camp Hale. Sometimes Tjossem hears from them or other old-timers when they are nearing the end of their lives.

“They want to say goodbye, because this has meant so much to them,” Tjossem said. “It shocks me, but I am so proud that this is what we represent to them. This place means so much to so many people.”



https://www.denverpost.com/2018/06/22/go-inside-the-colorado-snowsports-museum-after-2-6-million-modernization/
As parts of Colorado face drought, what does that mean for river rafting season?

As parts of Colorado face drought, what does that mean for river rafting season?

23/06/2018, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 27055145

Despite the gloom and doom surrounding drought in parts of Colorado and its impact on recreation, river outfitters say conditions in much of the state are promising as the heart of the summer rafting season approaches.

Northern rivers are running at moderate levels or better and flows are excellent on the Arkansas, which ranks annually as the state’s most rafted river by far. Things are more challenging in the southern part of the state, which has been hit hardest by drought.

“For some outfitters, it’s very good right now,” said David Costlow, executive director of the Colorado River Outfitters Association. “Right now it’s very moderate levels on most of the streams. I talked to an outfitter that’s having a record year so far, another one that’s on track to having a record year. It’s a little bit of a mixed bag, but I think most people are doing quite well.”

The Arkansas, which typically accounts for 35-40 percent of the state’s rafting business, sits in the state’s largest river basin. Southern reaches of that basin had dismal snowfall, which bring down the average for the drainage as a whole, but things were better in its northern reaches to the benefit of prime rafting areas. That was true for other drainages in the north of the state as well.

“It’s definitely a sliding scale when you start at the New Mexico border and go to the Wyoming border,” said Bob Hamel, executive director of the Arkansas River Outfitters Association. “Things get better as you go north.”

In fact, conditions are said to be outstanding on the Cache La Poudre, west of Fort Collins, which could be Colorado’s best bet for rafting this summer.

“We’re the lucky ones in the state,” said Brad Modesitt of Mountain Whitewater, which operates on the Poudre. “It’s had a little bit above average snowpack, and it’s been cranking. We’re doing spectacular. When you hear about all this drought, it’s kind of hurt our business, yet we’re doing great. We should have this water level for another month at least. We have four reservoirs up there that are overflowing right now, so that will help keep the season going.”

Clear Creek west of Denver is the state’s second-busiest stream for rafting, accounting for 15 percent of user days last year, and it’s doing fine.

“It’s running a little below normal, kind of what I dub moderate water levels right now,” said Bruce Becker, owner of Geo Tours. “It’s definitely still a lot of fun. We aren’t experiencing low water as of yet. We are benefiting from the fact that our snowpack was superior to the southern part of the state.”

Zach Khavari of Noah’s Ark Whitewater said all’s well on the Arkansas.

“It hasn’t been bad for business so far,” Khavari said. “We’ve still had great water levels and we’re not in a condition that is extreme, one way or the other. It certainly is lower than it typically is for this time of year, but these are levels we typically will see throughout the course of the summer.”

The Upper Colorado was running low last week, but that had more to do with water management to fill reservoirs than a lack of snowfall or precipitation, and the river rose this week.

“The picture from a week ago to this week on the Upper Colorado is quite different, because releases have started,” said Ryan Barwick of MAD Adventures. “The river is flowing (at) an average flow. In talking to Grand County and the Bureau of Reclamation, everything I’m hearing is, I think we will have consistent average flow this summer. They did capture a lot (of water) early, which is why the river came down. I feel very good about the Upper Colorado. I think we’re going to have an average, healthy year.”

Peak flows from spring snowmelt have come and gone, so most river water now is coming from rain and releases from reservoirs by water managers. Peak flows in the spring offer the most exciting river running, but families typically aren’t looking for white-knuckle whitewater. They want safe, fun floats, and the bulk of family vacation business begins in mid-June and runs into August.

Outfitters also are hopeful that the onset of monsoon season will augment water levels in the coming weeks.

“There are stretches (on the Arkansas) that still are Class IV for the adventurous folks, like the Royal Gorge and The Numbers and Pine Creek,” Hamel said. “There is still some high-adventure type rafting available. That’s the beauty of the Arkansas — we have a lot of everything for beginners, intermediates or advanced all on one river.”

Drought has been extreme in southern Colorado, and the 416 fire has had an impact on tourism in the Durango area, shutting down Purgatory Resort, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and the San Juan National Forest. Rafting is still happening on the Lower Animus for Durango visitors.

“The river is still flowing, and we know how to get down that river at some of the lowest flows navigable,” said David Moler, owner of Durango Rivertripper and Adventure Tours. “We’re not even close to that yet. It’s a perception problem we have, not necessarily a precipitation problem. We’ve got good years and we’ve got great years. This is not one of the great years, it’s still a good year. We were up over last year, in terms of our business, until people report that we’re on fire. Quite the contrary. The extended forecast shows that the monsoons are coming a little earlier (than usual),which is great for everybody.”

News reports about the meager snowpack in parts of the state might have misled the public about prospects for rafting this summer, Costlow said.

“I keep hearing from people, ‘It’s really low,’ ” Costlow said. “Well, where are you talking? Durango, yes. How about the Cache La Poudre, it’s average, and average isn’t low. How about the Upper Colorado? It was close to average …The Cache La Poudre, they know they’re going to raft their normal season. Same with the Colorado, the Colorado is going to raft its normal season. The Arkansas, by all indications, is going to raft its normal season.”

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https://www.denverpost.com/2018/06/22/as-parts-of-colorado-face-drought-what-does-that-mean-for-river-rafting-season/
Examining the health risk of Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr.: “I have little doubt that we’ll get

Examining the health risk of Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr.: “I have little doubt that we’ll get

23/06/2018, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 27055014

Josh Kroenke flew in from Las Vegas Thursday morning following the NHL’s annual awards banquet the night before and arrived at the Nuggets’ team offices for the final stages of draft prep. His staff then dropped this bombshell of a prediction for their No. 14 overall pick.

“The first thing out of their mouths was, ‘We need to talk about Michael Porter. He might be there.’” Kroenke recalled. “I think the word I said back to them was, ‘Seriously?’”

Thus began a mad dash to answer a hypothetical question which become a reality, the drafting of Porter, who slid all the way to Denver. The fulfillment of Porter’s huge potential hinges on his ongoing recovery from back surgery last winter – known as an L3-L4 microdiscectomy to repair a herniated disk in the lower spine which resulted in inflamed nerves capable of causing severe spine, hip and leg pain/numbness. That injury kept Porter sidelined for all but 53 total game minutes as a Missouri freshman and gave NBA teams pause.

“I have little doubt that we’ll get him right,” Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly said Friday.

Here’s why the Nuggets are confident.

“We poured over the medical records again,” Kroenke said Friday, “and had our doctors there.”

“We had quite a bit of information at our fingertips and we kind of vet as much as you can and make an informed decision,” Connelly added. “Is it well worth the risk? Will he return to the level of play he was prior to injury? We feel good about that.”

Many things are still unclear, however. Connelly, citing a lack of medical expertise, declined to give an exact diagnosis for what scared off 13 other teams, but those concerns stemmed from the long-term outlook of Porter’s health after surgery and then later hip spasms, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. Although Porter called the minor hip issue unrelated leading up to the draft.

Porter doubled down in his Friday introduction to local media.

“I don’t expect health to be an issue down the road,” he said.

Porter had just arrived in Denver at the time of the news conference Friday and while he had not yet met with Nuggets’ medical or athletic training staff since his arrival from the draft in New York, it was top of mind. Connelly said the Nuggets will again reach out to professionals who worked with Porter in the past to verify data and best plan his next steps to get healthy.

“That’s what I’m really looking forward to,” Porter said, ” … working as hard as I can every day to come back 150 percent.”

Will he be ready as soon as summer league?

“That’s up to coach,” Porter said. “I could play, but I could be even healthier.”

The only thing that’s certain is Denver won’t rush Porter back into action.

“The key is communication and certainly letting the player know that we have his best interests at hand,” Connelly said. “It’s his body, ultimately, and there is no better expert on his body than Michael.”

“We encourage (players) to be open and honest about how they’re feeling,” Kroenke added, “because we want to do right by them.”

The recovery rate for those who have microdiscectomy surgery such as Porter “demonstrate greater than 90-96% good or excellent results,” according to the University of Southern California Spine Center. However, the general population doesn’t put nearly the amount of stress on their body as an NBA player. And fluid athleticism is among the 6-foot-10 forward’s greatest basketball traits. Charla Fischer, a spine surgeon at NYU Langone Health, told SB Nation: “There’s re-herniation rates of 10-to-12 percent over the next 5-to-10 years.”

“I know I can be one of the best players in this league,” Porter said. “It’s up to me to reach that potential.”

A clear bill of health will require dedication, patience and a complete organizational trust in the Nuggets’ medical team.

“Whether that’s getting him ready to play next week or next year remains to be seen,” Kroenke said. “But we’re all going to huddle up with our training staff to our coaching staff to our front office and all the way up to ownership — we all had to be in sync with a decision like that.”



https://www.denverpost.com/2018/06/22/denver-nuggets-michael-porter-jr-nba-draft-surgery-rehab/
Information on the Rockies’ 25th anniversary celebration on Saturday against the Marlins

Information on the Rockies’ 25th anniversary celebration on Saturday against the Marlins

23/06/2018, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 27055015

The boys are back in town. Well, most of them anyways.

The Rockies are honoring their All-Time 25 team with a number of events and giveaways this weekend, starting with the club’s 25th Anniversary Photo Day on Saturday.

Prior to Saturday’s 1:10 p.m. game against the Marlins — the other 1993 major league expansion team — fans can enter gates A, D and E starting at 10:15 a.m. Photo opportunities begin at 10:30 on the warning track, where fans can pose with past and present All-Time 25 players.

Alumni batting practice follows at 11:30, succeeded by a special pregame ceremony at 12:40. And for the first 15,000 fans for both games this weekend, the giveaways are a replica jersey (Saturday) and a Blake Street Bomber T-shirt (Sunday, another 1:10 start).

The All-Time 25 team, voted on by the fans and revealed in December, features five current Rockies in catcher Chris Iannetta, third baseman Nolan Arenado, second baseman DJ LeMahieu and outfielders Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez.

Those players are scheduled to be present for Saturday’s photo day, in addition to former stars Pedro Astacio, Ellis Burks, Vinny Castilla, Aaron Cook, Jeff Francis, Todd Helton, Huston Street, Yorvit Torrealba and Larry Walker.



https://www.denverpost.com/2018/06/22/information-rockies-25th-anniversary-celebration/
Journal: Considering Ian Desmond’s surge — and with his numbers in perspective — has the Rocki

Journal: Considering Ian Desmond’s surge — and with his numbers in perspective — has the Rocki

23/06/2018, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 27054868

It’s safe to say first baseman Ian Desmond, the Rockies’ highest-paid player at $22 million, hasn’t exactly been welcomed with open arms by the Coors Field faithful. Injuries derailed his 2017 season, and this year he limped into May hitting a paltry .178, striking out with abandon and often looking overmatched in the box.

But the numbers don’t lie: Desmond is starting to come around at the plate, as evidenced by his monthly splits. A .154 April average turned to .215 in May, and the 32-year-old is hitting .267 so far in June.

And even with a career-low average through Thursday at .213, Desmond’s power numbers rank toward the top of the National League. He’s tied for seventh in homers at 15, second on the Rockies to Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado (16), and has driven in 42 runs — third on Colorado and tied for 14th in the league.

So, when considering Desmond’s recent surge, the disappointment surrounding his performance partially alleviates — especially when comparing him to a player with similar numbers and salary.

Take Nationals’ outfielder Bryce Harper, for instance.

With a salary of $21.62 million, the 25-year-old is making slightly less than what Desmond is making, and he’s put up virtually identical stats. Harper has the same average, .213, and four more homers and three more RBIs; the players have also struck out the exact same amount — 72 times. And defensively, Desmond’s statistically superior, with a WAR of -0.7 compared to Harper’s -1.0.

Desmond is still much on the fringe of being accepted in Colorado — the Twittersphere widely reviles him, and those wearing No. 20 jerseys in the ballpark often draw skeptical looks — while longtime fan favorite Harper, based off the latest voting update, is on his way to being a starter in the all-star game.

In light of the Desmond and Harper comparison, I asked Rockies manager Bud Black if he thought fans had given Desmond an unfair shake even when considering his icy start offensively.

Black pondered it for a long moment, and then answered with a telling non-answer.

“You know, Harper’s a good player,” he said. “He’ll probably make the all-star team, don’t you think?”

Desmond’s on-base percentage continues to improve as well; his .430 mark in that category since May 27 ranks fourth in the N.L. He also drew six walks across the final two games of the Mets series, a further indication to Black that Desmond’s approach is fine-tuning toward midseason form.

“On his swings, he hasn’t been fooled very often in the last few weeks,” Black said. “With that, even the tough, borderline pitches — when he’s seeing it and starts to fire — he’s checking his swing. That’s a good sign the at-bats are where you want them to be.”

For his part, Desmond explained the June surge as “the weather’s warming up and the fish are biting,” although it’s more likely due to a perseverance through, and trust in, the approach that has gotten the three-time Silver Slugger to this point in his career.

“I’ve always been confident — I believed in what I was doing and I believed in the process,” Desmond said. “Sometimes the confidence comes at your weakest points, so you’ve got to believe in what you do, you’ve got to stick with it and don’t waver. I feel like I’ve done a good job of sticking with that process and sticking with my routine, and continuing to trust it. It’s starting to pay dividends.”

Footnotes. Black said left-hander Mike Dunn and right-hander Scott Oberg are both headed out on rehab assignments Saturday with Triple-A Albuquerque for a game in Fresno, Calif. Oberg, placed on the disabled list June 10 with a back strain, threw a simulated game at Coors Field on Tuesday. Dunn, placed on the disabled list two days prior to Oberg with a left rhomboid strain, threw one on Wednesday.


Looking ahead

Colorado Rockies' Tyler Anderson pitches during ...
Matt Slocum, The Associated Press
Colorado Rockies’ Tyler Anderson pitches during the third inning of the team’s baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Philadelphia.

Marlins RHP Trevor Richards (1-4, 5.45 ERA) at Rockies LHP Tyler Anderson (4-2, 4.52), 1:10 p.m., ATTRM

Richards got lit up in his last start in Baltimore last week, his shortest outing of the season in which he gave up six runs on nine hits in 3.1 innings. The right-hander has never faced anyone on the Colorado roster in the big leagues, and only two of his eight starts this season have been quality starts as he also sports a 7.40 road ERA. Meanwhile, Anderson yielded his fourth multi-homer game of 2018 in Monday’s loss to the Mets. The southpaw’s last start against the Marlins on April 27 in Miami was cut short in the second inning because he was light-headed and short of breath.

Sunday: Marlins LHP Caleb Smith, (5-6, 4.03) at Rockies German Marquez (5-7, 5.20), 1:10 p.m.; ATTRM

Monday: Off-day

Tuesday: Rockies RHP Chad Bettis (5-1, 5.23) at Giants LHP Derek Hollan (5-7, 4.48), 8:15 p.m., ATTRM

Wednesday: Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (7-6, 3.55) at Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner (1-2, 3.20), 8:15 p.m., ATTRM



https://www.denverpost.com/2018/06/22/rockies-journal-ian-desmond-offensive-surge/
Avalanche has acquired goaltender Philipp Grubauer, defenseman Brooks Orpik from Washington Capitals

Avalanche has acquired goaltender Philipp Grubauer, defenseman Brooks Orpik from Washington Capitals

23/06/2018, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 27054699

The Avalanche, shortly before the start of the first round of the NHL draft Friday, acquired goaltender Philipp Grubauer and defenseman Brooks Orpik from the Washington Capitals in exchange for Colorado’s second-round pick (No. 47 overall).

German-born Grubauer, 26, is in need of a contract as a restricted free agent. He made $1.5 million last season. He was the starting goalie for the Caps to begin the playoffs. Washington went on to win the Stanley Cup behind goalie Brayden Holtby.

Orpik, 37, appears to be a salary-dump throw-in to the deal. He is under contract at $5.5 million next season before eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.

The Avs still have a second-round pick Saturday. They acquired Nashville’s second-rounder (No. 58 overall) for the Nov. 5 three-team deal that sent Matt Duchene to Ottawa.



https://www.denverpost.com/2018/06/22/avalanche-acquired-goaltender-philipp-grubauer-defenseman-brooks-orpik/
Avalanche acquires goalie Philipp Grubauer from Washington, select right wing Martin Kaut with 16th

Avalanche acquires goalie Philipp Grubauer from Washington, select right wing Martin Kaut with 16th

23/06/2018, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 27055269

Shortly before the start of the first round of the NHL draft Friday, the Avalanche acquired a possible No. 1 goalie for next season and beyond.

Colorado sent its second-round pick (No. 47 overall) to the Washington Capitals for goaltender Philipp Grubauer and defenseman Brooks Orpik, the latter of whom is likely a throw-in to complete the deal.

The Avs, who went on to select Czech Republic winger Martin Kaut with their first-round pick (16th overall), still have a second-round selection Saturday for Rounds 2-7 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. They acquired Nashville’s second-rounder (No. 58 overall) for the Nov. 5 three-team deal that sent Matt Duchene to Ottawa.

As part of the Duchene trade, Colorado acquired Ottawa’s top-10 protected first-round pick this year, but the Senators used the fourth overall choice — meaning the Avs will now get the Sens’ 2019 first-round pick, regardless of position.

The addition of Grubauer gives the Avs a No. 1A option along with the oft-injured Semyon Varlamov, who also was acquired from Washington (in 2011). And the move means the Colorado won’t re-sign pending unrestricted free agent Jonathan Bernier.

German-born Grubauer, 26, is in need of a contract as a restricted free agent. He made $1.5 million last season. He was the starting goalie for the Caps to begin the playoffs but the team turned to Braden Holtby the rest of the way in winning the Stanley Cup.

Grubauer, who made $1.5 million last season, appeared in 35 games, posting a 2.35 goals-against average and .923 save percent. Holtby’s numbers were 2.99 and .907, respectively.

Varlamov will make $5.9 million next season before being eligible for free agency.

Orpik, 37, appears to be a salary-dump throw-in to the deal. He is under contract at $5.5 million next season before eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.

Kaut, 18, had just nine goals and 16 points in 38 games for Pardubice of the Czech league last season. But he was ranked fourth among European draft-eligible forwards and defensemen. He is a 6-foot-2, 176-pound right-shot right winger.

 



https://www.denverpost.com/2018/06/22/avalanche-acquired-goaltender-philipp-grubauer-defenseman-brooks-orpik/
Avalanche acquires goalie Philipp Grubauer from Washington, selects right wing Martin Kaut with 16th

Avalanche acquires goalie Philipp Grubauer from Washington, selects right wing Martin Kaut with 16th

23/06/2018, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 27055685

Shortly before the start of the first round of the NHL draft Friday, the Avalanche acquired a possible No. 1 goalie for next season and beyond.

Colorado sent its second-round pick (No. 47 overall) to the Washington Capitals for goaltender Philipp Grubauer and defenseman Brooks Orpik — the latter of whom was a throw-in to complete the deal and will be traded or bought out, Avs’ general manager Joe Sakic said.

The Avs, who went on to select Czech Republic winger Martin Kaut with their first-round pick (16th overall), still have a second-round selection Saturday for Rounds 2-7 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. They acquired Nashville’s second-rounder (No. 58 overall) for the Nov. 5 three-team deal that sent Matt Duchene to Ottawa.

As part of the Duchene trade, Colorado acquired Ottawa’s top-10 protected first-round pick this year, but the Senators used the fourth overall choice — meaning the Avs will now get the Senators’ 2019 first-round pick, regardless of position.

“No surprise there at all,” Sakic said of Ottawa keeping the fourth pick to select Boston University forward Brady Tkachuk. “It was a great pick and they got a heck of a player.”

The addition of Grubauer gives the Avs a No. 1A option along with the oft-injured Semyon Varlamov, who also was acquired from Washington, in 2011. And the move means the Colorado won’t re-sign pending unrestricted free agent Jonathan Bernier.

“We really feel you need two really good goaltenders, and we like where Grubauer is; he’s just coming into his prime,” Sakic said.

German-born Grubauer, 26, is in need of a contract as a restricted free agent. He made $1.5 million last season. He was the starting goalie for the Caps to begin the playoffs but the team turned to Braden Holtby the rest of the way in winning the Stanley Cup.

Grubauer appeared in 35 games, posting a 2.35 goals-against average and .923 save percent. Holtby’s numbers were 2.99 and .907, respectively.

“We’re certain we’re going to get something done, and it will be done shortly — at some point in the next few days,” Sakic said of signing Grubauer.

Varlamov will make $5.9 million next season before being eligible for free agency.

Orpik, 37, is under contract at $5.5 million next season before eligible to become an unrestricted free agent. “We gave up a second-round pick, a good pick, but we felt to take (Orpik) and give (Washington) cap relief, we wouldn’t have to pay as much of a premium,” Sakic said. “I talked to him and the plan is to see if we can maybe move him here or buy him out.”

Kaut, 18, had just nine goals and 16 points in 38 games for Pardubice of the Czech league last season. But he was ranked fourth among European draft-eligible forwards and defensemen. He is a 6-foot-2, 176-pound, right-shot right winger who attended the recent NHL combine in Buffalo but was not permitted to participate in drills and testing because of a congenital heart condition on his medical screenings. The heart condition is not expected to derail his hockey career.

“Everything checked out. No issues at all. No worries,” Sakic said.

Kaut represented his country at the 2018 World Junior Championship in Buffalo, and the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in which the Czech Republic won the gold medal.

“We’re really excited about this player. He’s a powerful skater, he’s got a great shot — he’s a goal-scorer and he knows where to go in the right areas. He plays hard all over the ice,” Sakic said.

At 16th overall, Kaut is the second-highest-drafted Czech-born player in Avalanche history. Forward Vaclav Nedorost went 14th in 2000 but played in just 67 career games for Colorado, and only 99 in his NHL career.

 



https://www.denverpost.com/2018/06/22/avalanche-acquired-goaltender-philipp-grubauer-defenseman-brooks-orpik/
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