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TORONTO (AP) The Toronto Maple Leafs have taken another step
in shuffling their front office.Following the elevation of Kyle Dubas to general
manager this month Womens
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, assistant general manager Mark Hunter and
senior adviser Lou Lamoriello are now gone.Toronto announced Tuesday that Hunter
and the club had agreed to part. Less than an hour later, the New York Islanders
confirmed Lamoriello as their president of hockey operations.The 75-year-old
Lamoriello won three Stanley Cups with New Jersey when he their general manager
and president of hockey operations from 1987 to 2015. He recently shifted to his
adviser role with Toronto after three years as its GM.Hunter, who played for
five NHL teams, was seen as a candidate for the Toronto GM job that eventually
went to the 31-year-old Dubas this month.Hunter joined the Maple Leafs as
player-personnel director in 2014 before being elevated to assistant general
manager in 2016, sharing the role with Dubas.Hunter helped build the Ontario
Hockey League’s London Knights and is credited with improving the game of
Toronto center Nazem Kadri.With Lamoriello and Hunter now out the door, Dubas
will get an opportunity to shape his own front office. DENVER (AP) Semyon
Varlamov stopped everything – including a hard-crashing Chicago player late in
the third period.Only, the collision took its toll: sending the Colorado
goaltender flying into the net and knocking him out of the game.Varlamov stopped
30 shots before leaving with an apparent injury, and the Avalanche continued
their playoff push with a 5-0 victory over the Blackhawks on Friday
night.Colorado coach Jared Bednar had no update on Varlamov’s status after the
victory.Varlamov was cruising along until Blackhawks forward Tomas Jurco tumbled
into his left pad with 6:25 remaining. Varlamov was looked at by trainers before
Jonathan Bernier skated in to finish the game.Bernier, who stopped three shots,
and Varlamov combined for the first team shutout in franchise history, according
to the Avalanche.Losing Varlamov – who has a history of groin issues – would be
a blow for an Avalanche squad that remains in contention a season after
finishing with a league-worst 48 points.”Varly keeps us in it for a while and
then we get our legs going Radek Faksa
,” Bednar said. ”We have to take care of our business.
That’s all we can do.”Collin Delia stopped 31 shots for last-place Chicago. He
made his NHL debut the night before, but left in the third due to cramps. That
opened the door for Scott Foster, a 36-year-old accountant who made an emergency
appearance and became an instant feel-good story.Delia was impressed by the
speed of the Avalanche, whose scoring attack was led by Sven Andrighetto’s two
goals . Tyson Barrie, Mikko Rantanen and Tyson Jost also scored.”Very skilled,”
Delia said. ”It’s good for me to get in there and see that, see a dominant team
like them, how they move the puck.”Colorado converted each of its three power
plays. Rantanen’s goal with the man advantage in the third came off a feed from
Nathan MacKinnon, who now has 93 points. It’s the most by an Avalanche player
since Joe Sakic had 100 in 2006-07.Barrie gave the Avalanche a 2-0 lead at 8:14
of the second period with a shot near the blue line. Barrie then saved a
potential goal minutes later when he swatted away a puck that had trickled
through the pads of Varlamov, who was back in net after missing a game with an
illness.”It was probably my fault that the puck was even that close to the goal
line,” Barrie said. ”So Authentic
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, it’s fortunate that I could get a stick on
it a couple of times.”Andrighetto scored the game’s first goal on a power play
late in the first period. He skated in, split two defensemen and lifted a shot
over Delia for his first goal since Dec. 23 at Arizona. He has missed a total of
31 games this season with what’s been termed by the team as a lower-body
injury.”Definitely a big win for us and we’ve got to keep that going,”
Andrighetto said.Chicago called up goaltender J-F Berube on the heels of
Foster’s appearance against Winnipeg on Thursday. Foster was summoned into
action when starter Anton Forsberg was hurt during pregame and Delia, who was
just recalled from the minors, went out with cramps.The NHL adjusted its rules
last summer to mandate that teams have an emergency goalie present for all home
games ready to fill in for either side. Foster, a former goaltender at Western
Michigan University, stopped all seven shots.Foster made an immediate
impression.”What are the chances that someone else ever gets to do that again?”
Delia said. ”It was good for him and the boys really rallied around him.”NOTES:
Blackhawks D Blake Hillman made his NHL debut. He recently signed a two-year
deal with the team after playing down the road at the University of Denver. …
Bernier is quickly mending after suffering a cut on his finger that became
infected. ”It was pretty bad,” Bernier said. ”Lucky enough, didn’t need
surgery.” … Avalanche D Erik Johnson was a late scratch with a lower-body
injury. … It was the Avalanche’s 27th home win, which is tied for second-most in
franchise history.UP NEXTBlackhawks: At St. Louis on Wednesday.Avalanche: Start
a three-game trip Sunday in Anaheim.—
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