Thin system gets even thinner
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Not a whole lot of news has come out of the Avalanche since the season ended a month ago.
The already-thin minor-league system has gotten weaker with the loss of four players -- left wing Dennis Everberg, center Joey Hishon, defenseman Maxim Noreau and goalie Roman Will -- all of whom have signed to play overseas.
Frankly, none of them had a future with the Avalanche, though I would have liked to have seen Hishon get more of an opportunity after being a first-round pick (No. 17) in the 2010 NHL draft. He has signed a two-year contract with Jokerit Helsinki in the KHL.
Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy weren't exactly big fans of Hishon, a skilled but small (5-10, 178) forward who was a surprise early pick of then chief amateur scout Rick Pracey. A serious head injury caused Hishon to miss the entire 2011-12 season and all but nine games in 2012-13.
Hishon, 24, had one assist in three playoff games against Minnesota in 2014, and one goal and one assist in 13 regular-season games with the Avalanche in 2014-15. He had 14 goals and 29 assists in 62 games with San Antonio of the AHL this past season when he was never recalled by Colorado.
Everberg, 24, has signed a two-year deal with the Vaxjo Lakers in Switzerland; Noreau, 28, with SC Bern in Switzerland; and Will, 24, with Bili Tygri Liberec in the Czech Republic.
Everberg didn't have a point in 15 Avalanche games this past season, with 15 goals and 25 assists in 54 games with the Rampage.
Noreau had 12 goals and 33 assists in 64 games with San Antonio. Will went 10-13-3 with a 3.42 goals-against average and .896 save percentage with the Rampage.
The Avalanche haven't yet hired a San Antonio coach to replace Dean Chynoweth, who was fired after the Rampage missed the playoffs in their first season as the NHL team's top affiliate. The Lake Erie Monsters also missed the playoffs under Chynoweth the three previous seasons.
Probably coincidence, but Chynoweth was given his pink slip shortly after forward Borna Rendulic was highly critical of the Rampage's coaching staff during an interview with Eurolanche, the Avalanche's European fan club.
The Avalanche aren't expected to re-sign defenseman Duncan Siemens, another Pracey first-round pick (No. 11 in 2011).