No Avalanche practice today. The guys will skate at 9:30 a.m. Sunday to prepare for an evening game against the Tampa Bay Lighting. Avs D Erik Johnson will be back in the fold after serving his two-game suspension for slashing. Former University of Denver coach George Gwozdecky makes his homecoming tonight/Sunday. Gwozdecky is a TB assistant coach under Jon Cooper, 46, who used to feed Gwozdecky some players from the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League, which is North America’s premier Tier I junior-A loop. Interesting story there. Cooper left Green Bay in 2010 for a job in the American Hockey League and was eventually replaced by one of Gwozdecky’s proteges, Derek Lalonde — a k a Newsy — who is still with Green Bay and recently allowed one of his assistants, David Carle, to bolt to DU mid-season for the No. 2 assistant role under Jim Montgomery. Carle is the former DU recruit/NHL prospect who had to retire from playing because of a serious heart disease, but Gwozdecky honored his scholarship and laid the foundation to become a terrific coach. Carle is the younger brother of Tampa Bay defenseman Matt Carle, the former DU standout who became the school’s first Hobey Baker Award winner in 2006. David Carle, 24, was a late-round draft pick by the Lightning in 2008, after his heart disease was diagnosed and his name was erased from the draft board. In a show of compassion, the Lightning still made Carle an NHL draft pick, at 203rd overall. He was tabbed as a possible first-rounder before combine doctors likely saved his life.
Avalanche defenseman Johnson set to return against Lightning
Denver Post | Mar 2