We’re nearly a month shy of full-fledged NHL training camps, and Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie is still unsigned … More on that below.

Good to see the Avalanche return to DU’s Magness Arena for the Burgundy/White intrasquad scrimmage next month. No such thing as a bad seat at Magness Arena.

Remember Kevin Hayes, the Boston College standout who ate the Denver Pioneers alive in March (two goals, four points, seven shots, plus-5 in 6-2 NCAA Tournament victory)? Hayes will follow previous NCAA stars such as Blake Wheeler and Justin Schultz and become a NHL unrestricted free agent before making his pro debut. The Chicago Blackhawks selected Hayes 24th overall in 2010 and had four years to sign him. Hayes, who had 27 goals and 65 points in 40 games as a senior, declined the Hawks’ offer and is officially UFA on Saturday. Chicago gets a compensatory draft pick (No. 54 in 2015).

Is the Avalanche interested in the 6-foot-3 Hayes? Sure, why not? Hayes is going to sign a two-way, $900,000-some entry-level contract wherever he goes, so he isn’t a cap killer. The Avs don’t have much cap space but Hayes, 22, is considered a hot commodity with his size and skill. I’ve read that Colorado and Nashville are in the picture, along with Florida, Calgary, Boston and the New York Rangers. Hayes is from Boston and obviously grew up a Bruins fan, he has a brother playing for the Panthers, his BC linemates Bill Arnold and Johnny Gaudreau are Flames draftees … don’t know where that leaves Colorado, which has selected just two NCAA players — defensemen Will Butcher and Ben Storm — in the last four drafts. But Hayes should be under contract by somebody by the end of the weekend.

Tyson Barrie, meanwhile, is understandably making some Avs fans nervous about his contract negotiations with the club. Perhaps those worries are justified. I’m guessing that Barrie, a restricted free agent, likely wants a two-year bridge deal worth $4.5 to $7 million and the maybe the Avs still compare him to draft classmate Stefan Elliott (who recently signed a one-year, $850,500 deal). Elliott was selected 15 spots before Barrie, made his NHL debut before Barrie … Difference is, Barrie played 64 NHL games last season to Elliott’s one.