Landeskog Unlikely To Start Season On Time For Avalanche

Today was day one of the Colorado Avalanche training camp, which means one thing… HOCKEY IS BACK! We started out with mostly the veterans in the first group. There were a few absences, however, for various reasons. Coach Jared Bednar later stated that Gabriel Landeskog is dealing with a lower body injury and that he may be lucky to see any preseason action this year – and unlikely to start the regular season on time.

That was probably the biggest and most unwelcome news on a day where there were otherwise a lot of smiles around the Family Sports Center, and why not? This is a defending Stanley Cup championship team now. Other guys who weren’t here on opening day included:

Josh Manson, whose wife is having a baby. He could be back as soon as tomorrow. Val Nichuskin is due to skate on his own tomorrow while Darren Helm did today in a non contact sweater.

There is some added pressure on Alex Newhook this season as he fights for his role on the team. He let it show today as he was being physical in the corners and skating hard to the puck the whole time. His main competition in Evan Rodrigues, was on the same line and coach Bednar even said “I liked him a lot today and that he will be a nice addition.”

Landeskog’s issue may be with the same knee he had operated on late last season, but that is not confirmed. Remember, Landeskog rarely practiced in the playoffs, and it most likely had to do with that knee. Still, Landeskog played great in the postseason, which is why he and other Avalanche teammates will be sporting new diamond-studded baubles soon enough. Landeskog didn’t seem fazed by much of anything when he met the media on Wednesday.

Both Rodrigues and Newhook were on the same line, with Newhook as the center. In previous days, Rodrigues has shown that he can keep up with Nathan MacKinnon and that some chemistry was starting to form already. Newhook said that he “has kept the same mindset in his training and thinks he is mentally ready” to take on the role of second line center.

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Nathan MacKinnon was showing his usual flare with the puck and on the skates. MacKinnon has been in town for a couple of weeks already skating with a lot of the team, but this was the first formal skate for him. There were a lot of plays that he was big bodied and pushing the defender off of him in open ice.

The coaches on a few drills were concentrating on body contact and it seemed like Mackinnon was having some fun pushing people around. They definitely weren’t wasting their time getting the players back into shape for the season at all. When asked if he felt there was less pressure on him and the team this year, “I don’t know. I don’t think. We only focus on what is going on in this room. I don’t know what pressure we were getting or not. We can’t control what everyone says. We just want to win another Cup, that’s our goal.”

Group Two consisted of mostly Colorado Eagles players so the drill was more to test their skill set. Charles Hudon, who signed with the Colorado Avalanche organization over the summer, was told by coach Bednar to be a standout. He plays a game very similar to Logan O’Connor, with a lot of back checking and checking on the opposing team. It showed in some of the drills today as he was physical in the corners a lot trying to earn his place on the team. he will likely be a top six forward in Loveland and a potential call-up to Denver when needed.

Overall. it was a hectic day for the players and the media alike. Today was the first time that any media members were allowed in the locker rooms to interview players since March 2020. This means that we will be able to bring you a little more varied coverage of your favorite team! I will be able to talk to a variety of players instead of having just one or two sat down in front of me. This is going to be an exciting season for you and me. I look forward to covering the best team in the NHL for you all!!

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