Always an interesting part of the offseason. The Colorado Avalanche, like many other teams today, spoke to the media to update everyone on the status of their team, and what to expect going forward.
Head coach Jared Bednar did the majority of speaking today, giving some key injury updates among other things.
The most notable piece of news from today was Bednar announcing that Cale Makar’s defence partner Devon Toews is set to miss the start of the regular season. He will be sidelined due to an early offseason shoulder surgery that he is still recovering from. While he has been skating and will be a participant in training camp, he has not been cleared for contact yet. It is also worth noting that there is no exact timetable for when Toews will return, but he is expected to miss “a few games”.
Some lineup ideas were shared today as well by Bednar, and a lot of it has to do with the youth. To start, he confirmed what most of us thought already, which is that Darcy Kuemper will be relied on as the number one goalie, with Pavel Francouz backing him up. However, Bednar stated that he wants to “play the rested goalie and ride the hot goalie.” The head coach also stated that 20-year-old Alex Newhook will get a chance in the top-six, and that it will be up to him to prove himself. Bednar fully expects other youngsters in Martin Kaut and Shane Bowers to have an impressive training camp, saying the latter looks faster and “more poised”. Bednar also mentions that with the absence of Toews, there could be a slot for Bowen Byram to slide into, specifically in the top-four. Bednar also mentioned that new defence acquisition Kurtis MacDermid could eventually become a left winger if he is needed, but will start the season as a defenceman.
To top off this pressing, Bednar said that “the guys” have all received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, although they are technically not 100% vaccinated due to the shot not having immediate effect when received. They should be 100% vaccinated by the season’s start.
The regular season is nearly upon us.