"It was awesome. I think I speak for all the guys when I say that. That warms our hearts to see that they’re still going to come out here, you know, support us," he said. "We’re going to play our hearts out for them. We’re trying to have fun out there to show them we’re happy to be back."
The Avs fans might be back, but it’s not clear how the rest of the league’s fans will react. Landeskog said the NHL now just needs to look forward.
"We’ve gone through what we’ve gone through. I think it’s going to benefit the game in the future. It’s going to benefit fans that the game is going to get better and especially benefit young players coming into the league."
If they clear waivers at noon on Thursday, their teams can offer them a compliance buyout. The players would have to agree in writing by Friday and would become unrestricted free agents.
The 29-year-old even laughed Wednesday after a scrimmage when asked if President Vladimir Putin offered him a lot of money to stay in Russia.
"That's not true," Kovalchuk said. "I'm sure he's got some other stuff to take care of. I had a great time there, we have a good team, but I have a contract here and I'm happy I'm back because I think the lockout's ended and it's great for all hockey, especially for the guys who weren't able to play and waiting and practicing here. I'm happy we're all back and it will be an exciting season."
The Leafs had an injury in training camp.
Television cameras raced across the room to stake out ground in front of Mike Komisarek. He must have had an inkling about his sudden popularity, especially since it was his shot that sent a teammate to the hospital Tuesday, but he still smiled and feigned ignorance: "I can’t be that exciting."
Earlier in the day, the Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman fired a shot that struck teammate James van Riemsdyk in the foot, sending him limping to the dressing room, and then to a Toronto hospital for X-Rays. It turned out to be a bruise, and not a break.