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Nikita Zadorov to be a healthy scratch to start the season

Big Z will be watching the season opener from the press box at MSG

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Welp, the regular season hasn’t even started yet and the Colorado Avalanche are already looking like a team with more questions than answers. Just as we thought the lineup was settled, head coach Jared Bednar throws us a curveball.

This is an odd move on so many levels. It means that the Avs will have all of Patrik Nemeth, Chris Bigras and Andrei Mironov in the lineup on opening night. That’s a guy who has had one practice with the team, a 22-year old that spent all of last season in the AHL and a rookie who has never played outside of the KHL.

A month ago, Avs fans were worried that the team would have to start the season without Zadorov because he didn’t have a contract - it’s unlikely anyone expected this.

Though it’s a bit of a shock, there were hints that the coaching staff wasn’t happy with Zadorov missing time at the start of training camp. Bednar mentioned last week that the defender "put himself behind the eight ball" by reporting later than his teammates.

The question now becomes, how long will Z be out of the lineup. I suspect we will see him in his rightful spot this weekend in Boston.

Here is Bednar’s comments about the Avs defense group going into the game tonight. (please excuse the apparent inability for Chamber to post a video)