Day one of Colorado Avalanche training camp marked the start of the hockey season for the main NHL guys and several AHL players as well. However, it already came with some consequences and mid-season form of injuries coming into camp with the absences of stars like Cale Makar.
Avs injuries, per Bednar.— Evan Rawal (@evanrawal) September 20, 2023
Cogliano will participate in camp, likely won't play preseason.
Manson will skate tomorrow, not 100% though.
Francouz lower body, won't skate
Makar won't start camp, he's considered day to day
Wagner ruptured achilles
Foudy not cleared yet
Furthermore, Josh Manson didn’t start with the main group at camp before joining later on. Besides the names above, everybody else did eventually skate. Different from last season, there was a good mix of NHL and AHL-caliber players together rather than separating them. This gave the groups some unique combinations you’ll only see in the preseason.
After a goaltending warmup with Alexandar Georgiev and Justus Annunen, it was all business. Jared Bednar took the wheel and demanded a lot from his players. He pounded the ice on multiple occasions, calling out plays and letting guys hear it both in a positive and negative way.
The mentality of this team is very important and crucial to watch heading into the start of the season after last season’s first-round exit. It’s safe to say the energy was high Thursday, but will it stick around for the rest of camp and into the start of the season?
There is a ton of energy at camp right now. Lots of Jared Bednar slamming his stick on the ice, calling out plays and riling his team up.— Mile High Hockey (@MileHighHockey) September 21, 2023
He looks fired up. The mentality of getting this team back to the Stanley Cup Final looks real out there #GoAvsGo
Something key to note was the departure of Nathan MacKinnon early from the first group of camp. He went off the ice just fine and didn’t seem to be in any noticeable pain, leaving more uncertainty about his status and sending Avs fans into a short frenzy.
Luckily, it is important to note Friday night he gets his number retired by the Halifax Mooseheads, his junior team. He left early to get to Halifax for the occasion while getting in the work he needed to do Thursday, as he will be missing at least Friday of camp, if not Saturday as well.
In the second group of training camp, we saw the first glimpse of Valeri Nichushkin working on drills in an organized setting since his quick departure from the team in the middle of the series against the Seattle Kraken. The media will hear from him for the first time at the conclusion of day one to see if there is any more information about what happened in that hotel room and get some closure surrounding the situation.
Most of the second group was filled with AHL-caliber players, which called for a lot more teaching from Bednar. Even 13-year veterans listened with closeness, trying to learn more and get better as the season approached.
Jared Bednar doing some specific coaching with the defensemen, with Brad Hunt intently listening. Even at 35 years old entering his 13th year in the league, still plenty to learn and improve #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/YpXAUqROh9— Mile High Hockey (@MileHighHockey) September 21, 2023
The pleasant surprise was seeing Andrew Cogliano doing well. He already likely won’t play in the preseason still recovering from his broken neck injury from the playoffs, but is preparing to start the regular season.
All things considered, he looked like a full participant even with the red non-contact jersey. He looked solid as well, only helping his case of trying to return at the start of the regular season.
Despite being in a red non-contact jersey, Andrew Cogliano looks no worse for wear. He likely won’t play in any preseason games, as he prepares to be healthy for the start of the regular season #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/gGcDtworWf— Mile High Hockey (@MileHighHockey) September 21, 2023
Overall, it was a solid first day of camp as hockey is well and truly here, with the first preseason game coming up in just a few days. Stick around for more coverage from the ice in the remaining two days of training camp.