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Reflections on a Dystopian day of Avalanche training camp coverage



What was it like to be in an arena where everybody who was present at Avalanche training camp had to have undergone a temperature check (I checked in at 97.5, with the maximum allowed before you’re denied entry at 102) and signed a waiver essentially saying you don’t think there’s any way you have the virus that is sweeping the United States and has disrupted every single aspect of our lives since March?

Very, very, very strange.

My goodness, there is going to be such a boom in dystopian literature, television, movies and any other form of content out there in the next few years – if we survive all this, that is. Just imagine if I told you a year ago:

“You’re gonna have to have a little white thermometer ray gun pressed against your forehead if you are to enter the place of business where the Colorado Avalanche hockey club resides, and it’s gonna have to be under a certain number. Once inside, you will have to be at least six feet away from any person also inside with you. You will have to wear a facemask at all times, with your nose fully covered too, and if you cheat on that, you might just have it all recorded on secret cameras and then told you have to leave. You will watch the players practice from an appropriate, far-off distance and you will do all the interviews with players via an internet connection. They will only be about a quarter of a mile away from you in actual geographical distance, but it might as well be a million miles away. Really, there is no difference.”

NO CHANCE would I have believed anything like that. Like, what, a flu virus is going to do all this to us? I read a lot as a kid, but one genre I just never really got into was science fiction – even though I’m sure I would love a lot of science fiction books and my observation of life has always been that the people who really, really like science fiction a lot really, really made a lot of money as adults, probably working at places like NASA or Google.

My stepfather, Michael Ladam, was one of those people. A brilliant computer science major who went to Dartmouth and got a perfect score on his SAT, Mike had a whole library full of science fiction novels that still are on his shelves today. I just never really got into them, even though I loved “The Twilight Zone” TV show. I was more into books about sports.

So anyway, I felt like I was living through one of those Scifi novels today, in a way. Never in my life have I ever been through an experience like the one I had today. I’m sure the same applies to the roughly four or five other independent media members who were at the first day of Phase 3 Avalanche camp today.

You know what though? The Zoom interviews weren’t all that bad. I mean, I would rather be in the dressing room, talking to a player face to face, no question about it. But it really did feel like I almost had the same thing, talking to guys like Cale Makar and Erik Johnson and Jared Bednar today. They were on a big screen right in front of me, and I could talk to them in real time.

For me, that was the real science-fictiony part of today – being in the same building but talking, essentially, via Facetime. It wasn’t all that bad though. I got in as many questions as I’d probably ask in a “scrum” with all the parties involved, and there was a nice, orderly process to it all, administered by Avalanche PR person extraordinaire, Danielle Bernstein.

So let’s get to the nuts and bolts of some Avs news, post-practice:

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