From high above rinkside here at Ball Arena: Sampo Ranta is skating on a fourth line here at Avs practice, with P.E. Bellemare and Valeri Nichushkin. That’s the spot Alex Newhook has been occupying of late, but Newhook did not practice today. Is his availability for the start of Round 2, against either Vegas or Minnesota, something to worry about?
Not according to Newhook himself, who did a brief Zoom call with the media while his teammates were still on the ice. Newhook called it a “maintenance day.” Jared Bednar said yesterday he expects Newhook to be available at the start of the next series, which should start some day this weekend. Newhook, who went into the boards awkwardly in Game 4 in St. Louis, said he has been “feeling better every day.”
Everything else about the practice was “normal”, with all the lines that have skated together of late still together, along with the same defensive pairs.
Bo Byram practiced, but he was paired with Jacob MacDonald, a sign that he won’t start the second round. Patrik Nemeth and Conor Timmins were still paired together.
Not a whole lot of other news, as the Avs await their next opponent. Nazem Kadri’s appeal of his eight-game suspension will start tomorrow, in a Zoom call with Gary Bettman. If Bettman upholds the suspension length, Kadri can appeal one more time to an arbitrator. I think the odds are better at 918kiss that Kadri will win his appeal, but stranger things have happened.
By the way, Bettman has the power to add length to the suspension. I highly doubt that would happen, but he has that power, if he thinks Kadri got off too light with the eight games. I’m trying to gather more information on the appeal process, especially if it goes to an arbitrator, and will pass it along if I do. I have a message in with the NHL Players Association.