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Avs Notebook: Nathan MacKinnon will not play Saturday; Newhook sent to Eagles



Nathan MacKinnon
Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire

So, some news here: I’ve learned that Nathan MacKinnon will NOT play tomorrow night against the St. Louis Blues. I don’t know anything about his latest Covid-19 testing. I just know Nathan MacKinnon won’t play. So, with news today that Valeri Nichushkin will be lost week-to-week because of an upper-body injury and the two-game suspension to Gabe Landeskog, the fact of the matter is the Avs will be without three of their top six forwards for the game against a Blues team that figures to be plenty motivated to win.

There’s more: the Avs reassigned prized prospect Alex Newhook to the Colorado Eagles, and recalled forwards Jayson Megna, Stefan Matteau and Dylan Sikura from the Eagles. Matteau played 18 games for the Columbus Blue Jackets last season, registering one point. Sikura, a 5-11, 170-pound center, played six games for Vegas last season.

I’m told that veteran Darren Helm is unlikely to play tomorrow. He was dinged up in the season-opener.

Why did the Avs send Newhook down already, after one game? Until Jared Bednar meets the media after the morning skate tomorrow, it’s all speculation. It didn’t seem like Avs brass was all that happy with his play during the preseason and, presumably, Wednesday’s season opener. But to send him down after only one game?

That’s a pretty stern message, all right. It’s pretty clear that there will be no nonsense with Bednar this season. If he thinks guys aren’t working hard enough, they’ll pay the price. He’s always been tough, but I must say I’m surprised by this move. But, there are few sacred cows on this roster right now.

The Eagles start their 2021-22 season tonight in Henderson, Nevada, against the Henderson Silver Knights. But, I’m told, Newhook will not be in the lineup.

One thing we know well as Avs watchers: this team almost always has injury issues. So it goes…

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