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Bednar: Avalanche Second-Line Center Job Likely Between Rodrigues And Newhook; More Media Day Notes

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Media Day For The Colorado Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche gathered together in one place for the first time since the Stanley Cup parade for media day today. Training camp is due to start tomorrow at 8:45 AM at Family Sports Center in Centennial. Media gathered to ask any coach or player that became available, their thoughts of the upcoming season. Coach Jared Bednar was first on the list today and then players came out in pairs. Cale Makar came out with his defensive partner, Devon Toews. Captain Gabriel Landeskog came out with long time best friend, Erik Johnson. The mood was light as the Stanley Cup looked over the room while the coach and players told everyone about their time off this summer.

When coach Bednar was asked if he was going to reunite the top line this year or spread them all out he replied with:

“Both, I think that we make sure that we leave all options open. I liked the way that things worked last year. Obviously, with the emergence of (Val) Nichuskin‘s play, the addition of (Arturri) Lehkonen it gives a lot of options there with the wingers.”

Coach Bednar believes that he has three options for the second line center with the addition of Evan Rodrigues. He said they “will take a good long hard look at (Alex) Newhook and (Mikko) Rantanen as an option.” He thinks that “it’s easy to remember the success at the the end of the year but, easy to forget the sacrifices it took as a team to get there.” In preparation for training camp, Coach Bednar already knows that there will be “players not ready for the start of camp.” One of the players he mentioned specifically was Valeri Nichuskin, who broke his foot during the playoffs. Saying about Nichuskin, “he is here, he is skating, but he will not be a full participant tomorrow.”

Next on the docket were the top defensive pair of Cale Makar and Devon Toews. Both were working on keeping their strength and cardio from the end of the season. Makar feels as though “consistency will be the key to our game this year as it worked for them last year.” When Makar was asked how he was going to get better with all of the accolades last year :

“Yeah, for me I’m not focused anything accolades-wise at all. I think , everybody just keeps asking me how are you gonna top it next year and um it’s not about that for me. I just want to be the kind of same player, play my game and make sure that I can contribute on both ends of the ice for my team every single night. That’s kind of the way that I look at it. I’m not going into this season trying to top what anybody did last year. We will take it day by day.”

Toews feels as though every team will be gunning for them and that they have used that Vegas series as a lesson. While they have the third starting goalie behind them in as many years, both are comfortable with the new goalie tandem.

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Immediately after the two defensemen came the beloved captain Gabriel Landeskog and longtime defenseman Erik Johnson. Although both sat down with seemed to be serious faces at first, both were lighthearted and happy to be there.

Landeskog was asked what challenges they anticipate coming this season: “We are professionals. We are competitors at the end of the day and you want to compete and you want to win every time you step on the ice. It’s as simple as that , we also know that from experience that you can’t win the Stanley Cup in the first half of the season. It’s about ramping it up as you go, making sure we have a good camp, getting off to a good strong start like we always talk about and then build from there. Get better as you go, keep fine tuning things along the way, but we are excited like I said. We have a great team and another great chance to do it all over again”

The best moment of the press conference was the one question I got to ask Landeskog and Johnson. I asked them what it felt like to lift the Cup and here are their responses:

There was an excitement in the room not just among the media, but among the players for a new season and new chance at the Stanley Cup. They all want to get on the ice and bring Lord Stanley back to Denver again for the fans and have a celebration with you all. So be prepared everyone, this Colorado Avalanche team is even more hungry this year than they were last year and it will be great!!

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Brennan is an aspiring sports writer just getting started in the industry. He is also an intern writer for Full Press Coverage. Brennan has lived in Colorado his whole life and is a graduate in History at Colorado State University. He loves rock and metal music, especially the band Papa Roach.

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Glendon Gulliver

It looks like Landeskog and Helm are not skating, along with Nichushkin. Any word on their injuries and timeline?

Karl Keen

I feel like something is off with Landy. It was clear that something was bothering his knee as the playoffs progressed. He became a less significant factor as the playoffs went on and I can only contribute that to knee soreness or pain. I was wondering if he had to get his knee scoped.

Glendon Gulliver

I am starting to think that the reason for the PTO with Galchenyuk is the possibility that Landeskog, Nichushkin, and Helm may not be available for a while and he may be brought in for the 3rd line. Rodrigues, Newhook, and Compher may all be in the top 6 on opening night.

Charlie Anderson

If they are going to try Galy it really oughta be on the 2nd line, dude doesn’t play defence from what I know. Would need him to be a goal scorer or he’s going to fade fast I think.

Glendon Gulliver

Jared Bednar said Landeskog is still dealing with an LBI from last year and isn’t skating and has no timetable on his return. His absence is expecting to go into the start of the regular season. Darren Helm skated on his own today but he also has no timetable right now. He’s not expected to play in any exhibition games.

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