Girard entered the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program back on November 24, and as far as we know, this is his first time back on the ice with the team. Here’s some video of the 25 year old defenseman skating prior to morning skate.
— Evan Rawal (@evanrawal) December 21, 2023
The Avalanche have greatly missed Girard during his absence, but it was important for Girard to step away and take care of himself.
After skate, Devon Toews lit up when talking about Girard being back with the team.
“Awesome. Awesome,” Toews said. “Just a great human being. Somebody that took challenges and addressed them and moved forward with it. He’s a big part of our team and a big part of our leadership in here, so to have him back is obviously a big boost. To see him smiling and to see him buzzing around, swirling on the ice is always fun to watch.”
Jared Bednar said he won’t play Thursday, which is to be expected, and they’ll let him get back and comfortable before putting him in.
“That’s his first day on the ice with the team,” Bednar said. “We’ll treat it like any injury. He’s healthy now, 100%. Get him up to speed and get him back in as soon as we can. We’ll just monitor him and keep an eye on him the he’s on the ice. We’ll converse every day, and when he’s feeling like he’s ready to go, then he’ll go in.”
Stay tuned to Colorado Hockey Now for more updates on the situation.