5 Takeaways From Avalanche Veterans Informal Practice

4 of 6

3. Ryan O’Reilly is an outstanding hockey player

Ryan O’Reilly signs an autograph for a young fan. Sept 16, 2014. -Photo by Austin Manak

The guy has driven the Avs faithful nuts in two of the last three off-seasons, and yet, when he gets on the ice it’s so hard to not fall in love with him all over again. Simply put, he is a fantastic hockey player. Today he showed off his quick hands and stick. He along with Duchene dominated the 3-on-3 mini games on my end of the ice.

His work ethic is second to none. He was the last guy on the ice, and took the lead in getting a couple of the guys who stayed late to do some sprints the full length of the ice for a bit of extra conditioning. Duchene was among the few guys who did this as well.

Last thought on O’Reilly. The beard. Glorious. Lush. Monumental. Greg Zanon’s beard was fantastic as well, but it was attached to a hockey player who didn’t have anything left in the tank. O’Reilly’s beard is pristine, and a symbol for what should be another outstanding season for number 90.