Colorado Avalanche Eric Gelinas Buffing up for New Season

Mar 18, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing Lance Bouma (17) and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Eric Gelinas (44) fight for position during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 18, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing Lance Bouma (17) and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Eric Gelinas (44) fight for position during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Eric Gelinas is training hard to get ready for the new season.

A Colorado Avalanche defenseman who often gets overlooked is Eric Gelinas. He came to the team from the New Jersey Devils at the trade deadline last season. The Avs gave up a 2017 draft pick for him.

I was excited for the trade. Though Colorado doesn’t play New Jersey much, I had looked into Gelinas’ game a little as a possible trade for the Avs. His size and two-way game have just always seemed a complement to Avalanche hockey.

Related Story: How Gelinas can Benefit the Avs

Eric Gelinas Comes to the Colorado Avalanche

Apparently it was a big surprise to Eric Gelinas that he’d been traded from the Devils. New Jersey picked up a defenseman earlier that day, so Gelinas suspected a d-man would be on the move. However, he said at the time he thought defenseman David Schlemko might be the to get traded because of rumors at the time:

Weirdly, a friend — apparently with good sources — texted Gelinas before he even got a call from

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the team. Eric had been a healthy scratch for the last nine games in New Jersey.

What strikes me about his coming here is that he knew absolutely no one — except Nick Holden a little. He’d only ever played against the Avalanche players. And he had been on the bitter rival of head coach Patrick Roy’s QMJHL Quebec Remparts. Any time a player gets traded, it has to be hard. But Gelinas’ transition had to be especially difficult.

Unfortunately, Gelinas didn’t get much of a chance to make a splash with Colorado. He played in six games — recording 10 shots and a plus-2 but no points. Then, in the game against the Calgary Flames on March 18, he took a hard hit against the boards that did something really nasty to his elbow:

Yeah, it’s generally not good when your elbow bends that way. The result is often something like this:

That was after two weeks’ recovery.

A lot of Avalanche fans still don’t see Eric Gelinas as a very important addition. They give him at best third pairing for the upcoming season. That may be so, but he’s a big — 6-foot-4, 215 pounds — defenseman with offensive firepower. He has an absolute cannon of a shot from the point — when I attended the Arizona game, I could hear the wind boom when he shot.

Gelinas is young — just 25 — and  working hard on his training this offseason — he seems a lot more focused than some. I’m guessing he knows he has to take training camp and preseason by storm to make the opening night roster.

Eric Gelinas’ Training

I love it when professional hockey players post their training sessions on social media — for me, at least, it’s a rare look into some of the specialized equipment and moves the athletes have to utilize to be at the top of their game. (I’m not sure what Tyler Seguin bouncing in a pool does for his game, but, hey, he seemed pretty intent on doing it.)

Here’s an example of some circuit training Gelinas does:

Naturally hockey players build up their leg muscles — more so than their upper body — for powerful skating. The exercise also looks like it works on some balance and agility. (Hopefully next time he can jump out of the way with the hit from behind.)

Speaking of working on balance:

I’ve done just the balancing on one leg and tried to pull up my toes — that alone is hard without adding the free leg movements. (I’m going to guess bouncing one-legged on the trampoline is another exercise in Eric’s circuit.)

This is apparently another station on the circuit. It looks ridiculously difficult:

Besides for explosive skating, this particular workout looks geared toward helping Gelinas skate even if he has a hockey player draped over his back:

The following circuit is especially interesting. Gelinas is utlizing a desmotic machine, which is often used by soccer players. According to the Desmotec site, the machine controls the duration and intensity of the eccentric braking:

The machine is supposed to replicate game conditions on a neuromuscular level to promote greater physical effort from the energy point of view.

The following is actually my favorite:

Ok, it’s not really a training video, but how apropos that a professional hockey player plays fetch with his dog using his hockey stick.

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Defenseman Eric Gelinas really looks like he’s working hard to ensure he doesn’t become a healthy scratch on the Colorado Avalanche. Training camp for the team starts in the middle of September. The annual Burgundy and White game takes place September 25, with six preseason games to follow.