The Colorado Avalanche are well into their Phase 2, unofficial practices. Training camp is set to start July 13 for all NHL teams.
The Colorado Avalanche, COVID willing, we enter into training camp on July 13. That’s just a week away. It’s such a weird thing, though. I’ve watched hockey in July — the prospect development camp. So, camp in July isn’t odd.
Full on training camp in July is odd, though. Especially training camp that isn’t open to fans or even media. I’ve gone to at least one day of training camp most years since the second. (If there was a training camp open to fans that first season, I wasn’t privileged enough to know about it.)
Anyway, the Avalanche have been deep in Phase 2 of the NHL’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. After the initial period, when three players tested positive, none other seem to have come down with the virus. That’s not the case with the rest of the NHL. Nine more players have tested positive putting the grand total at 23. It’s hard to come up with a percentage because, while 396 players have returned to team activities — including most of the Avalanche squad — some players have come up with positives in independent tests. We don’t know how many players have tested independently.
Here are the Avs today in their unofficial practices:
Valeri Nuchushkin is back:
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare does not obey the laws of gravity:
The Colorado Avalanche are crushing it with these practices:
I believe this is Logan O’Connor:
The Colorado Avalanche have three groups working now:
Fans and even sports reporters continue to ask if hockey should even return. To that I answer with a big shrug. Like most things in the COVID world, that’s outside my control. I can’t wash my hands or social distance my way to an answer to that question.
Meanwhile, as an Avs fan site, we’ll just continue fanning our team
Anyway, the Colorado Avalanche have done a good job of getting their skating legs back under them during this Phase 2 action. During Phase 3, official training camp, they’ll get back to working their systems. Here’s a chance for players to make a case for their ice time.
It’s also a time for the protocol designed to keep players, personnel, an communities safe will ramp up. There will be far more regular testing. A maximum of 30 players can participate in the camp. For the Avalanche, that’s sure to include Bowen Byram, Martin Kaut, Shane Bowers and, apparently, Logan O’Connor.
If all goes well with Phase 3, the actual Return to Play will start August 1, in Edmonton for the Colorado Avalanche.