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Ex-Detroit Tiger Frank Bolling, a two-time All-Star second baseman, died Saturday.
Almost everyone says it, in some form, every year. Sometimes they mean it. Usually they're delusional.
The Avalanche, like each of the 24 teams in the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs, can officially open training camp Monday. Colorado will do so in a fan-free bubble environment at the Pepsi Center and players will be tested daily for COVID-19. Here are five questions about the Avs as they prepare for their third consecutive playoff appearance:
What’s the camp roster size?
Each team can have 30 skaters and an unlimited amount of goalies. The Avs revealed their roster Sunday night, and it features 30 skaters and four goalies. The list includes defenseman Bo Byram, 19, the club’s 2019 first-round draft pick (fourth overall), and fellow young defensemen Conor Timmins.
What’s the health of the team and what are the key position battles?
The Avs, who were a beat-up bunch when the NHL suspended the season March 12, should be close to 100 percent — although forward Colin Wilson is still out and not on the camp roster. Wilson has played in just nine games this season. The main position battles will be at forward, with 2016 first-round draft pick Tyson Jost likely looking in from the outside as the 13th forward.
What might the lineup look like with forwards and defensemen if games started today?
Hart Trophy candidate Nathan MacKinnon might again start training camp with MGM Line wingers Gabe Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen. There’s a good chance second-line center Nazem Kadri will play with Andre Burakovsky and Joonas Donskoi. The third line might feature wingers Vladislav Namestnikov and Valeri Nichushkin with center J.T. Compher. And the likely fourth line will be Pierre-Edouard Bellemare with Matt Nieto and Matt Calvert. The pairings of the six defensemen are easy to predict if each is healthy: Ryan Graves-Cale Makar, Sam Girard-Erik Johnson, Nikita Zadorov-Ian Cole.
What goalie is No. 1 on the depth chart right now?
That chart probably doesn’t exist. Both Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz are capable puck-stoppers and each will likely get a start when the three-game round-robin games begin Aug. 2. The starter to begin the traditional 16-team, best-of-seven first round on Aug. 10 will be determined at that point.
What happens if a player tests positive for COVID-19?
That player will be ordered to self-isolate while taking daily tests. If he has four consecutive negative tests, he may rejoin the team.
Avalanche training camp schedule
Group 1 on ice: 9:30 a.m.
Group 2 on ice: 11:15 a.m.
Group 1 on ice: 9:30 a.m.
Group 2 on ice: 11:15 a.m.
Group 1 on ice: 10:30 a.m.
Group 2 on ice: 12:30 p.m.
Practice: 10:30 a.m.
Future training camp sessions will be announced at a later date.
Avs training camp roster
The Chicago native confirmed his decision Sunday in a conference call from Orlando, where the Western Conference-leading Lakers are beginning team workouts.
Mike Green was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in Steve Yzerman's first NHL trade deadline deal as Detroit Red Wings GM
Mike Green was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in Steve Yzerman's first NHL deadline deal as Detroit Red Wings GM
The sky-high potential of Nuggets rookie Bol Bol is inching closer toward reality with his healthy return to team practices in Orlando.
“He’s special and super talented,” center Mason Plumlee said. “I can speak to certain skills that he has, but he’s a welcomed addition. He’s had a great attitude from the time that we had back in Denver and then down here.”
The 7-foot-2 center with NBA bloodlines missed the majority of his freshman season at Oregon and his first year in Denver with a surgically repaired left foot. Nuggets coach Michael Malone said Bol practiced with the team only a “few times.” Bol impressed over eight G League games, though, with the Windy City Bulls — averaging 12 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.
Malone would not confirm if Bol, 20, will be available to play when seeding games begin on August 1 against the Miami Heat. But it’s clear the Nuggets remain extremely bullish about his future.
“To see (Bol) out there playing and doing things a lot of people can’t do is really remarkable,” Malone said. “He is extremely talented and skilled. You cannot teach 7-foot-2, you cannot teach a 7-foot-9 wingspan, and the soft touch that he has. He’s getting stronger, he’s getting healthier, and right now it’s good to see him compete against some of the other players that we have down here.
“I’m proud of Bol and he has all the potential in the world. It’s fun to watch him grow up right in front of our eyes.”
Jokic watch. Nuggets All-Star center Nikola Jokic has still not arrived in Orlando as of late Sunday, Malone told reporters on a video conference call.
“We’re still kind of working around all the details of getting him here,” Malone said. “No real update, but I know that his arrival should be happening relatively soon.”
Masks support social justice initiatives. The Nuggets flew to Orlando wearing masks with the team’s Rainbow Skyline and phrases such as TIME 4 CHANGE and VOTE.
“To remind people that even though we’re down here in Orlando and getting ready to ramp up games, let’s not forget about the message,” Malone said, “and what’s going on all across the country as we fight for the end of systemic racism and police brutality.”
The NBA has also allowed for players to choose league-approved phrases to replace last names on jerseys. Malone called it an “individual decision” for each player.
“I’m a big fan of what’s going on and the messaging for reform that’s being pushed,” Plumlee said. “I’m just here to support these guys and understand the best I can what they’ve gone through their whole lives.”
Major League Soccer postponed a match between D.C. United and Toronto FC scheduled to kick off Sunday morning because of COVID-19 test results, but it may be rescheduled for Monday morning.