Cale Makar progressing toward return to Avalanche training camp

Cale Makar conducted individual ice exercises on Thursday before Avalanche practiced as a signal that Colorado’s standout defender is approaching a return to training camp.

Makar, one of the three finalists for the NHL rookie of the year, has not raced with the team since Saturday after being ‘unsuitable’ to play; with competition policy that prohibits teams from disclosing injury / illness information about individual players.

Makar’s surprising absence and coach Jared Bednar’s inability to comment led to speculation that Makar could have tested positive for COVID-19 with now four missed workouts. But those fears were crushed when the 21-year-old defender was spotted shooting Pucks at Pepsi Center on Thursday.

“Having Cale back on the ice is a good positive sign,” said Bednar. “He’s back training on his own and hopefully he can join the group soon and be ready to go when we enter Edmonton.”

Avalanche attacker Nathan MacKinnon did not practice on Thursday and Bednar was unable to put his absence into context. MacKinnon spoke to reporters during a video conference call on Wednesday.

Release the Kraken. The NHL announced on Thursday that the Seattle expansion team (expected to start playing in 2021) has been officially named the Seattle Kraken. Avalanche coach Jared Bednar approved: “I really like it.”

“It’s exciting,” Bednar continued. “Having new cities in the league and a number of new fan bases is always a good thing. … I can’t wait to play there. “

Colorado adds Gabe Landeskog: “I love that we get another team and especially a city like Seattle. I personally have never been there, but I always hear great things about it.”

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