CENTENNIAL, Colo.-After going 3-0-0 to start the preseason and earning a day off, the Colorado Avalanche was back at it on Sunday at Family Sports Center.
Amidst the fast-paced drills and heavy skating, there were some notable differences in the group out on the ice. Colorado trimmed its roster to 30 skaters over the weekend, making some tough decisions to pair down the roster ahead of the NHL's Oct. 11 deadline.
"All of them are tough," Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said of his cuts. "We sent some guys down to San Antonio, and I thought all those guys did a really nice job for us. Some guys, there isn't room for; other guys need more experience, need ice time. So the guys that are left here have made the decision tough, and we're going to continue to evaluate over the next three exhibition games."
On top of that, forwards Mikko Rantanen and Trent Vogelhuber returned to the rink for the first time this training camp. Rantanen, who skated by himself prior to practice, suffered an ankle injury on Sept. 17 in the first game of the 2016 Rookie Showcase, and Vogelhuber, who participated in the team skate, has missed all of camp after undergoing an appendectomy.
Video: Avs coach Jared Bednar reports on practice
"We're just progressing [Rantanen] along," Bednar said. "Things went well. Ice today, re-evaluate in the morning and just go from there.
"[Vogelhuber's] another guy. He was hurting a little bit. He had the surgery… He wasn't out that long."
Notable absences during the midday session included forwards John Mitchell and Blake Comeau. Both have missed time over the last week, but Bednar said that neither is dealing with anything long-term.
"They're both day-to-day [with] just camp soreness-type injuries. I don't think it's anything serious for either one of them, but at this point, you've got groin, hip-flexor hip things going on. You don't want to push them through it. There's no need to push them through it right now. We've got a lot of time before we start. We want them to play and be feeling good when they play. So right now, it's the best decision to keep them off the ice today."
According to Bednar, Colorado forward Matt Duchene, fresh off winning the 2016 World Cup of Hockey with Team Canada, will join the club on Monday as well.
"I'll be able to sit down with him tomorrow when he comes in before practice and bring him up to speed," Bednar said.
The Avs are back at Family Sports Center on Monday before taking on the Minnesota Wild in their final home preseason contest at Pepsi Center on Tuesday.