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Nycholat's Odyssey Ends in Denver

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
In Chicago, coming from Vancouver, on his way to Philadelphia to meet Calgary, he was re-routed to Colorado. Confused? Imagine how Lawrence Nycholat feels.

Not many players can say they’ve experienced the kind of week that Nycholat just did. The Calgary native was acquired by the Avalanche at the NHL’s trade deadline, but that was just the end of a whirlwind couple of days for the defenseman.

Nycholat began the week as a member of the Vancouver Canucks organization. The 29-year-old had appeared in 14 games during his first season with the club, tallying one assist and a +3 plus/minus rating.

On March 2nd, the Canucks attempted to send him to the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League, a move that required him to clear waivers. Nycholat expected he would end up in Manitoba, but Calgary put in a claim for the blueliner on March 3rd.

“It was a pretty hectic time. I knew something was going to happen in Vancouver,” said Nycholat. “They informed me they were going to put me on waivers. You wait 24 hours, and the next day I was told that Calgary picked me up.”

But his odyssey didn’t end there.

At the time, Calgary was in the beginning stages of a 12-day road trip, and Nycholat was informed that he would be meeting up with the team in Philadelphia. To get there, Nycholat woke up before the sun had risen on March 4 – the day of the NHL’s trade deadline – to meet up with the Flames for their March 5 game against the Flyers.

If only things were that simple.

While on a layover in Chicago, the defenseman was informed that he had been traded to the Avalanche, along with Ryan Wilson and a second round draft pick, in exchange for Jordan Leopold.

“The Avalanche told me to get my bags off the plane and get my ticket for the flight to Denver,” said Nycholat. “It was pretty hectic, but all-in-all it was an exciting time.”

Flash forward to Friday, Nycholat’s first practice with his new club. You might think that having such a hectic few days would take its toll on a player, but the blueliner has taken everything in stride and was happy to be skating with the Avs.

“It was nice to get back on the ice. I’ve been off the ice for a few days now,” Nycholat commented after practice. “It was good to get out there, get a practice in and try to get my legs and lungs back underneath me”

So what can Avalanche fans expect from Nycholat on the ice?

“I try to take pride in making good passes and getting the puck up to the forwards as quick as I can. Just keeping things simple and trying to jump in and contribute whenever I see the chance.”
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