Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen talked a bit Monday about an email he wrote arguing — and eventually overturning — a ruling he felt was undeserved last season, adding “it’s not a good look as a hockey player” to get an embellishment fine.
“Repeat offender” isn’t something one wants attached to his name either. Nazem Kadri hopes to move on after his 2021 postseason was cut down by an eight-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk. Faulk didn’t play the final two games of the series.
In his first availability of the preseason, Kadri described the incident.
“Obviously it wasn’t my intent to injure at all,” Kadri said. “I’m just trying to step up and prevent him from getting to the net. It happened so quickly and thankfully he’s all right."
It was the sixth suspension of Kadri’s career and third during the Stanley Cup playoffs, but first in two seasons with the Avalanche. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and an independent arbitrator upheld the eight-game suspension. Kadri served the last game as Colorado was eliminated from the postseason.
Kadri did power-play work during the second session at Family Sports Center. He received a light shove at the bench from Jared Bednar as the coach headed off the ice and, Kadri said, encouragement to “stay aggressive and stay focused” on the man advantage.
Kadri said he hasn't lost his teammates' trust.
“They understand who I am as a person and what kind of character I have,” Kadri said. “I like to think I have everyone’s respect in that locker room.”
Rantanen voiced his support.
"He's a veteran guy and he’s going to get over it for sure,” he said.
First round of cuts
Eighteen-year-old Denver native Jack O’Brien was among the first five players reassigned by the Avalanche on Monday afternoon.
The center was reassigned to the Portland Winterhawks (WHL) where he’s played parts of two seasons. Miles Gendron and Robert Hamilton were reassigned to the Colorado Eagles (AHL), Matej Kaslik to Chicoutimi (QMJHL) and Benjamin Tardif to the Vancouver Giants (WHL). Tardif, Gendron and Hamilton are on AHL contracts.
The training camp roster sits at 51 players ahead of the team’s first exhibition game Tuesday. The game group is set to skate at Family Sports at 10:30 a.m. before a flight to Vegas.