Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon tests positive for COVID-19, will miss opener

·Hockey writer
·1 min read
Nathan MacKinnon has tested positive for the coronavirus. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Nathan MacKinnon has tested positive for the coronavirus. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The Colorado Avalanche will be starting their season without their best player.

Announced by GM Joe Sakic on Tuesday, star centre Nathan MacKinnon has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently asymptomatic. The 26-year-old will be unavailable for the Avalanche's season opener on Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks, and it is still undetermined whether he will be missing their second game of the season on Saturday.

MacKinnon won't be the only notable absence for Colorado on Wednesday, as head coach Jared Bednar also tested positive for the coronavirus.

MacKinnon, a three-time Hart Trophy finalist, missed practice Tuesday and was swiftly put on the league’s COVID protocol list, joining other NHLers around the league as their season gets underway. Zach Aston-Reese of the Pittsburgh Penguins and a handful of Seattle Kraken players are the other notable members on the NHL’s list.

The Avalanche are a Stanley Cup favourite, so they have a deep enough roster to be without one of the best players in the world on their top line for a game or two. All one can hope for is MacKinnon's swift return to making defenders look ridiculous.

The four-time all-star scored 20 goals and 65 points in 48 games last season, finishing eighth among all skaters in scoring.

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