Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon in COVID-19 protocol – The Denver Post

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Wednesday’s season-opener against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.

Colorado general manager Joe Sakic told reporters in a news conference that MacKinnon’s positive test surfaced on Monday. Mackinnon did not practice on Tuesday. His earliest possible return will be on Saturday at Ball Arena vs. the St. Louis Blues. But Sakic said that MacKinnon is “asymptomatic and feeling good.”

“The guys are responsible and careful in everything they do,” Sakic said. “But (COVID-19) is out there. Everybody in every sport is going to have to deal with it. It’s not going away anytime soon.”

Avs coach Jared Bednar, placed on the COVID-19 protocol list last week, is also expected to make his potential return to the bench on Saturday. Sakic said the team is 100-percent vaccinated.

“We still know in the back of our minds that COVID is still a thing,” defenseman Cale Makar said. “Everybody has to be careful. I think we’ve all done our due diligence in getting vaccinated and making sure we’re as protected as we can be. … This is a fluke and a little bit of a wake-up call. But at the same time, we have guys that need to fill those roles. Nate is a tough guy to (replace). But we’re ready and prepared to do it.”

This story will be updated. 

NHL scoring leaders, 2016-21

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon is the fifth-leading NHL scorer over the last five seasons. But as the list of the league’s top scorers during that period illustrates, having a superstar forward doesn’t necessarily translate into deep playoff runs:

Player, pos., teamGPGoalsAssistsPts.
1. Connor McDavid, C, Edmonton362179347526
Comment: Oilers 190-148-24, made playoffs three times (2017, ’20*, ’21), reached second round once
2. Leon Draisaitl, C, Edmonton369178268446
Comment: Oilers 190-148-24, made playoffs three times (2017, ’20*, ’21), reached second round once
3. Brad Marchand, LW, Boston350166260426
Comment: Bruins 220-105-29, made playoffs all five years, reached one Stanley Cup final
4. Patrick Kane, RW, Chicago371153272425
Comment:  Blackhawks 175-151-36, made playoffs twice (2017, ’20*), never advanced past first round
5. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Colorado355151256407
Comment: Avalanche 184-149-32, made playoffs four times (2018, ’19, ’20*, ’21), reached second round three times

* Playoffs featured 24 teams instead of 18