Training Camp Buzz: Avalanche coach Bednar tests positive for COVID-19

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Welcome to the 2021-22 NHL training camp buzz. With training camps open for all 32 teams, NHL.com has you covered with all the latest news.

 

Colorado Avalanche

Jared Bednar has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not coach the final two preseason games against the Dallas Stars on Thursday and Saturday.

Assistants Ray Bennett and Nolan Pratt will coach the Avalanche until Bednar’s return. Colorado begins the regular season at home against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; TNT).

Goalie Pavel Francouz is out 3-4 weeks with a lower-body injury sustained against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday. He was playing his second preseason game after ending the 2019-20 season on injured reserve with hip and knee injuries sustained during the Stanley Cup Playoffs and missing all last season. 

Francouz had offseason surgery and was the projected backup to Darcy Kuemper.

 

New York Islanders

Semyon Varlamov remains questionable for the season opener at the Carolina Hurricanes on Oct. 14.

The goalie has not practiced with the Islanders during training camp because of soreness, according to coach Barry Trotz. Varlamov is not expected to play in their final two preseason games at the New Jersey Devils on Thursday and against the New York Rangers in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on Saturday.

“We’re probably really looking at the Carolina game right now,” Trotz said. “We’re working that way. He’s just getting back on the ice. We’re going to take our time, as we said.”

Trotz said Ilya Sorokin will be the No. 1 goalie while Varlamov is out, with Cory Schneider the backup. Schneider made 24 saves in a 3-0 preseason win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

“First priority is the No. 1 goalie, so whatever he needs he’s going to get until ‘Varly’ is back in the fold,” Trotz said. “Our priority will be Sorokin all the way.” — Adam Kimelman

 

Boston Bruins

Charlie Coyle had a goal and an assist in his first preseason game, a 4-3 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals at TD Garden in Boston on Wednesday.

The center, who had offseason surgery on his left knee, started training camp in a non-contact jersey and progressed to full practices Sept. 27. The game Wednesday was his first since Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Second Round against the New York Islanders on June 9.

“It’s still a work in progress,” Coyle said after the game. “I’ve been trying to do everything I can to have the strength, have the power in my stride with the limited time I’ve had. There’s definitely a ways to go. … I’m just going to keep working at it.”

Coyle played on the second line between Taylor Hall and Craig Smith. It’s a role David Krejci had played prior to Krejci opting to play at home in the Czech Republic this season.

“You just want to make sure you’re doing the right things,” Coyle said. “I thought we had some decent plays and definitely some stuff to build on. It’s a start, but we definitely have a ways to go in that. I think that’s a good thing.” — Amalie Benjamin

 

Edmonton Oilers

Kailer Yamamoto will not play against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday. 

The forward took a hit to the head during his last shift in a 4-3 win against the Calgary Flames on Monday. He had a headache after the game and did not skate Wednesday.

“I talked to him yesterday,” Edmonton coach Dave Tippett said. “He wasn’t feeling quite right, so they shut him down for a couple of days. As of right now, it’s not more than a couple of days, but we’ll see how he is in the next couple of days.”

The Oilers begin their season against the Canucks in Edmonton on Oct. 13. — Jon Lane

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