Now that the somber weekend of reflection has passed, we can look forward to the wonderful world of hockey that is right around the corner. Rookie camp starts sometime this week. Regular camp starts on Saturday the 17th and runs through Monday the 19th, open for free to the public from 9 am to noon at Family Sports Center. The Burgundy/White game is next Tuesday the 20th. The Avs’ first official preseason game is next Thursday, September 22, in Dallas.
And the season opener is a mere 26 days away. Avalanche hockey is so close I can almost taste it.
Last week I promised you all a preview of the guys I am most excited to see play in camp and preseason games. I was going to start with one of the well-known acquisitions, but where’s the fun in that? So instead I decided to start with one of my favorite AHLers: Patrick Bordeleau.
The 25 year old left winger has been with the organization since 2008. Presumably he’s been invited to Avs’ training camps every season since, but as 2010 was the first camp I attended it was the first time I noticed him. Standing 6’5″ without skates, he kinda sticks out.
His style of play sets him apart just as much as his size. In the scrimmages and games I saw last season he brings an almost crazed physicality to the forward position. Bordeleau skates everywhere hard and fast, somewhat resembling a charging bull. His size, when moved with such purpose, is pretty intimidating. Especially if you’re a pane of glass.
Bordeleau never, ever backs down from a fight. In fact, he often starts them. In the preseason games he played with the Avs in 2010 he was in two fights, one against B.J. Crombeen of the Blues and the other against Brandon Segal of the Stars. During the regular season with the Lake Erie Monsters he was in 27 scraps according to Hockeyfights.com. Here’s the first:
During the 2010 – 11 season Bordeleau played 72 games with the Monsters. On top of his 125 penalty minutes he also managed 10 assists and 2 goals, one of which was a game winner in late February. Oh, and he can pull off the fauxhawk like no one’s business.
In non-hockey news, he did an interview with Dennis Manoloff of Cleveland.com back in 2009. Over the course of the interview Bordeleau admits to playing baseball until the age of 17, loving pizza and spaghetti, and ordering three Big Macs at McDonald’s on the rare occasions when he eats at that fine establishment. But hands down my favorite quote comes at the end, when Manoloff asks Bordeleau to name one American misconception about Canadians. Bordeleau responds:
“I’m French Canadian. I don’t really know about Canadians that much.”
I can’t decide whether laughter or an eyebrow raise wins out in this situation.
Anyway, my guess is Patrick Bordeleau won’t make the Avs squad this year. He’s just not potent enough offensively to justify keeping him around. But I will enjoy every second of ice time he gets during camp and preseason. He plays hockey like a wrecking ball, and I love it. So if you get to check out camp or any of the preseason games, keep an eye out for
#56 #58. It’ll be a good time. I promise.
Edit: As a reader so kindly pointed out, Bordeleau is #58, not #56. That’s what I get for writing posts late at night, and why I could use an editor! Thanks!