DENVER -- The Avalanche opened training camp Friday and said
forward Steve Konowalchuk will miss at least some practice time for undisclosed medical tests.
"Results from standard EKG testing done yesterday revealed an
abnormality and further examination is required at this time to
determine the exact nature of his condition," trainer Matt Sokolowski said. Other details were not disclosed.
Konowalchuk missed most of last season with a broken right
wrist. He was off to the best start of his 14-year NHL career with
15 points through 21 games when he got hurt Nov. 21. He missed the
final 61 games of the regular season and the first round of the
Colorado will have a much different look this season. They
traded scoring forward Alex Tanguay to Calgary, lost stalwart
defenseman Rob Blake to the Kings and feisty grinder Dan Hinote
signed with St. Louis.
"That's the league today," coach Joel Quenneville said. "You
expect there's going to be some turnover and some new blood. Last
year, we had some significant changes and some question marks going
into the season. This year, I think it's a little clearer. We've
lost some people who have been here for big years."
One player looking for a fresh start is goalie Jose Theodore,
who had an injury-plagued season filled with off-the-ice headlines
before Colorado was bounced in the second round of the playoffs by
a fast and deep Anaheim team.
"Every year you have something to prove," Theodore said
Thursday. "As a goalie, there's always a lot of pressure, but this
is the challenge that you live for as a professional. When I got
traded here, it was kind of like a ray of light."
"The way he prepared himself physically, he looks like a
different person," Quenneville said. "His attitude seems
refreshed; he seems energized, and we're expecting big things from
Theodore, a former Hart Trophy winner, missed three months last
season with a broken heel and then tested positive for a banned
substance in a pre-Olympic drug test because he had been using a
prescription for a hair-growth stimulant. He was also photographed
holding hands with heiress Paris Hilton at a VIP party in Toronto,
leading to a stir since he and girlfriend Stephanie Cloutier are
the parents of an infant girl.
Theodore said he has purchased a home in the Denver area with
"It was really important for me and my family to be here and
settle," he said. "Now I have one thing to concentrate on, doing
my job. I don't have 10 things to think about, just showing up for
practice and working hard and playing well."
Theodore was recovering from his injury when the Avalanche
acquired him March 8 from Montreal for goalie David Aebischer. He
posted a 1-3-1 record with a 3.04 goals-against average in the
final five regular-season games. He went 4-5 with the same GAA in
Teammates are looking forward to seeing what Theodore can do
with a full offseason to prepare.
"I've been seeing what a healthy Theodore can do right now, and
he looks unbelievable," defenseman John-Michael Liles said.
"Everybody knew what he was capable of. Obviously, coming in late
last year after the injury, that was pretty tough, and he played
remarkable for us.
"I see him now and he seems like a totally different goalie. I
think everybody is looking forward to getting into game situations
and he'll show what he can do."