Colorado Avalanche winger Steve Downie is 100 percent healthy after recovering from knee surgery, yet he told the Denver Post that he isn’t 100 percent ready for full-speed competition.
“The way I look at it this camp is, I haven’t played a game in two years,” Downie said. “I just have to get the legs going. I’m going to take it relatively slow, because I still have almost a month to get ready. I’ll be ready for opening night. No question about opening night.”
The 26-year-old forward has only played in 22 games since being traded to the Avs during the 2011-12 season, including just two contests in 2013.
New head coach Patrick Roy reiterated that the plan is to line up Downie with Nathan MacKinnon and Jamie McGinn, a combination that could very well serve as the league’s most dangerous third line.
Downie brings the kind of snarl of a player who has some questionable hits in his past, but can also bring some offensive punch; that combination was most potent with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2009-10, as he scored 22 goals and 46 points while collecting 208 penalty minutes in 79 games.