TORONTO — Sometimes the Zamboni is Andrew Cogliano’s only company.
He’s routinely the first or second Avalanche player to step foot on the ice for Colorado’s morning skates. On game days across North America this season, Cogliano has occasionally started skating laps while the rink was still getting resurfaced from the home team’s morning skate, which always comes first.
“I like getting out there — and 35 years old, sometimes it takes a little bit longer to warm up. So I use that extra time,” the self-deprecating Avalanche wing said. “I think when you play 1,200 games, you get little things that come along the way that work, or some others that don’t work. For me, I think I use pregame skate, I use warm-up, I use those to really get prepared. So that’s probably a nuisance at this point.”
A nuisance to whom?
“I don’t know. Yeah, no one, I guess,” Cogliano laughed. “Me. Me, because I’ve got to beat everybody (onto the ice).”
To the rest of the Avs, Cogliano is the opposite of a nuisance. The 2022 trade acquisition has been in Denver for a year now, but it feels like longer due to his immediate impact as a locker-room statesman and reliable checking presence in the midst of an injury-plagued season.
Even after turning 35 and hoisting his first Stanley Cup, his attention had quickly turned toward motivating his teammates. Cale Makar received a text from Cogliano two weeks after the championship: a photo of Cogliano’s exercise bike workout.
Colorado Avalanche center Andrew Cogliano (11) hoists the Stanley Cup after defeating the Tampa Bay Lighting at Amalie Arena June 26, 2022. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)
“He’s like, ‘Checking in. Making sure you’re putting in the work for next year,’” Makar said. “I love it. I love that stuff. So only motivated me more.”
Cogliano surpassed another milestone on March 8, appearing in his 1,200th game of a 16-year NHL career that once featured an 830-game Iron Man streak. These landmarks haven’t grown tiring for him yet — “I’m proud of myself; I’m proud of my career, what I’ve been able to accomplish,” he said — and he’s showing no signs of a decline. Cogliano has missed just one game this season.
He is, however, nearing the end of a one-year, $1.25 million contract. That means the unknown looms again for Cogliano this offseason. It’s something he’s accustomed to by now. After his contract with Dallas expired in 2021, he signed a one-year deal with San Jose at $1 million, making him a pending unrestricted free agent again when the Sharks traded him to Colorado. After the Cup, he and the Avalanche reached the current one-year deal.
“I think I’m an hour-by-hour guy in terms of preparing and playing and trying to give the best I can,” Cogliano told The Post when asked about his future after this season. “I have two girls and another daughter on the way, so three girls at some point here. So obviously a decision in terms of everything will have …read more
Source:: The Denver Post – Sports