Avalanche's MacKinnon to start the season on the wing, but it's only temporary
Burgeoning Colorado Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon, 19, will start on the wing in Colorado's season opener on Thursday night, but the move is only temporary and the club still projects the hotshot sophomore as a pivot going forward.
"(Avalanche coach Patrick Roy told me) that Mackinnon's going to play center for this year," reported TSN's Pierre LeBrun on an episode of Insider Trading on Thursday, "but for now Ryan O'Reilly at center is a guy who can win more faceoffs, he's just better at that particular skill set.
"This is an attempt by the Avs to correct (their puck possession deficiencies)," continued LeBrun. "Nathan MacKinnon is working at faceoffs. He will be at center before the end of the season. This is only temporary."
MacKinnon, who played center in major junior and all through Avalanche training camp, was moved to the wing in a bit of a shock shake-up at Colorado's game day skate on Thursday. He'll be flanking O'Reilly and Gabriel Landeskog when the Avalanche kick off their 2014-15 season against the Minnesota Wild.
"(O'Reilly) is a good center and it's fun to play with those guys," MacKinnon told the Denver Post on Thursday about the shakeup.