Sports

Injury derails Barrie for Avs rookie camp

An injured hamstring will keep Tyson Barrie off the ice during the Colorado Avalanche’s rookie camp beginning this weekend in Denver.  - Fred Schaad/Contributor
An injured hamstring will keep Tyson Barrie off the ice during the Colorado Avalanche’s rookie camp beginning this weekend in Denver.
— image credit: Fred Schaad/Contributor

With the hardest working summer of his life behind him, Tyson Barrie was certain he had left nothing to chance.

The Kelowna Rockets rearguard felt ultimately prepared in his bid to try and crack the lineup of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

What he hadn’t planned on was an untimely injury.

The WHL’s defenceman of the year in 2009-10, Barrie is expected to miss three to six weeks of action with a partially torn right hamstring. In turn, he’ll miss all of the Avs rookie camp this weekend in Denver.

Barrie suffered the injury during a team scrimmage on the final day of Rockets training camp last Thursday at Prospera Place.

“Somebody kind of leaned on me and I guess my leg was just over stretched and I just felt a pop, so I knew right there it wasn’t good,” Barrie said.

Colorado’s third choice in the 2009 entry draft, Barrie will head to Denver Friday where the NHL club’s medical staff will do its best to nurse their 19-year-old prospect back to health.

Whether Barrie actually gets on the ice to strut his stuff for the Avs remains in question.

“It’s usually an injury that takes three to six weeks, but I’m hoping for more like two to three, so that when I get down to Colorado, you know I give myself a chance to show how hard I’ve been working this summer and show them that I deserve to be there.”

Due to the recent trend of NHL teams promoting young players—former Kelowna defenceman Luke Schenn and Tyler Myers among them—the Rockets were bracing for the possibility that the talented Barrie may not return to them for the 2010-11 campaign.

However, the injury has made it more likely the skilled Victoria product will spend the season in major junior. If that’s the case, head coach Ryan Huska said there is still plenty for Barrie to look forward to.

“As tough as it is to say sometimes, hockey is full of breaks, you can take advantage of them when they’re positive, and you have to deal with them the best you can when they’re not,” Huska said. “Tyson is, I think, in a position where he can maybe focus on our club a little more and focus on having a good start to the year so he can get an invite to world junior camp. It’s unfortunate what’s happened to Tyson, but he can still make a positive out of all this. Hopefully it will go well for him down in Colorado and we’ll see what happens from there.”

While the latest twist in his hockey career has come as an unwelcome surprise, Barrie remains optimistic.

“Having worked so hard all summer, it’s definitely been a bit devastating, bad timing more than anything else…but just even having had a few days to think about it, I feel better,” said Barrie, who had 72 points in 63 games last season. “I’m optimistic right now, I think that two weeks to come back isn’t unrealistic, that should put me around when main camp starts down there, so hopefully I’ll be ready to go for that.”

Rocket Shots…Eight members of the Rockets will head to NHL training camps over the next several days…The Rockets have 30 players remaining on their roster—19 forwards, eight defencemen and three goaltenders…Kelowna and the Kamloops Blazers will meet in a home-and-away exhibition series this weekend. Saturday’s game at Prospera Place goes at 7 p.m.

whenderson

@kelownacapnews.com

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