VANCOUVER — An hour after the Avalanche concluded an optional morning skate at Rogers Arena on Wednesday, a state of emergency was declared in British Columbia following an intense rainstorm that left some rural areas under water.
The Globe and Mail reported that the situation will become Canada’s most expensive natural disaster in 2021.
Colorado defenseman Devon Toews is from Abbotsford, B.C., which had some of the most severe floodings. Abbotsford is about 45 miles southeast of Vancouver.
“It’s pretty sad, what’s happened there,” Toews said after the morning skate. “Had a bunch of friends in for dinner last night and they were telling me different stories of people they know, and people affected and whatnot. Fortunately, all their families are fine. I got one friend whose wife is stuck up in Hope and can’t get home right now, but I think she’s in good spirits and safe, at least.”
Since the Avs arrived here Tuesday afternoon, Toews watched significant videos from helicopters and airplanes over Abbotsford.
“People literally rescuing livestock from drowning is quite sad to see,” he said. “It’s a resilient community and I know the people will bounce back and figure it out. But it’s pretty unfortunate and sad to see some of these videos.”
Byram on the trip. Avalanche rookie sensation Bo Byram, from Cranbrook, B.C., is in Vancouver with the team and feeling better, coach Jared Bednar said from Rogers Place.
The young defenseman won’t play against Vancouver but his presence is good news as he hopes to recover from at least his third concussion in 2021. Byram, 20, was limited to just 19-of-56 games last season because of two concussions and he told The Athletic that he feared that he would never play again.
Byram, who is tied for fifth in NHL rookie scoring with eight points in 11 games, absorbed an elbow to the head from Vancouver captain Bo Horvat late in the first period of last week’s 7-1 win over the Canucks at Ball Arena. Byram did not return and missed Saturday’s 6-2 victory over the visiting San Jose Sharks.
“He’s feeling a little bit better (but) I’m not sure on his timeline,” Bednar said of Byram.
When asked if Byram could resume skating soon, Bednar said: “We’re hoping that he can.”
Byram was the first defenseman selected in the 2019 draft (fourth overall) — a pick the Avs acquired from Ottawa as part of the 2017 trade of Matt Duchene to the Senators.
Footnote. This is Colorado’s first regular-season trip to Canada since March 6, 2020, when it lost to the Canucks 6-3 at Rogers Place. The Avs returned to Canada for the 2019-20 playoffs in Edmonton but only played against U.S.-based teams last season.
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