The topic of morning skates in hockey is a polarizing one with a firm divide between those who believe they serve an important purpose versus those who believe they cause more harm than good.
Recently, the GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins preached against the morning skate, calling them pointless. John Tortorella took things a step further, banning morning skates due to what he described as common sense.
The Colorado Avalanche have now joined the anti-morning movement, eliminating the morning skate routine for the remainder of the 2016-17 season.
Avs will not hold morning skates rest of the season
— Adrian Dater (@adater) January 25, 2017
Considering the Avalanche have the worst record in the NHL, there really isn’t much to lose by trying something different.
The argument against morning skates is a pretty strong one. Yes, teams can sharpen a strategy or go over a play to use against that night’s opponent, but it comes at the cost of fatigue and the usual bumps and bruises which go along with a practice. There are plenty of other times to practice to prepare for an opponent, so why not let the players get some rest before giving it their all later in the day?
The Avalanche may not be a team others will want to copy given their record and their overall struggles this season, but removing the morning skate is a trend which should catch on.