DENVER — Hockey isn't officially back, yet.
But it's getting closer.
The Colorado Avalanche took a big step forward on Monday as several players returned to Pepsi Center as part of Phase 2 of the NHL's return to play plan.
It was the first time they skated since a March 11 win against the New York Rangers. The league paused the next day due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The team's official website reported Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Joonas Donskoi, Ian Cole and Philipp Grubauer were all present at the workout.
Up to six players can participate at any given time during Phase 2, with the goal to keep a safe environment as the team gets back in hockey shape.
Phase 3 will begin on July 10 as training camps can open and Phase 4 will be the actual return to play determined at a later date. Those games will take place in a "hub city" to be announced, although Denver is not in consideration.
The Avalanche will either be the No. 1, 2, 3 or 4 seed in the Western Conference, with a round-robin tournament between the top-4 teams set to decide seeding for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.