The offseason was a little lengthier for the Colorado Avalanche than they had hoped. For defenseman Eric Gelinas, it was even longer.

“It was a long summer for the team, we didn’t make the playoffs,” Gelinas told Mile High Sports. “For me, I think my last game was mid-March. So, it’s been awhile.”

Now, he’s back on the ice for training camp, his first as a member of the Avalanche.  Acquired in a trade with the New Jersey Devils, myriad injuries, the most significant of which was to his elbow, limited him to six games in burgundy and blue.

“I had a short window to prove myself last year,” he said. “Unfortunately, I got hurt. That’s out of my control, but I feel good about my training this summer. I did everything I could to get ready for this season. I feel healthy. My elbow is pretty good, so I’m just excited for the season to start.”

This season will mark a fresh start for Gelinas.  Last year, he often found himself watching from the press box in New Jersey, as a healthy scratch.

“Even though I was in the NHL, I didn’t have a good season or as good of a season as I wanted to,” he said. “I didn’t play a lot in New Jersey. I think it’s a year to scratch and turn the page.”

It was surprising to see, especially after Gelinas put up 48 total points over the two years prior.  Still, he is not one to sit around and mope. Instead, the 25-year-old used the opportunity to hone his craft.

“The thing I can take out of that is that I learned a lot, and I worked hard last year to try to get back into the lineup,” he said. “I think I improved even though I didn’t play in the game as much. More practice time is not bad sometimes. I think I grew as a player out of that last year. I’ve learned a lot defensively in a great defensive system. So I can take [what I learned] from that team and bring it here and mesh with the face-paced system and all of that stuff that Jared [Bednar] is trying to apply. I think it’s going to suit [me] well.”