The Colorado Avalanche are considered one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup this season. That’s in large part to Nathan MacKinnon, who is their best player. Which is impressive for a team that boasts the likes of Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, and Cale Makar.
MacKinnon is considered a fierce competitor both on and off the ice. His legend grew this offseason when a Russian interview with former teammate Nikita Zadorov spilled the beans on Nathan’s diet.
Zadarov calls out MacKinnon’s diet
“He’s crazy like that, he eats well. He doesn’t drink either. He only drinks water,” Zadorov said. “Two years ago in Colorado, he got rid of all the desserts he could. He also removed them from the locker room and pre-game meals. He had the white sauce (carbonara) removed from the menu when eating pasta. He even replaced regular pasta with chickpea pasta so we would eat more protein.”
“He would say, “Guys, if you want to eat this sh*t, you have the off-season to do it. When you step in here, there won’t be any more of that, because we’re winning the Cup this year.” Zadorov also explained that it worked. “All the kids on the team see him do it,” he continued, ” they look up to him and want to do their part.”
So what did MacKinnon think of all this?
“Yeah, it got a little out of hand,” MacKinnon said during the NHL media tour. “If you guys all know [Zadorov], he’s a bit of a donkey. People see a Russian translation and think it is the Bible, I guess. I don’t know. It’s all good. He went a little extreme. That’s what Z does. He loves a good quote.”
Those quotes set off a firestorm on social media with hockey fans dropping memes left and right. MacKinnon admitted they were funny but wanted everyone to know: “I’m a normal guy, I’m not crazy.”
MacKinnon a true leader
All jokes aside, at one point in the interview, Zadorov compared MacKinnon to Michael Jordan. Fans of the NBA legend got to see what made Jordan a winner in the documentary “The Last Dance” on Netflix. MJ would not ask others to do what he wasn’t willing to do himself. A true leader by example.
“He’s always the hardest working guy,” Zadorov said. “He comes out 30 minutes before practice working on his hands. Young guys see him as the best player in the NHL but he is still out there trying to improve. It motivates them.
“He made us all true professionals on the team,” Zadorov admitted. “That’s why the Avalanche have gotten so much better in the last two years.”
Last season, the 26 year-old MacKinnon racked up 65 points in 48 games. In his young career, he’s registered 560 points in 573 regular season contests.
This is a big year for the Avs, and they are counting on him to lead them to a championship.