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Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon tearing it up in summer practice

Summer fun in Haliwood

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2019 Honda NHL All-Star Game Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

In the dredges of summer, Sidney Crosby and the Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon are working hard on the ice to get ready for next season.

And some real “iron sharpening iron” type of work here. Both of these guys are pretty lucky to have each other as hometown buddies to work with at such an elite level, as well as some other guy who plays for Boston hangin’ around..

The Halifax portion of the summer is a tenet this time of year, and soon Crosby will move west and up to elevation for the final portion of his summer preparations. As Sean Gordon of The Athletic noted, it’s become quick the event in the hockey world:

Particularly when you consider the second game [Crosby] hosts in the mountains of Colorado each August.

It’s an invitation-only affair, and though it’s held over a fairly short period of time (a week to 10 days), it is the biggest collection of NHL stars and superstars outside of an Olympics...

Essentially, it’s a Team Canada reunion sprinkled with all manner of All-Stars and the odd NHL MVP (Taylor Hall is a frequent guest). Thus, it is kind of a best of all the other summer NHL games, compressed into a week or so. Except with altitude training, which was O’Brien’s original justification for relocating Crosby there in late summer earlier this decade.

And like a few of the other events on this list, it stands in for a genre of summer skate: the intensive, short-term training camp-style skate at the most critical time of the offseason. Mid to late August is the final tuneup before everybody returns to their respective NHL cities for the pre-camp skates with teammates. In other words, the Vail skate is important.

Crosby and Andy O’Brien have gradually built quite the training regimen and of course, routine to build up the summer and hit the ground running for training camp in September and the start of the regular season in October.