Somehow, it eluded me that tonight was a preseason game between the Ducks and the Avalanche, and I am in sunny Irvine, CA. So guess what I’m doing tonight? I’ll be sitting club level (tickets were cheap) wearing my Giguere game worn Avs jersey. Say hi if you spot me.
The Avs hacked down their roster to 26 yesterday. Mike Chambers of The Denver Post says Patrick Bordealeu, Zach Redmond, and Marc-Andre Cliche were sent down. The only one that surprises me of those is Bordealeu. I figured they could use his size and let Cody McLeod give his fists a break every so often. I haven’t seen him skate yet, so it’s entirely possible that breaking his kneecap slowed him down a touch, and it’s not like he was the speediest guy in the first place.
Chambers also expects Dennis Everberg to be sent down soon, and so do I. Aside from being on a two-way contract that makes it easier and cheaper to send him down, he is being pushed out by better players. That’s how it should be. I talked about not wanting to see room for Everberg on the roster in episode 95 of the Avs Hockey Podcast, and this is what I was talking about. If there isn’t room for Everberg (who I was less impressed with than other fans were), there isn’t room for Cliche or Rendulic, who are all bubble players when you have a solid lineup.
Look at the reigning Stanley Cup Champs, which is what every team does when they build their roster. Bubble players sat or were traded away before the playoffs started (Ben Smith, as much as I love him, for example). I’m sure we will see Everberg and Rendulic, and maybe even Cliche, depending on injuries to the main roster, but would we before we see Hishon?
Calvin Pickard was also sent down to the minors, which is also not a surprise. This is a money decision as well as a talent decision. If you have two guys who have similar talent, but one will cost you more to keep, you send the other one away. If Pickard is with the Avs, they have to pay him the higher NHL salary, and Berra is on a one-way contract, so if he plays in the AHL, he still gets his NHL salary. Money talks sometimes. Plus, a little more time in the AHL might be good for Pickard.
Beyond that, if Berra has a shot at regaining his form that made the Avs want to sign him in the first place, he should be given the chance. He’s the guy they signed, and you dance with the one you bought. I’m sure he will be on a tight leash, but that is what you would expect with so much at stake.
The roster is shaping up. The last few cuts will be interesting. Stay tuned, Avs fans.
Huge shout out to Jori of the Colorado Avalanche Prospects blog for being another great resource. She’s been keeping things up at the site this preseason. If you see her at a game, give her a hug for me. She loves that, trust me.