With opening night just two days away the Avalanche have set their 23 man roster, for now. With liberal use of injured reserve they haven’t had to make many tough decisions yet.
The Avalanche got to work on setting their final roster when they waived Mark Alt and David Warsofsky on Monday. Both subsequently cleared but only Warsofsky was reassigned to the Colorado Eagles meaning Alt is still with the Avs for now. The team has 30 days or 10 NHL games played to reassign Alt without him needing to clear waivers again and thus he is the eighth defenseman. Warsofsky is a curious case as he hasn’t been seen on ice at all during training camp or preseason due to an undisclosed issue. His reassignment to the Eagles begs the question if he’s cleared or even ready to play this weekend for them.
Rounding out the defense, Anton Lindholm was placed on Injured Reserve with a minor shoulder injury. He’s been skating with the team so he should get removed from IR fairly soon and then force a decision on which defenseman the Avs are going to send down to the Eagles.
Logan O’Connor was the only forward reassigned to the AHL, which is the right call since of the last hopefuls standing he was the one with no professional experience and faded a bit as camp and preseason wore on. Still, it’s clear he won himself favor in the organization with his work ethic and should get recalled sooner than later.
The ultimate fate of Vladislav Kamenev hasn’t yet been decided as he also was placed on IR with a minor lower body injury but he has resumed skating as well. It is difficult to determine if he won himself a job with the Avs or not but sneaking suspicion that coach Jared Bednar was mostly referring to him in regards to players being able to go up and down frequently from the Avs to Eagles in order to keep playing games. If cleared soon, Kamenev could find himself in the Eagles opening night lineup to begin his season but a good showing in camp and offensive upside should bring him back up shortly.
Sheldon Dries is the big unexpected story of camp as he made the opening night roster. He was on an AHL contract with the Texas Stars last season and his signing signaled AHL depth. He won his place on the team with a good camp showing his speed, tenacity and scoring touch. Dries may also see a lot of I-25 this season going up and down to the Eagles but has presented himself as a real option going forward. With Andrighetto’s injury that opens a spot on the wing and Dries could see his NHL debut as soon as opening night.
Bringing the healthy forward core to 13 is Dominic Toninato, who is a steady presence on the fourth line at center but who could also serve as a healthy scratch if needed.
In other housekeeping moves, Sven Andrighetto was placed on IR with a more medium term lower body injury expected to keep him out 2-4 weeks. Conor Timmins also went on Injured-Non Roster as he is still dealing with a concussion that kept him out of the entirety of training camp and preseason. The good news is he has been skating on a regular basis.
With those moves, the Avalanche are officially ready for October 4th!
UPDATE: The Avalanche decided to add one more transaction and sent Alt to the Eagles.