Well, the blueline is set for opening night.
Hours before the Avs’ final preseason game in Las Vegas against the Los Angeles Kings, the Avs announced that they put Duncan Siemens on waivers. Siemens, one of two of the Avalanche’s 1st round picks in 2011 must pass through waivers before being sent to the minors.
The Avs blueline for opening night, which is against the Dallas Stars on October 15, consists of Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie, Nikita Zadorov, Francois Beauchemin, Eric Gelinas, Patrick Wiercioch and Fedor Tyutin. The pairings have yet to be set and obviously the healthy scratch is yet to be known.
So all eyes are now focused on the forwards. With the Avs going with 7 d-men that means the Avs are allowed 14 forwards on their 23 man roster.
Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Mikhail Grigorenko, Carl Soderberg, Blake Comeau, Joe Colborne, Mikko Rantanen, Jarome Iginla, John Mitchell and Cody McLeod are safe. 11 are locks. That means 3 openings for 6 players.
Those 6 players are Andreas Martinsen, Ben Smith, Mike Sislo, Trent Vogelhuber as well as Rene Bourque and Gabriel Bourque (who are on PTO’s) will have tonight’s final preseason game to prove their worth Cuts have to be made by Tuesday.
Of course, if anyone is put on injured reserve (IR) then that player doesn’t count towards the 23 man roster. For example, Mikko Rantanen. Rantanen is expected to be a lock for the 23 man roster. But he’s currently hurt and is still unknown whether he’ll be be healthy for opening night.
If Rantanen is put on IR than the Avs can keep 4 of those 6 players above instead of 3. But when Rantanen does return (under the assumption he couldn’t play and is put on IR) then one of those guys will have to be sent down to the minors.