Sunday, September 27, 2009

Avalanche Are Ready

The Avalanche have decided upon a 24-man roster on Sunday by cutting three more players from their training camp roster. Forward Chris Durno, defenseman Derek Peltier and goalie Tyler Weiman were all sent to the Lake Erie Monsters on the weekend, making way for rookies Matt Duchene (pictured below) and Ryan O'Reilly to likely make the squad. With Tom Preissing on the shelf for the next six weeks, the Avalanche should be going with this overall look into the season.

Milan HejdukJohn-Michael LilesPeter Budaj
Wojtek WolskiKyle QuinceyCraig Anderson
Paul StastnyRuslan Salei
Marek SvatosBrett Clark
T.J. HensickScott Hannan
Cody McLeodTom Preissing
Chris StewartAdam Foote
Darcy TuckerKyle Cumiskey
David Jones

T.J. Galiardi

David Koci

Matt Hendricks

Matt Duchene

Ryan O'Reilly

I haven't managed to see any Avalanche games in the preseason, so I'm really curious to see how the lines are going to work out in this drastically changed line-up. The Avalanche are already finished their preseason schedule, so there isn't anything to see to help study the team. I would have to imagine that Duchene is going to see a lot of time with the power play and some of the top players like Paul Stastny, Milan Hejduk, Wojtek Wolski and/or Marek Svatos, but I'm not really sure which ones. Nevertheless, it will be a tough year for offense, as the team may not be too confident about their defense or goaltending, which can hamper a team's offense for taking chances and moving the puck forward.

Salary CapEven if a healthy Preissing was in the line-up to start the season, the overall cap hit for the 24 players works out to be $51.7 million, which is well below the cap ceiling. Since Preissing is expected to be out for the next month, he should be starting the season on the Long Term Injury Reserve, meaning the team will get a discount on his cap hit for the season and it will work in their favour, somewhat. The overall outlook for the Avalanche isn't too great, so I wouldn't expect them to be buyers at the deadline, rather being sellers. With eight potential UFAs to click over next summer, they'll have a good list of rental players to deal with next off-season.

Matt Duchene is going to get a good long look in Colorado and there should be no reason why he doesn't play the whole season with the Avs. Paul Stastny should have a rebound season and if these two players are going to be bringing the offense, there should be some sharing in the line-up The goaltending is an issue you may want to avoid, if you can, but if you have to fill a goalie spot with an Avs player, make sure you've filled out the rest of your team first, as you don't want to waste a pick on Peter Budaj or Craig Anderson.

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