Before practice started on Tuesday afternoon, the Colorado Avalanche announced that Riley Tufte and Justus Annunen were back up with the team.
How could they pull off that move? Yesterday, they were within $500k of the salary cap limit, but today, they moved Pavel Francouz to long-term injury reserve. That gave the organization an additional $2 million in cap space to work with, allowing them carry a full 23 man roster.
There has been no real update on the status of Francouz, but him being placed on LTIR is a sign that he’s not expected back any time soon.
With Annunen being called up, and the team claiming Ivan Prosevtov on waivers Monday, the team suddenly has three goaltenders.
It’s going to stay that way, at least to start the season.
“For now,” Jared Bednar said, when asked if they’ll carry three goalies. “I think he’s (Annunen) done a really nice job through training camp. The other guy (Prosvetov) is going to meet us on the road, so we’ll have three for this trip anyway. We’ll make some lineup decisions as we go.”
It doesn’t sound like the Avalanche picked up Prosvetov on a whim, either.
“Well, obviously we need some goalie depth,” Bednar said. “Provetov became available, our guys like him, done some homework on him, so that takes care of that issue for now.”
Prosvetov isn’t the only outside help the organization has gone out to find in the last 48 hours. On Tuesday, the team acquired Caleb Jones from the Carolina Hurricanes. He will continue to play with the Colorado Eagles for now, but it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if he joins the Avalanche in the near future.
“I like his experience,” Bednar said of Jones. “I like his ability to get up in the play and help a little bit offensively. He’s got decent size. The whole package, it’s tough to evaluate all the time, depending on the team they’re playing on, but it’s a guy that’s a really good player. We’ll get him into our system, teach him what we know, and see if he can be a fit.”
The team will continue to carry six defensemen on the road trip, but will make decisions on the roster as they go on. Bednar does not like to carry only six defensemen because there aren’t enough bodies for practice.
One player whose status is in question for the Wednesday night opener in Los Angeles is Andrew Cogliano. If you are looking to get in on anything for tomorrow’s season opener, you can explore Caesars Sportsbook Ohio promo code here.
According to Cogliano, the fractures are completely healed, but he wants to make sure the muscles around his neck are strong. He mentioned he wanted to be confident when he played a game, and I wonder if that’s part of the hold-up at the moment.
“We haven’t made that decision yet,” Bednar said on Cogliano’s status. “He’s feeling good, though. We’ll just kind of play it by ear and have some conversations and decide when he goes in.”
From my vantage point, it looked like a lot of Kurtis MacDermid practicing with Fredrik Olofsson and Logan O’Connor during practice today, but with five skaters wearing gray, there’s a lot of rotating.
As for the rest of practice, there were no real updates. The Avalanche haven’t changed their top nine since the start of training camp, so you can expect those same nine forwards to trot out tomorrow. I asked Bednar about his new centers getting a big challenge tomorrow night, but I’ll save that for the game preview on Wednesday.
That’s all for practice today. The Avalanche fly to Los Angeles tonight, and I fly out early (very early) tomorrow morning. The few of us writers who will be in LA will meet with GM Chris MacFarland tomorrow, so look for that on CHN.