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Hensick up, Richardson down, Sakic...???

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In a strange move, the Avs have called up TJ Hensick and sent down Brad Richardson. It's an odd move on a couple of fronts.

The timing seems odd to call up Hensick now. Yes, Hensick is leading the Monsters in scoring and has loads of talent. But the time to call him up was a month ago when Hejduk and Richardson were injured and the Avalanche needed a scoring spark. Now that they've got a full complement of players (they are so "deep" up front that Ryan Smyth is toiling on the 3rd line), it seems odd to call up Hensick now. Adrian Dater called today's transaction "a surprising move" and I agree.

Unless...

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Hopefully, this was just a rest issue and not an injury issue: Joe Sakic had a season-low 14:24 of ice time, and did not appear on the ice during the final 5 minutes of the game.

That's from my recap of last night's game. It was only speculation on my part, but it looks like my fears were valid: "The only downer: Avalanche captain Joe Sakic, whose second-period power-play goal turned out to be the winner, left the game with about five minutes remaining with what the team said is a minor groin ailment."

Uh-oh. As Shane pointed out over at Avs Talk, the call-up of Hensick would seem to indicate that something might be up with Super Joe. If there is, the Avs are keeping it under wraps pretty well. Barring an injury, there just doesn't seem to be much reason to justify bringing up Hensick at this point in the season.

Stay tuned - I have a feeling there may be more to this story.