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Training Camp Ends, Avs Get Serious

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The 2008-09 Colorado Avalanche training camp ended yesterday with a final practice session, and the team made a couple of moves.  The first was to announce Peter Budaj as the official starting goalie, and the second was to make a preliminary round of cuts from the roster.

First off, Budaj.

It's now apparent that Tony Granato is an avid Mile High Hockey reader, because he knew he had no choice but to put Boots in the top spot where he belongs.

"We've been grooming him for this day," said Avalanche coach Tony Granato, now in his second stint in charge of the team. "He's a kid that's ready."

Damn straight he is.  After practice concluded yesterday, the team pulled Budaj aside and gave him the good news.  Apparently it's no longer a bad thing that he sleeps with everyone else's wife---all the time.

"They gave me the chance, telling me I'm the guy," Budaj said on Tuesday after practice.  "I'm going to do my best and show them I'm capable of being the No. 1."

He had better.

Secondly, the team made its first round of roster cuts, assigning 17 players to the Lake Erie Monsters AHL affiliate, sending five back to juniors, and sending one on his merry way.

Congratulations are in order to Jack Combs, Bryan Marshall and Chris Mueller, who were all sent to Lake Erie after entering camp as un-drafted amateur tryouts.  Good job becoming professional hockey players, guys.

Others of note: TJ Galiardi will leave behind his excellent performance with Calgary of the WHL for the scenic paradise of Cleveland, Ohio.  Going with him will be Tyler Weiman, the young goalie who got shelled in the Burgundy/White scrimmage and who appears not quite ready for a spot in the big league, if he ever will be.  Jason Bacashihua will get the opportunity to see crease time in the pre-season, and hell, if we're lucky, will be so good that he sends Andrew Raycroft packing.  Right.

The Avs now have 36 players on their roster, and must whittle that down to around 20 by the end of the pre-season, which officially starts tonight for them.

The Avs face the Los Angeles Kings tonight at 7:00 PM Mountain Time.  To my knowledge, the game will not be televised, so there won't be an open thread for it.  I'll post a recap tomorrow, though, per usual.

Let's get going.