And damn, it's hard to be an Avalanche fan living in New Hampshire right now. Avalanche single game tickets are now on sale and yes, there are still good seats available for Joe Sakic night. I've been tempted all day to cave in and buy tickets, but once I factor in expenses like flights and a hotel, its just too much money for me.
As if that wasn't painful enough, training camp begins tomorrow. Veterans report today for medical evaluation, and I can't help but think of Steve Konowalchuk every year at this time. I would love to be able to check out a camp some year, but I think I'm going to have to wait until blogging becomes a high-paying gig (in other words, maybe around the time Matt Duchene's kids start getting drafted).
For those lucky enough to be in the area, camp will be at the Family Sports facility in Centennial from 9 to 11:30 AM. We've been getting great reports on rookie camp from folks like Dario, mfured20, avs21fan and hockeyheidi and all of us out-of-towners thank you kindly. Please keep up the excellent work!
As for camp, there will be 59 players in camp vying for 23 jobs but, realistically, there's only about 4 spots up for grabs, probably all at forward. Right now I have 10 forwards, 7 defensemen and 2 goalies - 19 players - locked in on the 23-man roster. Joe Sacco could keep 8 defensemen, but since the 7 he has right now all have solid NHL experience, I think he'll leave it at that and start with 14 forwards.
The widgets below list the vitals for each player, including whether they are currently under contract with the Avalanche, whether they are eligible to play in the AHL (junior players need to be 20 by December 31st of this year or have played 4 years in junior already), whether they will need to clear waivers to go to the AHL (the waiver period starts next Saturday) and what level of hockey they spent the bulk of their time at last year. Also, the players who I think are mostly assured of a roster spot have a check mark at the far left; it doesn't mean someone like T.J. Hensick can't play himself off the roster, but that's how I see things shaping up right now. For now, I don't have Duchene as a lock, but I do believe he's going to make the club.
|√||5||Brett Clark||D||L||32||6' 1"||195||√||√||w||NHL||Canada|
|10||Kyle Cumiskey||D||L||22||5' 10"||185||√||√||w||AHL||Canada|
|57||Brian Fahey||D||R||28||6' 1"||216||√||√||w||AHL||USA|
|√||52||Adam Foote||D||R||38||6' 2"||220||√||√||w||NHL||Canada|
|73||Cameron Gaunce||D||L||19||6' 1"||203||√||OHL||Canada|
|√||22||Scott Hannan||D||L||30||6' 1"||225||√||√||w||NHL||Canada|
|√||4||John-Michael Liles||D||L||28||5' 10"||185||√||√||w||NHL||USA|
|47||Ray Macias||D||R||23||6' 2"||195||√||√||AHL||USA|
|56||Kevin Montgomery||D||L||21||6' 1"||185||√||√||OHL||USA|
|2||Wes O'Neill||D||L||23||6' 4"||215||√||√||AHL||Canada|
|6||Derek Peltier||D||L||24||5' 11"||190||√||√||AHL||USA|
|√||20||Tom Preissing||D||R||30||6' 1"||197||√||√||w||NHL||USA|
|√||27||Kyle Quincey||D||L||24||6' 2"||207||√||√||w||NHL||Canada|
|√||24||Ruslan Salei||D||L||34||6' 1"||212||√||√||w||NHL||Belarus|
|3||Brett Skinner||D||L||26||6' 1"||183||√||√||w||AHL||Canada|
|44||Ryan Wilson||D||L||22||6' 1"||207||√||√||AHL||Canada|
|75||Tyson Barrie||D||R||18||5' 10"||190||WHL||Canada|
|72||Joel Chouinard||D||L||19||6' 1"||186||QMJHL||Canada|
|46||Matt Clarke #||D||L||21||6' 1"||192||√||OHL||Canada|
|71||Patrick Cusak #||D||R||20||6' 1"||194||√||QMJHL||Canada|
|48||Stefan Elliott||D||R||18||6' 1"||180||WHL||Canada|
|68||Samuel Finn #||D||L||18||5' 11"||190||QMJHL||Canada|
|√||41||Craig Anderson||G||L||28||6' 2"||180||√||√||w||NHL||USA|
|√||31||Peter Budaj||G||L||27||6' 1"||200||√||√||w||NHL||Slovakia|
|35||Trevor Cann||G||L||20||5' 11"||199||√||√||OHL||Canada|
|30||Tyler Weiman||G||L||25||5' 11"||180||√||√||w||AHL||Canada|
|70||Peter Delmas||G||L||19||6' 2"||169||QMJHL||Canada|
|60||Brandon Maxwell||G||L||18||6' 1"||195||USDP||USA|
|64||Billy Sauer *||G||L||21||6' 2"||180||√||CCHA||USA|
- * indicates players is signed to an AHL contract
- ^ indicates a player on a professional tryout
- # indicates a player on an amateur tryout
If I was guessing right now about the 4 who make the team, I'd say Duchene, Stoa, Hendricks and either Bates or Willsie. I do think there are a number of other players who will have opportunities, though, so don't use permanent ink when quoting me. Also, look for Cumiskey and Weiman to get demoted by the end of the week because of their waiver status; there'll be others, but those are the two that I think the club would prefer to avoid exposing. The waiver exemption and AHL eligibillity is calculated by yours truly - hopefully I've got that all correct.