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Sgarbossa & Smith called up from Lake Erie

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

After yesterday's media time with Patrick Roy, Rick Sadowski hinted that with the new slew of Avalanche injuries the Avs would be calling up Mike Sgarbossa and Colin Smith from the Monsters. About an hour later, Doug Plagens confirmed they were being held out of last night's game in anticipation of a callup. Nice work, Rick!

For those that might not remember, Sgarbossa was an apparent throw-in along with Mike Connelly in the Jamie McGinn trade back in 2012. He finished up his overage year in juniors with 102 points in 66 games for the Sudbury Wolves and headed to Colorado/Lake Erie to begin his pro career. He was an All-Star as a rookie that season and finished 2nd to Andrew Agozzino in team scoring with 19G/25A. He also had a brief yet unspectacular 6-game stint with the Avs.

Last year was a disaster for Boss. He arrived in Denver for training camp out of shape, went down to Cleveland and immediately injured his ankle and never recovered his rookie form. He ended up spending the year in Coach Dean's doghouse for various reasons, took lots of selfish penalties and managed only 5G/15A in 49 games, mostly on the lower lines. I had him pretty much written off at this point and I wouldn't be surprised if the Avs did too.

This season, he has been reborn. The attitude and selfish play are gone, he's getting top-6 usage and has 3G/9A so far in 18 games. Also new is the commitment to responsible defensive play, playing a true centerman's game, moving the puck out of the zone well and making his linemates better. Great to see, it's rare to have a prospect left for dead come back like this. Mike's in the last year of his ELC, so this is a pretty big moment for him.

Colin Smith was the Avs 7th round draft pick in 2012 as a 19 year old. His final season in Kamloops saw him rack up 41G/65A in 72 games before he too headed to the Avs to start his pro career. Over the last year and a bit with Lake Erie he's had 12G/34A and his 12 points so far this year have him tied for 2nd on the team with Sgarbossa and Michael Schumacher.

Points aren't all Smitty brings, despite his diminutive size he's a very steady defensive player and gets plenty of time on penalty kills. Although he spent most of last year at center, he's been used primarily at RW this year but still takes plenty of draws.

I like the call on these two getting some time with the big club. Patrick and others in the org have said they want to rotate the callups to get a look at what we have down in Lake Erie and now that's finally coming true.