This morning the Avalanche announced via twitter, that the team has reassigned Calvin Pickard and Dennis Everberg to Lake Erie.
ROSTER UPDATE: Calvin Pickard and Dennis Everberg have been reassigned to @monstershockey.— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) December 28, 2014
Although disappointing considering how strong Pickard's play has been, watching the rookie goalie heading back to Lake Erie isn't particularly surprising, nor is it really an assessment of Pickard's play. The Avs have backed themselves into a tough corner with Reto Berra's contract (lots more on that here) and for now that means keeping him in the NHL. A bigger decision on Berra's contract and his future with the team wil likely come at the trade deadline or during the offseason. It's difficult to carry three goalies in the modern NHL and, it's not good for the farm team to do so. Pickard will see the heavy majority of starts in Lake Erie as they push for a playoff spot and Varlamov will likely play almost every game for the Avalanche.
The second roster move is considerably more surprising. Dennis Everberg has spent the last few games playing on the Avs 4th line with Marc Andre Cliche and Cody McLeod. Without a healthy scratch at forward, his demotion means one of two things:
1. Nick Holden is getting back in the lineup as a forward or otherwise
2. An Avalanche forward will be returning from injury
3. The Avalanche made a trade or something
(Yes that's three things but lets be real, they didn't make a trade). Considering the Avalanche's remaining injuries (McGinn-season, Bordeleau 8-10 weeks, Street-lower on the depth chart than Everberg) it seems like Jesse Winchester may be on the verge of finally making his Avalanche debut. If that's the case we'll spill more ink on it here for a few reasons. First, because hooray for Winchester, who's battled vision problems since suffering a concussion against the Calgary Flames in preseason. Last time I attended Avs practice Winchester looked good and participated in everything at full speed, but he spent lots of time on the bench wearing glasses and quickly turning his head back and forth while talking with Avs trainers. Lets hope those magic glasses worked. Second though, is that as a natural center, Winchester should be replacing Cliche not Everberg in the minds of sane hockey fans everywhere. We'll have more when we know more.
According to Patrick Roy Dennis Everberg was sent down to get more ice time and Nick Holden will take his place in the lineup as a forward. Which begs the question.... why not just give Everberg more ice time? The simple solution in this case is apparently less appealing than playing Nick Holden, who's been bad at the position he's trained his whole life to play, in a different position.
The Avs will not call anyone up and will instead go with 20 players and no healthy scratches. No update on Jesse Winchester, and Roy will likely call up Pickard to start a game when the Avs next play back-to-back.