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From the Monsters Desk: Training Camp 2014 Opens Today

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Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Our beloved Monsters begin the quest for the 2015 Calder Cup today, hitting the ice at OBM Arena in Strongsville, Ohio for the season's first official practice of Training Camp. As one would expect there are many changes to the roster that ended last year's campaign 32-33-11. A look at the new roster, broken down by random discriminations:

Returning Monsters:

I won't go too much into these fellows, they are well known already.

Troy Bourke, Paul Carey, Trevor Cheek, Mitch Heard, Garrett Meurs, Mike Sgarbossa, Colin Smith, Gabe Beaupre, Stefan Elliott, Markus Lauridsen, Karl Stollery and Sami Aittokallio.

New Avs Prospects:

This list will fill out a bit with final cuts from the Avs.

Cody Corbett 6'1 195# D - Was an alternate captain on the Memorial Cup Champion Edmonton Oil Kings last year and participated in Avs Rookie and Training Camps. Smart puck-moving defenseman with a good shot.

Roman Will 6'1 195# G - A veteran of one season in the QMJHL and a couple in the Czech B league, Will was impressive in Avs Camp and only cut yesterday.

Signed Monsters:

These fellows are signed to AHL contracts with Lake Erie, a couple still remain in Colorado and will be added at some point. All participated in Avalanche Training Camp this year.

Nate Condon 6' 200# C/LW - Captain of the Minnesota Gophers last year, Condon was a 7th round pick of the Avs in 2008. Steady 2-way forward that should provide leadership even as a rookie.

Marcus Power 6' 180# C - 2nd leading scorer in the QMJHL last year with 109 points in 67 games, Marcus could provide a good scorer's touch for LEM

Joey Leach 6'2 187# D/LW - Spent last year mainly with the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL. Looks like defensive depth.

Francois Tremblay 6'2 194# G - Former 5th round pick of the Blues, provides goalie depth possibly headed to Ft Wayne.

Our brother Komets:

Players signed by the Fort Wayne Komets, looking to impress the staff for a potential callup.

Angelo Esposito 6'1 181# C - Former 1st round pick of the Penguins back in 2007, played for Coach Roy in Quebec and has bounced around the AHL and Europe for the last few years. Keep an eye on this one, could be an interesting reclamation project.

Eric Faille 6' 179# RW - Played a full junior career then 4 years at the U of Moncton

Thomas Frazee 6'3 176# C/RW - 47 points in 60 games last year for the Quad City Mallards of the CHL

Matt Pistili 6'2 218# RW - Veteran minor leaguer has played a bunch with the Charlotte Checkers over the last few years

Shawn Szydlowski 6' 209# RW - Spent last year with the Komets racking up 11G/15A in 60 games

Ian Barteaux 6' 194# D - Recently graduated from the University of Alberta

Matt Krug 6' 231# D - Older and much larger brother of the Bruins' Torey Krug. Spent the last 2 years with the Evansville Icemen of the ECHL

Cody Sol 6'4 215# D - Former 5th round pick of the Trashers in 2009, played with Landy in Kitchener

James Martin 6'2 192# D - Spent last season with the Alaska Aces of the ECHL

Pat Nagle 6'2 181# G - Graduate of Ferris State and ECHL journeyman with Florida and Idaho

Other invitees:

Players looking to catch on with Lake Erie or perhaps Fort Wayne for the season.

Christian Hanson 6'4 227# C/RW - Veteran of 42 NHL games with the Leafs in 2008-11, has spent the last 3 years with Hershey, Providence and Chicago in the AHL. Father played Jack Hanson in Slap Shot. Wow!

Reid Petryk 6'2 209# C - Won the Memorial Cup with Cody Corbett and Edmonton last year. Played 2 games on an ATO with the Monsters in 2013 and participated in Avs Summer Development Camp this year.

Jean-Francois Plante 6' 183# C - Spent last year with Sherbrooke and Victoriaville of the QMJHL tallying 75 points in 69 games.

Kenny Ryan 6' 209# RW - 2nd round pick of the Leafs in 2009, spent the last 3 years with our old friends the Marlies. Participated in Avs Training Camp this year

Max Iafrate 6'2 218# D - Played a game for the Monsters last Spring and participated in Avs Rookie & Training Camps this year.

Jared Nightingale 6'3 205# D - AHL veteran, last year was captain of the Rockford IceHogs.

C.J. Severyn 6'1 185# LW - Former Calgary 7th rounder played at Ohio State has spent the last couple of years with the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL

Coming this way?

The Avs still have quite a few cuts to make, likely candidates to join the Monsters include Duncan Siemens, Bruno Gervais and Maxim Noreau on D, Andrew Agozzino, Dennis Everberg, Samuel Henley, Joey Hishon, Borna Rendulic, Ben Street, Tomas Vincour, Michael Schumacher & Daniel Maggio at forward and Calvin Pickard in goal.

Schedule:

Tuesday - Various practices and scrimmages from 8:30am to 12:30pm, then media availability

Wednesday - Practice from 8:30am to 11:00am, media availability, more practice at 4:50pm

Thursday - Practice from 8:30am to 12:30pm, then more media availability

Friday - Morning skate 8:00am to 9:30am then off to Windsor to play the GRG at 7:00pm

Saturday - Play GRG again, this time at our brother Komets home rink in Ft Wayne 7:30pm

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Got all that?

I can see why the Avs have been keeping a bunch of guys in Colorado. There's 36 players here already and 16 of them haven't been with the Avs in any way and don't know the drills or systems so it's going to be a lot of learning and basic drills that aren't going to do much for anyone that's been in camp but are good for the brother Komets players to learn in case of a callup.

There's also the gong show aspect here, 7 guys have no contract whatsoever. Figuring that anyone cut from Colorado at this point is a lock to stay in Lake Erie, there's really only 10 or 11 spots left to begin the season with the Monsters, another 4 plus a goalie headed to Ft Wayne. With the Demise of the Cutthroats we still don't know where many of these fellows will end up. Probably somewhere they'd rather not be so the motivation to impress the staf is high for everyone here. Could get dicey.

* * * * *

The plan is to load this thread with whatever I can find on Camp activities, interviews from Doug Plagens, pictures from the Monsters faithful and so forth. I'll also put what I can on twitter @mckinley06. There usually isn't any kind of live coverage of the pre-season games with Grand Rapids but we ought to get scores and maybe a stat or two. So lock it in and rip the knob off.