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From the Rampage Desk: Week 21 - Blender

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Colorado Avalanche v Anaheim Ducks

The beloved Rampage have returned from their wildly unsuccessful Rodeo Road Trip with nothing put pain to show for it. As a bonus the Avs made a bunch of personnel moves to shake things up and get a start on next year.

Trade Deadline

In: Brendan Ranford, Joe Cannata, Colin Smith, Shawn St Amant

Out: Joe Whitney, Mike Sislo, JT Compher, Kent Simpson, Cody Corbett

- Brendan Ranford was acquired from the Coyotes/PDORunners for Joe Whitney. A noted Rampage killer in seasons past with the Texas Stars, Ranford is struggling this year and this is the 2nd time he’s been traded in 2017. He’s a 5’11 190# LW that should pop right into the Rampage top 6.

- Joe Whitney was traded as sitting captain of San Antonio. Just a wild guess but I think he might have asked to move on, although he was in the top 4 Rampage scorers it wasn’t a very good year for him. As Dan Weiss pointed out, it’s pretty telling that Whit and Sislo ended up moving to teams that played in the Eastern Conference last year.

- Joe Cannata is a 27 year old goalie the Avs got from Washinton/Hershey for Cody Corbett. His stats aren’t too good this year but he’s been pretty effective over the past 5 years. This one is a headscratcher, Kent Simpson has done a fine job as backup. The thinking must be that Spencer Martin is going to play a whole bunch down the stretch and Cannata is just an emergency plan.

- Cody Corbett was in the 3rd year of his ELC and was a lock not to be re-signed. He’s a great guy and I hope he gets a chance with Hershey or the SC Stingrays from this tryout. Never really developed much in the Avs system but he does have some good skills in the offensive zone. I honestly believe he could be far more effective as a forward, but no way the Avs need a project like that.

- Colin Smith rejoins the Rampage after a calendar year with the Toronto Marlies. He was traded there last year in the Shawn Mattias deal and signed an AHL contract over the summer. We all know what Smitty brings, high effort, good shot generation and average of around a point every other night. He should slot in at RW in the top 6 right away. Gotta wonder how he feels about coming back, can’t wait for Dan to do an interview with him.

- Mike Sislo was loaned to the Marlies so he’s technically still the Avs property. Another vet that didn’t work out, I think he’ll be able to help Toronto somewhat. Probably not as much as Smitty tho’, weird deal.

- As much as I’m sure Shawn St Amant would prefer playing in the AHL it’s got to be a bittersweet callup. The Eagles haven’t lost since January and he’s been tearing it up offensively. 13 goals and 15 assists in 35 games, a good chunk of those in the last month. On the bright side that confidence should transfer and he can build on the 3 points he had in 11 games with San Antonio earlier this season.

- Kent Simpson has been sent down to the Eagles after really finding his groove lately as the Rampage backup. Again, don’t see why how the Cannata trade helps the Rampage at this point but it is what it is.

- JT Compher was called up to the Avs and made his NHL debut last night in Ottawa in a 2-1 loss. He looked pretty good too. For his sake (and ours) I hope the Avs don’t jerk him around and keep him up there where he belongs.

- Injury report from Thursday practice: Elson, Greer and Young all skated in non-contact jerseys. Sam Henley did not skate, perhaps more work needed on his LBI from a few weeks ago. Ranford, Smitty and Cannata were en route but should be available tonight. I’d like to hope that they’re being cautious with Greer and trying to get him healthy for a callup to Colorado. The Avs have 3 moves left before the end of the year and sufficient cap space for at least one more player right now. Elson is still about a week away, no idea on Gus Young but he’s probably around there too.

Overall I’m fine with most of these moves. Whit & Sislo really needed to go somewhere else and getting Smitty back is nice as long as he’s ok with it. Ranford hopefully finds his form from earlier seasons and might end up being a solid AHL vet for the org going forward. The Cannata move is pointless but I’ll give it a chance. Very Happy for JTC getting his first callup and I’m excited to see how St Amant has progressed. If there was a lot of anxiety in the Rampage dressing room leading up to the deadline that should dissipate and they can get back to playing mediocre at least. Let’s not forget they won 5 out of their last 6 at home before taking the last month off.

- Our good friend Rampage Nate has his take on the deadline deals at Running With the Herd

Preview: Grand Rapids/Texas

After getting destroyed by the Griffs by an aggregate 11-1 two weeks ago now we get them on home turf with a revamped roster. The Stars are so inconsistent there’s no telling what we see on Sunday, still 5 games left in the season series.

Lineup from last weekend:

Bourque - Girard - Petryk
Nantel - Compher - Grimaldi
Whitney - O’Brien - Sislo
Bourke - Henley - Nunn

Bigras - Lindholm
Siemens - Boikov
Geertsen - Gelinas

Martin
Simpson

Scratches: Greer (LBI), Clark (rest?), Corbett (nacho)
Injured: Young (?BI), Elson (LBI), Vogelhuber (LBI, done)

Two guys traded out, two guys traded in. Makes sense that Ranford and Smitty would line up with OB perhaps. St Amant probably slots in on the 4th with Bourke taking Compher’s spot at center. With Big Sam and Greer questionable, who knows how the rest will go. Might be a 11F/7D kind of weekend.

Schedule

Friday vs Grand Rapids 8:30pm ET

Sunday vs Texas 4pm ET

Tuesday vs Grand Rapids 8pm ET

All games on Ticket760

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No conflicts this weekend, although the Avs and Rampage both play on Sunday. Tuesday’s game starts an hour before Colorado takes on the Canes in Denver.