The Colorado Avalanche are officially in a roster crisis. After losing to injury all of Josh Manson, Artturi Lehkonen, Jean-Luc Foudy and the cherry on top with Nathan MacKinnon all on the recently concluded four-game road trip there was another poaching from last night’s lineup. This time the waiver wire was the culprit as depth forward and most recently fourth line center Jayson Megna was claimed by the Anaheim Ducks.
This is a curious move for Anaheim who is currently in the basement of the NHL standings and could use all the help they can get. However, to turn to a 32-year old veteran minor league forward who has cleared waivers five times in the last four seasons he’s been with the Avalanche organization is very suspect. Megna didn’t register a point in his 14 games up with the big club and hasn’t scored a NHL goal since the 2016-17 season. His on-ice analytics are not much better with a 43% Corsi For and 46% expected goals share. But what value Megna provided the Avalanche was taking the position of center which the team has lacked depth in all season and now is at a crisis point with Nathan MacKinnon expected to “miss some time”.
Now the Avalanche need to construct a roster of 18 healthy skaters to compete against the Boston Bruins tomorrow night. Alex Galchenyuk cleared waivers so he will be available and Charles Hudon has been officially recalled (after a paper transaction to save salary cap space) to meet the 20-player minimum roster requirement. The same is likely for Andreas Englund and Anton Blidh who will be needed to take their same spot in the lineup they occupied last night in Philadelphia. But two additional forwards are needed with MacKinnon and now Megna unavailable and no miracle recoveries on the horizon.
Internal options are running thin but Ben Meyers is healthy and back playing for the Colorado Eagles. He needed some AHL seasoning even before his injury but patience may not be a luxury now with the help he can bring to the center position and the maturity in his game. Sampo Ranta has also been on fire as of late and is a good fit for a fourth line role. Other NHL contracted forwards Cal Burke and Alex Beaucage who have played well for the Eagles too but neither have any NHL experience at this point. Unfortunately Mikhail Maltsev is no longer an option after recently going down with and having surgery on a serious lower body injury.
A panic trade to utilize more scant assets would be ill-advised especially with none of the Avalanche’s absences considered long-term at this point. Other organizations know the team is reeling and in a difficult position but surely GM Chris MacFarland has his ears open to all possibilities. Perhaps a lifeline appeared on waivers today with the Winnipeg Jets placing old friend Dominic Toninato up for grabs. Will the Avalanche put in a claim on him to help patch the roster in this time of need?
Dominic Toninato (WPG) and Evgeny Svechnikov (SJS) were placed on waivers— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) December 6, 2022
It should be noted Megna, and Lukas Sedlak for that matter who was claimed by the Philadelphia Flyers earlier this season, could come back to the organization if their current teams put them back on waivers. But for now the roster and injury carousel just keeps on spinning.