It appears that at least one position battle has been settled for the Colorado Avalanche. The team reassigned six players to the training camp of the AHL”s San Antonio Rampage on Wednesday, also sending forward Conner Bleackley to the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL. All seven players played in Tuesday night’s preseason loss to the Calgary Flames.
Goaltender Calvin Pickard played the entire game in Calgary, allowing two goals on 32 shots. In 16 games for the Avalanche last season, the 31-year-old netminder registered six wins behind a 2.35 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage. His demotion means that Reto Berra will start the season as the backup to starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov.
Forwards Andrew Agozzino and Joey Hishon also saw time with the Avalanche last season. The 24-year-old Agozzino made his NHL debut, registering an assist. The 23-year-old Hishon had one goal and two points in 13 games for the Avs.
After a successful junior career with the Owen Sound Attack, Bigras will now begin his first professional season with the Rampage. He had 20 goals and 71 points in 62 OHL games last season. Andreas Martinson was signed by the Avalanche in the offseason after spending the last three campaigns in Germany’s DEL. He had 18 goals and 41 points in 50 games for Dusseldorfer last season. Despite being on a one-way contract, Maxim Noreau was sent to the AHL. He had eight goals and 30 points in 39 games for the Lake Erie Monsters last season.
Selected in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the Avalanche, Bleackley has yet to sign an entry-level deal with the club. Should he not by next summer’s deadline, he will re-enter the draft. In 51 games for the Rebels last season, he had 27 goals and 49 points.
The Avalanche roster now stands at 30 players. It must be down to 23 by the start of the regular season. The players cut were:
- LW Andrew Agozzino
- D Chris Bigras
- C Conner Bleackley
- C Joey Hishon
- LW Andreas Martinson
- D Maxim Noreau
- G Calvin Pickard