Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Avalanche Add Muscle, Recall McCormick

Cody McCormick has been called back up to the big club. In a move that can only be designed to add some muscle and toughness to the lineup, McCormick will rejoin the team with spark plug Ian Laperriere out for at least another week due to a knee injury.

At 6'3", 215lbs, he adds some size that the Avs desperately need. Aside from Parker, he's the biggest forward the Avalanche have on the roster at the moment.

Karlis Skrastins has also been activated from the IR after some shoulder troubles. To make room, Jeff Jillson was sent down after watching a couple games from the press box. It would have been nice to see Jillson in for at least one game but what can you do.

It's doubtful that McCormick will be in the lineup tonight but Skrastins will likely make his return. Draft Dodger thinks Cumiskey will sit and I doubt he's wrong. Clark and Sauer are the top pair, Finger is the guy who generates some physicality, Hannan is the shutdown/defensive roleplayer and Liles is the powerplay man.

Cumiskey is a Liles clone but with less experience so he could be finding his way back to Lake Erie soon. The Avalanche tend to enjoy having 7 d-men on the active roster with one watching from above though so he could stick around a couple more games.

UPDATE: Rather than sitting the Liles clone, Liles himself is the odd man out. Source: Rocky Mountain News

Monday, October 22, 2007

Skrastins Injured; Avalanche Recalls Cumiskey

First, let me saw that although I understand the grammar behind it, it still feels weird putting "Recalls" instead of "Recall" in that headline.

The Avalanche announcers stated during last night's game against the Wild that Karlis Skrastins was back in Denver with an injured shoulder. So our iron man has been hit with a streak of injuries dating back to the knee injury which ended his streak.

In his place in the press box - well, Finger's place I guess - will be young Kyle Cumiskey who the Avalanche recalled today. Cumiskey put on a great showing in training camp but he's primarily an offensive defenceman and the Avalanche (supposedly) have enough of those. So off to Lake Erie he went.

He should get to watch at least one game from the press box but I've yet to hear if Skrastins is a long-term injury or not.

Cumiskey was called up once already this season when Jordan Leopold went down with a brief hip injury.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Rookie Camp Roundup

The Avalanche rookie camp came to a close today with minimal fanfare. But that doesn't mean the anticipation isn't lingering in the air! Camp got underway Saturday as the rookie lineup hit the ice from 9:30 until 11:30 in the morning. As with most hockey practices, the day started out with drills and ended with a scrimmage. The main difference from your typical practice scrimmage is we're talking a full-on game - refs, fights and all!

Day 1 - Cumiskey, Hensick, Stewart and Jones were the most impressive in Day 1 by most accounts. Stewart was strong on the puck and notched 2 goals in the scrimmage. Hensick appears to be living up to his billing as the Avalanche top-ranked prospect, notching one goal and looking impressive. Stewart will give him a run for the money with his power game plus goal-scoring abilities.

Avalanche.com Day 1 Report
Avsprospects Day 1 Report
Woodchub's Day 1 Report

Day 2 - Hensick and Stewart continued to impress in Day 2 with Stewart finding the back of the net twice and Hensick putting one home as well. Mitch Love continued to show his feisty side as he and Brandon Straub dropped the mitts. Wall and Weiman both made some good stops and are, as expected, standing out as the #1 and #2 goaltenders at the rookie camp. Cumiskey, benefitting from his 9 games with the Avalanche last season, has improved his positioning and overall game.

Avalanche.com Day 2 Report
Avsprospects Day 2 Report
Woodchub's Day 2 Report

Day 3 - Chris Stewart continued to find the twine today. Stewart tallied a hat trick as did Cody McLeod during the scrimmage. Tyler Weiman did not take part in the scrimmage and was reportedly working with Peter Budaj. So there may be a clear cut #3 coming out of rookie camp and Wieman should be chosen to play with the big boys once they take the ice this week for training camp.

And speaking of the big boys, they made a surprise appearance today and played a game of pickup hockey on the other side of the arena. This made rookie camp reports a bit sparse as most fans understandably flocked over to watch names such as Sakic, Smyth, Hannan, Stastny and - yes - Parker, step onto the ice publicly for the first time since April.

Avalanche.com Day 3 Report
Avsprospects Day 3 Report

Day 4 - Rookie camp came to a close today with no scrimmage. It was nothing but drills for the youngsters in their final chance to impress the coaching staff. Cuts will be decided later today to select the group of rookies who will attend the Avalanche training camp,

Avalanche.com Day 4 Report
Woodchub's Day 4 Report (on Avalanche forums)

With the conclusion of rookie camp, it's time for the veterans to take the ice. The veteran roster reports to the arena for physicals and medicals on September 13th and will take to the ice on September 14th and 15th. The Burgundy/White game concludes training camp on September 16th followed by the first preseason game against Phoenix on September 17th.

Yes, NHL hockey action has begun and the season is less than a month away! To pass the time, check out some of these interviews and articles relating to the Avalanche's promising youngsters.

Rookie Interviews
Avalanche.com Q&A; - Ray Macias
Avalanche.com Q&A - Trevor Cann
Avalanche.com Q&A; - Kevin Montgomery
Avalanche.com Q&A - Kyle Cumiskey

Related Articles
Avalanche.com - Weiman Keeps Working
Sports Illustrated Camp Coverage
Gazette.com Camp Coverage
Denver Post - Chris Stewart Article
Denver Post - JD Corbin Article
Gazette.com - Brendon Straub Article
Stewart and Hensick Beat The Odds

If anyone comes across other articles, let me know and I'll add them to the list.