Colorado Avalanche: Sending Chris Bigras to San Antonio Right Decision

Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche sent Chris Bigras — a promising young d-prospect — down to San Antonio on Thursday, and they made the correct decision in doing so.

It’s safe to say that the Colorado Avalanche shocked some people by sending Chris Bigras down to the AHL on Saturday. However, they made the correct decision by sending him down.

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Surprising why? Well, it probably has something to do with what Joe Sakic said way back at the beginning of the offseason, according to the Denver Post.

Sakic had made it pretty clear that they wouldn’t make any big moves in free agency, and that they would be giving Nikita Zadorov and Bigras larger roles with the team.

That appears to be the case for Zadorov as he’s had a lot of success this preseason, but Bigras is on his way to the “A.” And, that’s the best decision the Avalanche could have made for Bigras’ future.

Bigras Needs Time to Develop

Chris Bigras needs to develop a little bit more, and that wasn’t going to happen with limited to no minutes in the NHL. Here’s what Jared Bednar had to say about the situation, according to the Denver Post.

"He needs to go play big, important minutes down there."

Bednar went on to say that “all three of the guys that we [sent to San Antonio], I think have promising futures.” And, he made sure to emphasize that all three players are “important pieces for the future, and they need to go play and be impact players for the time being until they can get up here and help us win on a nightly basis.”

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For once, the Colorado Avalanche have some depth on the blue and were able to spare Bigras from poor developmental minutes. Which allows Bigras to play on the top pairing for San Antonio and receive much more developmental input.

In the NHL, Bigras would have been relegated to the third pairing at best, and would have more likely been a scratch on most nights.

So, with Bigras out of the mix, it’s now a question of how the pairings will look at the NHL level.

What do Pairings Look Like With Bigras in the AHL

Chris Bigras wasn’t going to make it into the top two pairings, and he may not have even made it into the top six pairings either. Which means there was no point in keeping him on the roster.

The Colorado Avalanche now have eight defensemen left on their roster:

  • Erik Johnson
  • Tyson Barrie
  • Francois Beauchemin
  • Nikita Zadorov
  • Patrick Wiercioch
  • Eric Gelinas
  • Duncan Siemens
  • Fedor Tyutin

Those aren’t ordered in any accidental fashion either; in other words, here’s the pairings I think will come out of those players.

First Pairing: Zadorov Johnson

Second Pairing: Beauchemin Barrie

Third Pairing: Wiercioch Gelinas

Extra: Siemens Tyutin

I don’t think the Avalanche will send Siemens down to the AHL because he doesn’t really need the time down there anymore. And, obviously all the other defensemen on the roster on are on one-way contracts aside from Zadorov.

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So, I’m thinking that Bednar intends on carrying 8 defensemen and 13 forwards when it comes down to it. But, that’s just an estimation.

However, it’s still a possibility that Zadorov gets sent down to the AHL as well. But, the AHL is not where Zadorov needs to be. In other words, it’s time for him to start taking control over his future and solidify a role on the Avalanche blue.


The season is nearing, and the final preseason game is scheduled for Saturday night against the L.A. Kings.

That game will be the first televised game of the preseason for the Colorado Avalanche. And, it should be most fans first opportunity to see Bednar’s systems in action.

Furthermore, that game will be the final opportunity for players on the cusp of making the roster to leave an impression.

As such, Saturday night’s game against the Kings should be an exciting affair.

Also, keep in mind that Saturday represents a chance for the Avs to finish undefeated this preseason. Granted, that’s not the most poignant representation of regular season success.

Nonetheless, it will be intriguing to see whether or not the Avalanche can continue their success into the regular season.

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That’s the question. Will the Avs be able to continue their successful preseason when the regular season begins? And, how much does the preseason really influence the regular season?

Luckily, that’s something that Avalanche fans will figure out soon enough.

Finally, Jared Bednar has at least a couple days to make his final roster cuts after Saturday night’s game. Although, I imagine he’ll have a pretty good idea of who’s getting cut by the time the game is over.

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Nonetheless, Bednar will have a final week of practice before the season starts, and within that week he’ll have time to assess injuries to Mikko Rantanen, Blake Comeau, and John Mitchell. All of whom are currently not practicing for the Avs.

It’s unfortunate that Bigras was not able to make the roster. However, sending him down to the AHL was the best choice that could be made for the sake of his development.

That’s all for today folks, thank you for stopping by!