Colorado Avalanche Must Give Duncan Siemens a Chance

DENVER, CO - APRIL 04: Duncan Siemens
DENVER, CO - APRIL 04: Duncan Siemens /

Since the Colorado Avalanche have re-signed Duncan Siemens, they need to give the defenseman his shot in the NHL.

The Colorado Avalanche’s saga with defenseman Duncan Siemens continues. The team offered him a qualifying contract worth $750,000 for one year. He signed it.

I don’t know why the Avalanche qualified Siemens. Since drafting him 11th-overall in 2011, they’ve used him in exactly four games. Three of those games came last season. Otherwise, he’s been an AHL staple since 2013.

I don’t know why Duncan Siemens signed the contract. See above about his chance so far with the team. I can only imagine that, because he was never given much of a shot, he doesn’t have other teams making him offers.

Well, it’s time for the Colorado Avalanche to put up or shut up. They simply must give defenseman Duncan Siemens a chance to make the team.

A couple things have always perplexed me about Siemens. The Avalanche weren’t doing their typical “I’m going to draft low to find the hidden gem” when they chose Siemens 11th-overall. Siemens was ranked as a top-10 prospect in his draft year.

I don’t know why that was. B.J. McDonald of Central Scouting scouted Siemens as astrong, smooth skater with good composure and very poised under pressure.” Here’s more from his report:

"“Duncan isn’t overly offensive, but does play on the power play and moves the puck well. He gets shots through and is solid defensively, 1-on-1. “"

That’s all well and good, but that doesn’t explain why MacDonald also scouted him to go “near the top 10” in the 2011 Draft. Siemens’ scouting report sounds more along the lines of an early-second round defenseman.

Siemens is known for being good-sized for the NHL at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds. He’s a stay-at-home defenseman with a nasty streak. That’s the center of another thing that perplexes me about Siemens — why he didn’t make Patrick Roy’s team.

Patrick Roy loved players with grit, size and skill. Duncan Siemens showed well in the 2014 training camp, but he didn’t make Roy’s team. He only ever played one game for coach Roy, the 2014-15 season finale against the Chicago Blackhawks.

I don’t know what Patrick Roy saw or didn’t see in Siemens that made him keep Duncan down at the AHL level.

Conversely, Jared Bednar’s preferred player mold — small, speedy, skilled — doesn’t seem to fit Siemens. But he’s had three games under Bednar.

Well, good old Jared needs to find a spot for our Duncan. I’m sure the young defenseman is going to be working extra hard all summer to ensure he’s in top condition to compete for a roster position next season.

I like Siemens with Tyson Barrie. Though not known for his speed, Siemens is known for being a smooth skater. And his height gives him a long stride. What’s more, he’s a player who stays in position. Plus that nastiness can counteract Barrie’s teddy bear quality.

Conversely, if you want a vicious defensive pairing, put him with Andrei Mironov. Those two could wreck some havoc against opponents — I’m looking at you, Minnesota Wild.

Other Colorado Avalanche Signings

The Colorado Avalanche also signed restricted free agents Gabriel Bourque and Felix Girard. Bourque joined the team on a professional tryout last season. Girard was part of the trade that sent Cody McLeod to the Nashville Predators.

The Avalanche have three more restricted free agents to sign. The most notable is defenseman Nikita Zadorov. Apparently he’s given it until the end of the month to decide:

Related Story: Avs Close to Contract with Zadorov

Matthew Nieto and Rocco Grimaldi haven’t signed yet either. Nieto has filed for salary arbitration. His hearing, if it goes to that, is July 31.  Last year Nieto had a one-year contract worth $735,000. According to Cap Friendly, Nieto’s qualifying offer must be between $771,750 (105% of last year’s base salary) and $1 million.

Grimaldi hasn’t filed for salary arbitration, but he also hasn’t signed yet. I don’t know what the holdup is. According to his Facebook, he’s literally sitting around doing nothing. (Well, that evening he was anyway.)

Next: Signing Bernier was a Good Move

Grimaldi and Nieto were both chosen the same year as Duncan Siemens. (As was captain Gabriel Landeskog, but that’s a well-known story.) Grimaldi went 33rd-overall, and he has 31 games of NHL experience. Nieto went 47th overall, and he has 264 games of NHL experience.

Which returns me to my original point — the Colorado Avalanche simply must give Duncan Siemens his NHL shot.