Colorado Avalanche: Waiver Process can Change Opening Night Roster

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 21: Nail Yakupov
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 21: Nail Yakupov /

The waiver process may impact how the Colorado Avalanche builds its opening night roster. The following is a guest post from Mark T.

I can’t remember the last time the preseason was this interesting for the Colorado Avalanche.

With so many veteran players leaving, there are some wide open roster spots available for young players to claim. Or are there?

One thing I haven’t seen a lot of people mention is one of the major factors that will go into the decision-making of the Colorado Avalanche — waivers.

First, I think I should briefly explain how waivers work. Waivers have nothing to do with one-way or two-way contracts and everything to do with a player’s age, years or experience and number of games played. Players that meet all the requirements have to pass through waivers if they are sent down to the AHL. Players who are too young or inexperienced can be sent down at any time without passing through waivers.

So let’s look at the players vying for roster spots in terms of their waiver eligibility:

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Waiver-eligible forwards:
– Joe Colborne

– Matt Nieto
– Nail Yakupov
– Rocco Grimaldi
– Gabriel Bourque
– Felix Gerard
– Andrew Agozzino
– Trent Vogelhuber

Waiver-exempt forwards:

– J.T. Compher
– Tyson Jost
– Alex Kerfoot
– Dominic Toninato
– A.J. Greer
– Reid Petryk

Waiver-eligible defensemen:

– Duncan Siemens
– David Warsofsky

Waiver-exempt defensemen:

– Andrei Mironov
– Chris Bigras
– Anton Lindholm
– Sergei Boikov
– Mason Geertsen

(Source: CapFriendly

If you’re trying to predict who will make the 23-man roster for the Avalanche, I think you need to consider the players’ waiver status. What this information tells us is that guys like Colborne, Nieto, Yakupov, Grimaldo, Bourque and Agozzino have a leg up on Compher, Jost, Kerfoot and Greer. So don’t be surprised if one of our young stars gets sent down and a guy like Grimaldi gets a roster spot in their place.

As for the defense, what this tells me is that Siemens and Warsofsky are probably going to need to lose one of the roster spots more than they need to win them. Those guys could easily be the ones to fill two of the healthy scratch positions because the Avalanche aren’t going to want to risk losing either (especially Siemens) on waivers.

What this all means is that realistically all of the waiver-exempt forwards listed above might start the year in the AHL, and at most two of the exempt defensemen will make the team.

Next: Avs Aim to Use Waiver Wire to Boost roster

Now I might be wrong and the Avalanche might just keep whoever plays best regardless of waiver eligibility. But given the Avalanche’s general lack of organizational depth, I think it would be foolish to lose some of players for nothing on waivers when you don’t need to.