Colorado Avalanche: Analyzing Roster Changes after the Stars Loss


The Colorado Avalanche made several roster changes in the wake of their 7-2 loss to division rival Dallas Stars.

The Colorado Avalanche have made some roster moves. They reassigned forward Dominic Toninato to the San Antonio Rampage and recalled Rocco Grimaldi from the same. They have also activated both Colin Wilson and Patrik Nemeth from Injured Reserve.

Dominic Toninato, who was a collegiate free agency signing this summer, played eight games for the Colorado Avalanche. He usually centered the fourth line, playing with Gabriel Bourque, Nail Yakupov and Sven Andrighetto. He was mostly a replacement for Colin Wilson.

In his eight games, Toninato earned a single assist. He averaged around eight minutes of ice time a night. He earned a CorsiFor of 51% and a relative Corsi of -3.3. The 23-year-old rookie was tied for third place on the team with a 50% win on faceoffs.

Toninato is known for being a working class forward. He’s a two-way player who’s adept at creating pressure and playing smart hockey in the defensive zone. His demotion is likely due to the fact that Colin Wilson has been activated from Injured Reserve, since they played the same role on the team.

Speaking of Wilson, the Colorado Avalanche acquired him in a trade with the Nashville Predators, giving up a 2019 fourth-round draft pick for him. He has been in and out of the lineup because of injury, but his usual place has been on the fourth line.

In 16 games with the Colorado Avalanche, Wilson has one goal and four assists. The 28-year-old has a CorsiFor of 46.9% and a relative Corsi of -2.5. Wilson is in eighth place on the team with a 40.6% win on faceoffs.

On the face of things, that doesn’t exactly look like an upgrade. However, rookie Toninato is on a two-way contract, while Wilson’s is one-way — with a price tag of almost $4 million.

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Forward Rocco Grimaldi was another trade acquisition. Colorado traded goalie Reto Berra to the Florida Panthers for Grimaldi last summer. The 24-year-old forward has played nine games for the Avalanche spanning over two seasons. In that time, he has a goal and three assists.

Five of those games came this season. Grimaldi has played on the second line with Andrighetto and Matt Duchene. After two games, he was demoted to the fourth line with Gabriel Bourque and Colin Wilson, which is where he stayed for the next three games.

Grimaldi is a diminutive (5-foot-6, 180 pounds) forward with great legs. However, his best numbers are always going to come at the lower levels. It’s highly likely his call up is as a 13th forward.

Defenseman Patrik Nemeth isn’t a natural in this conversation because his status has little to do with the above three forwards. However, the Colorado Avalanche acquired Nemeth from the Dallas Stars via waivers.

The 6-foot-3, 219-pound Swede has played 12 games for Colorado. In that time, he’s recorded a goal and five assists. He’s spent a lot of time as Tyson Barrie’s defensive partner. Barrie has had a carousel of d-partners, so it will be interesting to see where Nemeth lands.

Next: Avs Players Discuss Leadership After Loss

Sometimes, it seems as if the Colorado Avalanche season is one big preseason with satellite players trying to earn a spot on the NHL team. These recent moves by the Avs certainly hold that feel. However, it speaks to Colorado’s depth that they’re even able to entertain these possibilities.