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Colorado Avalanche Preseason 2011: Avs Reassign Four Players, Reduce Roster To 27

After their dominant victory over the Los Angeles Kings in their final preseason game, the Colorado Avalanche have reassigned four more players to the AHL Lake Erie Monsters. The current roster has now been reduced to 27 players, just four more than the 23 player regular season maximum roster.

Goalie Trevor Cann was an easy cut, as he will be the starting goalie for AHL Lake Erie this season until offseason acquisition Cedrick Desjardins recovers from shoulder surgery. Cann lasted in camp as an extra netminder during scrimmages and was never truly considered to make the roster this year due to his young age and lack of experience.

Forwards Brad Malone and Patrick Bordeleau were also sent down to Lake Erie. Both physical forwards displayed promising flashes in camp, but were unable to force their way onto an active roster that is stacked with lower line forwards. Malone in particular was given a chance to unseat Cody McLeod from the active roster, and should be a favorite to rejoin the team this year in case of injury or ineffective performance. 

Defenseman Tyson Barrie was also sent down for seasoning. The young rookie showed good defensive instincts and has proven he is very close to NHL ready. With some time in the AHL, Barrie should become a very solid defenseman for Colorado.

Fellow rookie Stefan Elliott appears to have made a very strong case for the Opening Night roster with a stellar camp and preseason showing. His speed and aggressive offensive ability show a unique skillset not shared by the rest of the Avalanche's current defensive corps -- a group that is built to be larger and more physical than last year's iteration.

With 27 players currently on the roster, four more players must be reassigned before the start of the regular season. Forwards Mark Olver and Brandon Yip are injured, as well as defenseman Kyle Cumiskey and can be placed on the Injured Reserve list. They cannot be reassigned until they have been cleared for play. If Elliott remains with the club, Colorado will have to make one more cut this week before the start of the season -- likely a defenseman. Elliott is the easiest player to send down, but the club may choose to make a more surprising cut.