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Colorado Avalanche Training Camp 2011: Yip, Hejda Injuries Impact Roster Decisions

Last season, the Colorado Avalanche locker room resembled an infirmary ward as they led the Western Conference in man-games lost. Unfortunately, that trend is already starting up again during the preseason.

Forward Brandon Yip will miss 4-6 weeks with a broken forearm he suffered while blocking a shot during the game against the St. Louis Blues. Yip wasn't guaranteed to make the roster on Opening Night, but his injury certainly clears the way for forwards like Cody McLeod (who is having an excellent camp), Chuck Kobasew, and Kevin Porter to squeeze their way onto the roster.

Top free agent signing Jan Hejda will also miss two weeks with a knee injury he suffered during the Burgundy and White exhibition game earlier this week. Though this injury isn't very severe, it will likely prevent the top defenseman from playing on Opening Night. Hejda's absence could open the door for top prospect Stefan Elliott to join the team. Elliott has displayed elite playmaking skills throughout camp and his speed and shot are NHL-ready right now. As a young player, his defensive skills need refining but he has been talked about highly throughout camp as a guy that is ready to make an impact this season -- much like Kevin Shattenkirk last year.

Regarding roster cuts, goalie Calvin Pickard, defenseman Duncan Siemens, and forward Garrett Meurs were both sent back to their respective junior league rosters in preparation for their seasons to begin. 

Greg Mauldin was sent down to join the AHL Lake Erie Monsters.