The Colorado Avalanche continued to inch closer to their opening night roster, as they assigned forward Paul Carey to the Lake Erie Monsters and defenseman Chris Bigras to the Owen Sound Attack on Tuesday. Joining Carey with the Monsters will be defenseman Stefan Elliott; who was assigned to the club Wednesday.
The most experienced of the group, the demotion of Stefan Elliott was perhaps the most shocking. Drafted by the Avalanche in the second round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Elliott has 57 games of NHL experience spread across the past two seasons; scoring 17 points during that time. Head coach Patrick Roy said that it came down to a matter of ice time.
"It was a tough decision, but at the same time, we think he needs to play," said Patrick Roy. "He needs to play a lot of minutes. He needs to be a No. 1 guy over there. Here, he could have been (a seventh) D-man, and I thought that would not be good for his development."
Chris Bigras impressed the Avalanche brass enough that he was signed to an entry-level contract. Selected in the second round in 2013, the 18-year-old will now head back to the OHL to continue his development.
Paul Carey was selected by the Avalanche in the fifth round of the 2007 draft. He completed his first professional campaign last season for the Monsters; scoring 41 points in 72 games. He also played in two games for Lake Erie late in the 2011-2012 season; signing an amateur tryout contract after winning the NCAA National Championship with Boston College.
The Avalanche roster now stands at 27 players, with four more cuts needed to get down to the mandatory opening night number of 23.