Three NHL players were placed on waivers Friday morning. Duncan Siemens was one of the three.
While it does not necessarily mean the end of his fraught career with the Avalanche organization, it is another obvious setback for a player who went 11th overall in the 2011 NHL draft. Unless he is claimed by another team within a 24-hour period from the time he went on the waiver wire, he could go back to the minors.
Coach Jared Bednar, though, would not say that a demotion to San Antonio is a sure thing just yet. Siemens did practice with the club Friday, and by placing him on waivers, Bednar said the move gives the team some "flexibility", which might mean claiming another player on waivers.
Training camp and the preseason just didn't seem to go as well as Siemens had hoped. While he played a physical game, questions about his quickness and decision-making remain.
Siemens' loss might turn out to be Chris Bigras' gain. Bigras might have clinched a roster spot with a strong preseason finale Thursday night in Las Vegas, getting two assists in a 4-2 Avs victory.
"It was a good night for him again. His trajectory over the last week or so has gone in the right direction," Bednar said. "Made a real nice play on the (Tyson) Jost goal last night. He's doing some good things out there."
Bednar, while he didn't come right out and say Nikita Zadorov reported to camp in bad shape, did say Friday that the young Russian defenseman is not where he wants him to condition-wise.When you miss a good portion of training camp, that's tough. I think he's put himself behind the 8-ball a little bit here," Bednar said. Zadorov spent Friday's practice skating with fellow Russian Andrei Mironov.
Erik Johnson, Nathan MacKinnon and Semyon Varlamov all were given the day off from practice.
Forward Joe Colborne (back) skated with the team, albeit in a non-contact jersey.
Rookie Tyson Jost said the groin issues that gave him some problems early in camp have gone away. Jost skated mostly on a line with Matt Nieto and Gabriel Bourque at practice.
Goalie Jonathan Bernier (groin) did not practice.
The Avs will practice Saturday, take Sunday off and be back at practice Monday through Wednesday of next week before boarding a flight to New York, with the regular-season opener set for Thursday night at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers. Does the long break between the end of the preseason to opening night concern Bednar? "No. We've got a lot of work to do," he said.