Battle at the blue line for Avs

Assuming Patrick Roy doesn’t shake things up, there are eight roster spots for defensemen on the Colorado Avalanche roster. Fifteen defensmen are currently vying for those sacred spots.

First there are the new guys, like Nikita Zadorov, who was acquired over the summer through the mega-deal that dealt the Sabres Ryan O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn. There’s also Francois Beauchemin, the former Anaheim Ducks defender.

Tyson Barrie, who led the team in assists last year, and All Star Erik Johnson figure to be fixtures on the team. Nick Holden and Brad Stuart will undoubtedly be involved in the lineup as well, as Roy indicated after the first day of training camp.

Then there are the other returners, like Nate Guenin and Zach Redmond, both of which played significant time for the Avs last year.

Unproven AHL players Mat Clark, Gabriel Beaupre and Brandon Gormley have a tough task ahead if they are to make this team. And don’t forget the draft prospects Chris Bigras, Mason Geertsen, Duncan Siemens and Cody Corbett.

Whatever happens, camp promises to produce solid competition.

Calvin Jouard is a Mile High Sports intern and student at the University of Denver