Minus young center Ryan O'Reilly, the Avalanche moved closer to its 23-man, opening-night roster Wednesday by reassigning defenseman Stefan Elliott and forward Mike Sgarbossa to the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League.
The Avs, who open their 48-game season Saturday night at Minnesota, said they will finalize the roster Thursday by putting forward David Van Der Gulik on waivers.
If unclaimed, the 29-year-old Van Der Gulik will join Lake Erie.
Forward Patrick Bordeleau, 26, a 2004 Minnesota draft pick, could make his NHL debut against the Wild on Saturday. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound role player might be used to match up against the rugged Wild, which features tough guys Matt Kassian and Zenon Konopka.
But the Avalanche will have only 13 forwards after Thursday, keeping eight defensemen — including 21-year-old offensive-minded Tyson Barrie. Many NHL teams carry 14 forwards and seven defensemen.
O'Reilly, meanwhile, remains a restricted free agent playing in Russia. His agent, Mark Guy, said Wednesday there is "nothing new" to report about negotiations with the Avalanche.
Special teams in spotlight. The Avs completed their fourth day of training camp, working on the power play and penalty killing for the first time.
The power-play units featured defenseman Erik Johnson running one group from the point, with forwards Paul Stastny, David Jones, Milan Hejduk and Jamie McGinn.
Barrie led the second group with forwards Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Steve Downie and P.A. Parenteau.
"We wanted to introduce (the power play and penalty kill) today and have three days to work on special teams," coach Joe Sacco said. "It's a big part of the game. It's not as big as five-on-five play, but it plays a big part in today's game. We were able to (also) work on our penalty killing, introduced some new stuff, and will continue to work on it the next couple days."
Footnotes. Defenseman Ryan Wilson missed camp because of undisclosed reasons. ... The Avs will practice at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Pepsi Center and will return to their practice facility at the Family Sports Center on Friday morning. Mike Chambers, The Denver Post