By Josh Howald
Garrett Meurs has another two National Hockey League games under his belt, and remains in training camp with the Colorado Avalanche.
The first round of cuts left the Avs with 48 players in camp. The Ripley native was not among those cuts, and was in the line-up last Wednesday night in a preseason exhibition game against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Wearing #36, he played 5:48 in a 2-1 loss to the Ducks. Devante Smith-Pelley, a former Mississauga St. Michael’s Major, scored the game winner with less than six minutes to play in that one.
On Friday, the Avalanche again trimmed the training camp line-up, saying farewell to 11 more players to leave them with 37 in camp. Meurs also survived this round of snips, and on Sunday, was again in the line-up as Colorado faced Anaheim in another exhibition tune-up. This time, Meurs saw significantly more ice time (15:22), including 1:37 of power play time. He registered two shots on goal, and took a second period tripping penalty.
For those counting, that is now three NHL games for the former Huron-Perth Laker and Kincardine District Secondary School Knight. One year ago, he played for Colorado in Dallas in the preseason. Last year, he was eventually returned to Plymouth, where he posted impressive numbers in his final OHL season.
This year, he won’t be returning to the OHL. It is expected he will be reporting to the Lake Erie Monsters, Colorado’s American Hockey League affiliate in Cleveland, but he is certainly in no rush to get to Ohio.
Right now, his mother Tracy figures he is sitting fifth on the depth chart for Avalanche right wingers. That means he may be kept around a while longer to get a taste of the bigs, as any injuries to Colorado forwards would mean a chance he could be called up to the NHL from the Monsters. Tracy made the trip to Denver prior to the first game against Anaheim, and also flew to California for Sunday night’s rematch.
Colorado hosted Dallas last night at the Pepsi Centre in Denver. Tomorrow night (Thursday) the Avs will be in Dallas to take on the Stars before wrapping up the preseason with a game in Las Vegas against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.