Four rookies make Avs roster

Colorado Avalanche: Four rookies made the roster for next week's season opener.

Colorado set its roster at the 23-man limit Sunday afternoon in preparation for matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks Friday at the Pepsi Center.

Included on the roster are goalie Phil Sauve, right wing Marek Svatos, center Cody McCormick and defenseman John-Michel Liles, all rookies.

"We are extremely pleased with the way training camp and the
preseason went for our organization," said Avalanche Vice
President of Player Personnel Michel Goulet. "I said before camp
opened that it was going to be competitive, and it was just that."

McCormick was selected 144th overall in 2001, Liles 155th
overall in 2000, Svatos was taken 227th overall in 2001, and Sauve
was drafted in 1998 38th overall.

To bring the roster to 23, the Avalanche assigned defenseman DJ
Smith to the Hershey Bears.

Minnesota Wild: Veteran left wing Bill Muckalt was one of three
players assigned to the Wild's AHL affiliate in Houston as the team cut its roster down to 24 players.

Right wing Matt Foy and left wing Stephane Veilluex, both
promising young prospects, were also assigned to the Aeros.

Muckalt, 29, signed with the Wild as a free agent last year and
started the season with five goals in six games. But he missed 73
regular season games after dislocating his right shoulder Oct. 22,
2002 when Calgary's Denis Gauthier slammed him into the boards.

This would have been Muckalt's sixth NHL season.

Ottawa Senators: Senators players will wear a patch in memory of Roger Neilson on the front of their jerseys this season.

A depiction of one of Neilson's colorful neckties and his signature appear on the patch. Neilson, an assistant Ottawa coach, died of cancer during the summer.

"I would think Roger would get a kick out of this," team president Roy Mlakar told the Ottawa Sun.

Neilson, a Hall of Famer, was the head coach of eight NHL teams.

"I really think this is a great way to honor a great man who did so much for the game and cared so much about the game," Senators center Mike Fisher said. "His life was hockey."

  • Denis Hamel was traded to Ottawa by the Washington Capitals on Sunday for future considerations.

    The Capitals selected the forward in the NHL waiver draft Friday.

    Hamel went scoreless in Washington's 3-1 preseason loss to Carolina on Saturday night, his only appearance with the Capitals.

    The Senators signed Hamel as a free agent during the summer. He had two goals in 25 games with the Buffalo Sabres last season.