In a bit of a perplexing move, the Colorado Avalanche have swapped forwards with their AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters, recalling forward Ryan Stoa while sending forward T.J. Galiardi down.
There's not much doubt Galiardi has had a tough season, but most of it has spawned from a broken wrist that kept him out of the line-up for 17 games. Offensively, he's been cold lately (no goals in eight games), but has generally given a hard nights work most games. However, the emergence of Kevin Porter as a hard working scoring threat has essentially bumped Galiardi out of the line-up.
Considering he started the season on the first line with Paul Stastny and Chris Stewart, this is a big fall from grace. With Stewart and Cody McLeod recently returning to the line-up, and the eventual return of forward Peter Mueller, Galiardi will have to pick up his play if he wants to remain a member of the Avalanche; there are simply too many skilled guys he has to compete with.
For Stoa, this is a chance to show he has what it takes to be an NHL-caliber player.
A disappointing cut in training camp, Stoa has once again been one of the Monster's top scorers, with 15 goals in 44 games. However, the Avalanche are hoping Stoa can return to the player they caught a glimpse of at the end of last season, when he had 13 shots and two goals in the final two games of the regular season.