Sometimes a call up has a ripple effect in professional hockey, the effects of which are felt from top to bottom of an organizational system. Often it takes just the right amount of circumstance, which is the case with the Colorado Avalanche, who have recalled prospective goaltender Calvin Pickard from their AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters.

The 20-year-old Pickard is coming in to replace Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who is leaving the team for personal reasons after Colorado’s 4-3 shootout win against the Minnesota Wild last night. Pickard has gone 13-11-3 this season with the Monsters, posting a cool 2.71 goal against average and a .911 save percentage through 790 saves. The reward for his efforts? His first chance to back up Semyon Varlamov in the show – though often called up netminders never see game minutes with the Avs.

Because of the upward movement of Pickard, the Lake Erie Monsters have been force to recall another goaltender to fill Pickard’s absence. That guy is Denver Cutthroats backstopper Kieran Millan. Millan joins partner in crime Kent Patterson - also of the Cutthroats this season – who has been in Erie for roughly two weeks filling in for an injured keeper Sami Aittokallio. Patterson has played one game in support of Pickard, a 1-0 shootout loss.

Kieran Millan

Photo by Daniel Russell/ProHockeyNews.com

Without either of their starting tenders, the Denver Cutthroats have been hit the hardest by today’s moves. They have been relying solely on Millan since Patterson left, and brought in Casey Sherwood to hang out on the bench for good measure. Not willing to gamble on Sherwood’s dependability in the blue paint, the Cutthroats have announced the signing of Michael DiLorenzo, who was with the club during open tryouts.

DiLorenzo seemed a lock to make the Fish out of tryouts – which was more like a professional tryout for him – until Denver announced an affiliation with the Avalanche and scooped up Millan and Patterson. The 29-year-old, never-say-die goalie has spent the majority of this season playing in the FHL, with both the Williamsport Outlaws and 1000 Islands Privateers. He was 7-9-2 in the league.

Giguere is the latest Avalanche player to drop from the roster. The club is currently without Steve Downie, Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan Wilson, and Erik Johnson – all lost to various maladies. His veteran, calming presence will be missed during his sabbatical. He is 2-0 on the shortened season, coming up big when the club seemed unable to skate to a victory. He owns a 2.48 goals against average and .919 save percentage after his starts.

Giguere is expected to rejoin the team for Sunday’s practice.

The Avalanche face the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow afternoon in Edmonton. Varlamov is expected to start.

The Monsters take on the Grand Rapids Griffins tonight in Grand Rapids. Patterson is the likely starter there.

The Cutthroats battle the Wichita Thunder tonight at home in the Denver Coliseum. They will start DiLorenzo as they continue to fight towards the playoffs.

What do you think? Confused? Excited?