It took Rocco Grimaldi all of two games to cement himself as a fan favorite in the ATT Center. He could be making a return after today’s trade, which saw Rampage starting goalie Reto Berra sent to south Florida for the diminutive play-maker.
Berra appeared in 16 games for the Rampage last season after being sent down on what was initially a Conditioning Loan on February 18th. With Calvin Pickard impressing as the backup in Denver, Berra was waived and assigned officially on Feb 29th, marking the end of his Avalanche career.
Berra posted a record of 7-7 with San Antonio, with a 0.901% and a 3.39 GAA. His $1.45M one-way contract and the emergence of Spencer Martin as a viable AHL goalie made him a trade asset this offseason and Joe Sakic wasted no time dealing him for some cheaper depth.
Grimaldi, meanwhile, as most Rampage fans will attest to, is a small (tiny) forward with dynamic skating and play-making ability. The former 33rd overall draft pick out of North Dakota, put up 42 points in his rookie campaign with the Rampage and got a seven game call up as a reward in that first season.
Last season, Grimaldi split time between the Panthers, playing 20 games and registering five points, and their AHL affiliate Portland. In 52 games with the Pirates, Grimaldi registered 16 goals and added another 17 assists. Playing on the last year of his ELC, Grimaldi provides a cheap depth option under team control for a couple more seasons.
The 2016 NHL draft begins tomorrow night, and though Avs GM Joe Sakic has claimed things should be quiet, I’d keep your eyes and ears to the ground, because there may be more deals coming.