If you are looking for the game recap and notes from the preseason opener on Monday, you can find that HERE.
Yesterday, the Carolina Hurricanes announced the first round of roster cuts sending 7 players back to their junior teams. You can read my analysis of those not too surprising cuts HERE.
That round of cuts sends the team into a busy week with 4 preseason games and a roster that stands at 53 including Aleksi Saarela who has not actually arrived yet after suffering an injury this summer.
Ultimately, the Hurricanes will need to trim the total to 22-23 players. Here is a best guess for the schedule for how that goes:
Tuesday Sep 27-Friday Sep 30: The remaining junior players who are still in tow are likely to see at least 1 game of preseason action and maybe 2 before being subject to a keep or cut decision. Gauthier and Roy played on Monday. That leaves Warren Foegele, Jake Bean and Janne Kuokkanen waiting for a chance.
This group is subject to review after each game and throughout the week. Since they have the option of joining their junior teams that are playing games already, they could be returned at any time. Best bet is that the top draftees (Gauthier, Bean, Kuokkanen) stick around at least a little longer, but I think Nicolas Roy and Warren Foegele are subject to review/earning another game when they first step into the preseason action.
=> I would not be surprised to see another cut or 2 this week from the junior ranks.
Saturday-Sunday: The Charlotte Checkers camp officially starts on Monday October 3, so sometime next weekend a large contingent of the Checkers players will be cut and sent to the AHL in time for Monday’s first practice. It is possible that Checkers players are cut sooner, but since they really have nowhere to go until next week expectation is that they stay in Raleigh until then.
=> This cut line on Sunday will be the first real indication of who from the youth pool will truly be competing for NHL roster spots. I would expect 15-18 players to be part of this cut to get down to about 30-35 players and a group that includes only players still competing for NHL roster spots.
Bill Peters return: Game 2 of the WCoH Finals is Thursday and game 3 if necessary is Saturday which means that Coach Peters should rejoin the Hurricanes either barely in time for the 2 weekend games or otherwise just after they are completed. I think Peters’ return will mark a fairly aggressive transition from evaluating players to bearing down and focusing on building the 2016-17 roster.
=> Anyone still on the NHL roster after the bus departs for Charlotte during the weekend is truly in a battle for a roster spot. The only possible exceptions are a couple junior players who could be kept for a slightly longer look and for Bill Peters to see them in game action.
Next week: Next week features games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Those 3 games will be the last to both trim the roster and identify forward lines and combinations for the start of the regular season. I would expect additional cuts after each game as Hurricanes management works its way down to 22-23 players.
=> If everyone is healthy, the final roster could be decided as early as Saturday October 8 in advance of the October 13 opener in Winnipeg, but that could be delayed slightly if there are players who are dinged up and questionable for the opener.