Coming out of 2 preseason games, I expected a small number of cuts to be made to further shrink the roster to 2 slightly smaller (20ish player) groups, but the Canes are still carrying everyone who made it past the 1st Canadian junior sendoff cut.
Michael Smith from the Canes was kind enough to answer my question about expected schedule for next cuts in his weekly Tweetmail yesterday. I suggest that you give that a quick read HERE.
Based on his comments and another layer or 2 added, here is my best guess for how the near-term cuts go:
–Friday after practice a round of cuts will likely be made before the Canes head out for a 2-game road trip. The cut will be a function of who is still being considered for NHL roster spots but could also carry a couple extra players needed to play a back-to-back in preseason. Normal is for the veterans to play only 1 of the 2 games, and if anyone gets dinged up, he would sit both as a precaution. So an NHL roster of 23 players would provide about 10-12 players for each game which means that the team would need to have at least 10 more still traveling with the team if not a few more. Another consideration is that the Checkers camp does not open until next Tuesday, so those players do not really have anywhere to go until then.
=>Best guess is that the Canes depart Raleigh with 35-38 players which includes most of the Checkers.
The games this weekend will be huge for the AHL group trying to play their way into the main locker room for next week. One would expect that anyone who survives the Friday cut before the road trip will see action in at least 1 of the 2 games and therefore have a chance to make an impression before Monday’s cuts.
–Upon return Monday, the roster will quickly be culled down to only those players who are truly in competition for NHL roster spots. The training camp for the Checkers starts Tuesday, so there will be a busload headed from Raleigh on Monday to make the start of that camp.
=> Depending on how healthy the team is, I would guess that the roster drops to 27-30.
After that, I would expect smaller cuts each step of the way as Peters and his staff see what they need to work toward 22-23 players.