Following yesterday’s player movements, Ducks still have more cuts to make to get to a 24 man roster. The top nine forwards look set to start the season. The fourth or energy line remains a work in progress.
Goalie John Gibson has been sent back to his junior team in Kitchener, Ont. Forwards Emerson Etem, Patrick Maroon, D-man Nate Guenin and Goaltender Jeff Deslauriers are on their way to Norfolk. Deslauriers will have to clear waivers.
Former Blackhawk J0rdan Hendry has won the 7th D-man spot to start the season.
The top six forward group is a mix of two vets and a prospect. Kyle Palmieri looks to have won the LW job on the top line. Nick Bonino will center Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne. The third or Stopper Line has Saku Koivu between Andrew Cogliano and Ducks newcomer Daniel Winnick.
The training camp roster is difficult to track because our Ducks media department hasn’t updated it since Sunday. It’s believed that Brad Staubitz, Devante Smith-Pelly, Peter Holland, Matt Beleskey and Richard Rakell are in the running for 4th line jobs, extra forward jobs.
Using Holland on the 4th line is a tad unusual unless the idea is to spot play and let him find his NHL comfort zone. Some have mentioned that he’s gripping the stick a little tight in camp.
The D pairings have been a surprise to many. Which line they support still remains to be settled. The pairings are Allen-Fowler, Beauchemin-Lydman and Souray-Sbisa. Jordan Hendry is 7th on the depth chart and will remain with the team.
Two things raise an eyebrow. First, six left-handed players? Passing D2D will remain a challenge. There is no excuse. The situation is managerial negligence. Also not certain that either of Beauchemin or Lydman is comfortable on the right side. Each has looked awkward executing a right foot cross-under or left leg cross-over that all D-men use when forcing an oncoming rusher toward the boards. Players change. they work on their weak spots so maybe it won’t be a problem. (Note: Canadian trained players call it a cross-over while Americans use cross-under. it’s the same move.)
If there’s a quibble it’s with the roster that management is providing the coaching staff. It looks as though Coach is making bets use of his assets. Coach did mention publicly that the roster looks to be one winger short. Maybe Palmieri is the answer.
For the second consecutive season our Ducks have at least five southpaws among the top six D-men. Remember when Bob Murray made a slew of roster moves, looked out on the ice and observed, “All of a sudden we became a small team.” Remember that one? Six left-handed D-men? Do you think Murray looks at the bigger picture when he makes roster decisions?
It doesn’t make much difference when defending. It does affect the D when passing and puck handling.
Oh and Brian Hunter at NHL.com thinks our Ducks are a playoff team. One caveat, NHL.com thinks all 30 teams have playoff potential.