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09-26-2005, 10:24 AM
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vopatsrash
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Roster Battles on 9/26

Now that we have the roster down to 30 and we are through with the 4 games in 5 day stretch, let's look at where we stand in terms of roster spot battles.

Center
It seems like Trotz likes Perrault and it seems like he's fitting in on a veteran line of him Walker and Sully, now that Erat seems to be officially a RW. I think it would be more surprising if Yanic is gone at this point than if he stays.

This and Nichol's injury seems to be shifting the question to Legwand/Perrault/Robo/Johnson or Legwand/Perrault/Johnson/Grinder. Assuming Perreault is the number 2 and Nichol isn't ready at the start of the season, should they have Robo center Hall/Hartnell and bump Johnson down to the Stevenson/Hordichuk/Tootoo line?

Or should they try to squeeze Robo through waivers down to Milwaukee or trade him and keep Johnson with Hall/Hartnell and put Smithson/Fiddler on the Hordy/Stevenson line?

Wing
With Erat shifted to RW, we now seem to be locked into LW-Kariya, Sully, and Hartnell and RW-Erat, Walker, and Hall.

The question now seems to be do you send Tootoo down and go with Hordichuk and Stevenson or do you keep Tootoo up and maybe have a rotation of the three with one scratched depending on the style of the opponent? I figure that if Tootoo can go down waiver-free that they'll go with the veterans and give Tootoo another year to develop, but it's certainly possible Tootoo will make a loud case for himself against Atlanta later this week.

Defense
Barring further injury, we seem to be locked in with Timonen, Markov, Zidlicky, Hamhuis, Eaton, and Suter as our defensemen.

The Jamie Allison injury does bring forth a quandary as to whether to keep a guy up in his "break glass when 7th d-man/singer is needed" role. Do you keep up a guy like Zanon who seems like a potential "break glass when needed" guy of the future with our depth. Or do you reward a Klein/Weber with a taste of the NHL life for a few weeks since they are waiver-free? I haven't seen a preseason game yet, but it sounds like Klein has been pretty good. Obviously, this is dependant upon the severity of Allison's injury.

Anyway, compared to previous seasons, these are all very good problems to have. It certainly beats "Can we squeeze 3-4 more goals out of Blair Atcheynum and Rob Valicevic?"

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