Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Caps Roster Taking Shape Now ... Assign Four To Hershey

Well earlier today the Washington Capitals assigned Jay Beagle and Matheiu Perrault to the Hershey Bears of the AHL this afternoon. They also placed Patrick McNeill, Steve Pinnizotto, Andrew Gordon and Brian Fahey on waivers apparently with the intent of assigning Gordon and Fahey to the Bears if they clear waivers; no reports on what they intend for McNeill and Pinnizotto but I suspect they too will be assigned to Hershey as both McNeill is 23 and Pinnizotto is 26, though right now McNeill is currently listed as sidelined indefinitely with an injured shoulder. Andrew Gordon and Brian Fahey must clear waivers until noon tomorrow, Beagle and Perrault do not have to clear waivers. As of right now it's unclear whether Semyon Varlamov will be able to play yet this weekend and until he does, it's likely that Dany Sabourin will remain here in DC. By my count that leaves the Caps at 23 assuming that John Carlson is also still likely to be on injured reserve at noon tomorrow. The Capitals are already below the Salary Cap so no issues or changes will be driven by that requirement. By my count/thinking here's what the Capitals Roster will likely look like on Friday Evening for their season opener against the Thrashers in Atlanta;
Reserves: Boyd Gordon, DJ King,
Reserve: Carlson if he's not on IR...or skating with Poti or Erskine if he plays instead of Sloan.

If Varly is on IR then Neuvy will definitely start with Sabourin on the bench as backup.

So we start the season with some interesting differences than I thought we would and I have to say based on what we've seen during the pre-season I like all the decisions that have been made. The only one that I might have gone in a different direction is I might have gone with Brian Fahey over Tyler Sloan but that's really a nit and a toss-up. Based on what I saw the last two pre-season games at Verizon, I have to say I agree with going with Marcus Johansson over Matheiu Perrault. Perrault is a budle of energy on the ice but I like the upside on Johansson better. Heck if Johansson can just figure out how to consistently win 35-40% of his faceoffs he'll be a notch or tow better as an overall player and his skating and instincts are really good. As for the changes required to have D.J. King and Matt Hendricks in the lineup, I'm very comfortable with both of them and feel they really add a good deal of grit and defensive posture to the lineup. The one I think who is on a short leash here has to be Fleischmann as the second line center - there are a bunch of other options if "Flash" doesn't prove up to the role of second line center he can be moved back to Left Wing and there are a bunch of other options available to the Capitals coaching staff to try in that position.

In any case these moves mean we can now speculate on what the final opening night roster will achieve during the first 20 games of the season....


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