We're still waiting for the Kings' final roster to be declared, but it looks like the injured reserve list will come into play. Neither Anthony Stewart or Jake Muzzin were waived along with Bodnarchuk yesterday, which means the Kings still have extra players at the deadline.
If both Mitchell and Kopitar are placed on IR, that solves everything. They'd need to be on IR for at least seven days, but it can be retroactive to the start of camp.
Mitchell's return date is murky, but he got out on the ice for the first time during camp and reported no pain.
Kopitar will be out tomorrow, at the very least. Here's what Sutter had to say after practice:
Q: Is it safe to assume that Anze will not be playing tomorrow?
Sutter: "It’s safe to assume that.
As we go on here with rosters, you know, you guys ask about that now, but once the season starts, remember the way that works: Guys are either on IR, or they’re available to play.
So, once rosters are declared, once the season starts, you’ll know if they’re available to play or they’re not.
At this point, he had his first day of contact yesterday, and he’s not ready to play."
Some have assumed that Kopitar is going to miss the first few weeks of the season, but that's not what was said. The Kings projected a 2-3 week recovery time, and it's been almost two weeks since the injury already. Kopitar is moving well out there, and he looks very close.
Opening day lineup
Here's our best guess for banner day (banner day!):
Scratches: Richardson, Stewart, Muzzin
IR: Kopitar, Mitchell
What is Sutter anxious about? Chicago. "Their nucleus is two years removed from winning the championship. To be honest there’s not much difference between our teams." Ah, there's our focused coach.
Winning tomorrow is the most important thing. You ain't given nothing for best ceremony, right?
I can't wait for the season to begin!