With little fanfare, here's how the Kings got from 28 to 23 players...
Assigned to the Manchester Monarchs (AHL):
Jean-Francois Berube - G
Jordan Weal - F
Placed on Injured Reserve:
Andrew Bodnarchuk - D
Placed on Waivers:
Adam Cracknell - F
Jeff Schultz - D
With those announcements, the Los Angeles Kings roster is set. None of this is surprising at this point, as outlined in our article last week. Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson were way too important to send down despite their waiver exemptions, so there were only two answers to be provided. They were:
The Kings will not carry eight defensemen to start the season.
The only way this was happening is if the Kings deemed Jeff Schultz more important than either Andy Andreoff or Jordan Nolan. Brayden McNabb played well enough to justify his role as the Kings' new 6/7 defenseman, and with no nagging injuries or drops in form on the blueline, LA feels okay risking the loss of Schultz. There are no shortage of potential fill-ins if someone gets hurt, and that won't change if Schultz gets claimed.
Adam Cracknell is the most expendable spare forward.
It would have been a huge surprise to see either Jordan Nolan or Andy Andreoff exposed to waivers. Nolan has familiarity on his side, and the Kings are loyal to their championship roster. Anything more than an awful training camp would have been enough to keep him with the Kings, so once he scored against Anaheim, he was pretty solidly on the team. That leaves Andreoff vs Cracknell, and the Kings unsurprisingly decided not to risk the higher-upside player. A lot of people weren't all that impressed with Andreoff (a quarter of our readers would have preferred to keep Schultz), but as with Nolan, it would have taken a terrible showing to keep him off the roster. Cracknell and Weal will fight to be the first call-up if an injury happens.
It's been in the cards for a while, but here is our Opening Night roster:
Marian Gaborik - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown
Tanner Pearson - Jeff Carter - Tyler Toffoli
Dwight King - Mike Richards - Justin Williams
Kyle Clifford - Jarret Stoll - Trevor Lewis
Jordan Nolan, Andy Andreoff
Jake Muzzin - Drew Doughty
Robyn Regehr - Slava Voynov
Alec Martinez - Matt Greene
Two days to puck drop.