For four players, Sunday night was their last hurrah with the Los Angeles Kings before reality hit. Nick Shore, Nic Dowd, David Van der Gulik, and Vincent LoVerde were demoted on Monday. Van der Gulik is exposed to waivers and will have to clear before he returns to the minors; Shore, Dowd, and LoVerde head to Manchester to tell everyone how they spent their summer vacation. At least they all got to beat the Ducks before they left.
We're left with the following camp roster:
Time for some audience participation. We can cut this 28-man roster down to 23. If you're a realist, you already know that Andrew Bodnarchuk (currently injured), JF Berube (currently the third goalie), and Jordan Weal (currently short) will not be on that roster. Weal, as talented as he is, is both inexperienced AND waiver-exempt; he's going to be a Monarch. So you have two more key cuts to make. Your bubble players:
- Jeff Schultz. The Kings could potentially start the season with eight defensemen. Doing so would require the Kings to send down three forwards along with Bodnarchuk; that in turn would expose up to two forwards to waivers, including at least one who is young and desirable. Is it worth the risk?
- Adam Cracknell. Cracknell is 29 years old, and presumably, he's more likely to survive waivers than the other at-risk forwards. He's been okay, not great, in the preseason. Seems like the most likely cut.
- Jordan Nolan. TWO-TIME STANLEY CUP CHAMPION Jordan Nolan. He sat in the press box for most of the playoffs and is a really good option as a 13th forward. He's played 134 NHL games now and will provide energy. He's only going down if the Kings decide Cracknell is a better option in the press box.
- Andy Andreoff. All summer, we've heard that Andreoff will be with the Kings on Opening Night. His play during the preseason has been underwhelming, but neither Nolan nor Cracknell has done enough to make Andreoff expendable. He's unlikely to survive waivers, so the Kings probably will not risk demoting him.
- Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli. They're both waiver-exempt. If the Kings somehow decide that they can't risk losing two of the above bubble players, they could possibly demote one of these two temporarily. Toffoli's a lock to stay up; Pearson is about a 99% lock. There's no way they could send him down... right?
Vote and tell us what you would do.