One big position battle is over, while another two inevitable cuts have occurred this morning.
Have heard from hockey ops that Jamie McBain will be placed on waivers. Appears as though Jeff Schultz will open the year with the #LAKings.— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) October 5, 2015
LAK put JF Berube, Jamie McBain, Vincent Loverde on waivers. Also, VAN puts Alex Biega on waivers.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 5, 2015
So in the end, the Los Angeles Kings opted for the big, defensively-minded Jeff Schultz over offensive/PP sparkplug Jamie McBain. I know, I can't believe they chose size either.
In reality, aside from that, McBain was probably the favorite to earn the seventh spot coming out of camp. He played more last season, he was reasonably productive, and (in a stat which clearly means even less now than it did then) the Kings had a better record with McBain than without him. But McBain left a lot to be desired in his own end, while Schultz is pretty much limited to his own end.
If McBain is claimed, Derek Forbort immediately becomes the likeliest call-up if an injury occurs. If McBain clears, I think we'll see him again this season.
Meanwhile, the moment the Los Angeles Kings signed Jhonas Enroth, winning the backup job became a lot more difficult for JF Berube. Here's our recent Top 25 Under 25 article on Berube, who won a bunch of games and a Calder Cup in 2014-15 but never quite convinced the Kings that he was ready for the backup job. If he clears, he starts in Ontario, as goaltending coach Bill Ranford wants Patrik Bartosak (who we ranked higher as a prospect) to earn an equal share of the starting job. If he's picked up, he might get his NHL shot.
Finally, Vincent LoVerde also returns to the AHL, where he was a Cup-winning captain last year. Decent consolation prize.
Update: Michael Mersch as been sent down, meaning Brian O'Neill is in line to make the opening night roster.
As expected, #LAKings assign Mersch to Ontario. Good camp. Poised for a mid-season call-up should need arise.— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) October 5, 2015