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The (Roster) Purge, Part 1: Scuderi and Latta Waived

One couldn’t keep up, another couldn’t start up.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Los Angeles Kings Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

According to the ever-reliable Jon Rosen, most (if not all) of the Los Angeles Kings’ final roster decisions will come today. In the last week, LA has trimmed about 20 players from the group that went through training camp. Peter Budaj, Zach Trotman, Jack Campbell, Vincent LoVerde, and Andrew Crescenzi cleared waivers, while everybody else took the normal route down to Ontario or to various junior teams. However, the real news will be who goes today, as to this point, Trotman had been the only player sent down who had a real shot at the Opening Night roster.

So the announcement of waiver-listed players gave us... what was the phrase I used? “Real news.”

  • Michael Latta has been waived. Brought in to (presumably) provide competition amongst the bottom six, Latta apparently couldn’t outshine Andy Andreoff, Jordan Nolna, and the rest of the guys squabbling for a place on the fourth line. When I got a look at him against Anaheim, he didn’t really stand out, although he got in a fight! Latta was lauded in Washington primarily for his defensive/shot suppression skills, and played 43 games for the league’s best regular season team, so he certainly can cut it. And the investment that LA made in him seemed to say that the Kings saw him as part of their future. However, it appears that the Kings will take the depth players they know over the ones they don’t know as well. Surprised? Yeah, I guess not.
  • Rob Scuderi has been waived. I have a lot less to say about this one, only because we’ve written about Scuderi extensively since he arrived earlier in 2016. The chances of LA keeping him around seemed remote if we were judging purely on hockey ability, though as I wrote in September, there was always the chance of him being that press box fixture. Unfortunately for him, Scuderi never really got to make the most of that chance, as he struggled with an injury for much of camp. It’s probably for the best, though, as the guy who played 20 minutes a game to unflattering results last season would only have been standing in the way of one of LA’s promising young blueliners.

Based on the way waivers have gone around the NHL, it’s unlikely either gets picked up, though Latta could be a useful piece somewhere.

Remaining roster moves will be announced later today, but feel free to read as much as you want to read into today’s practice combinations.

Is this curtains for Devin Setoguchi? Is LA really going to demote Mersch again? Are camp surprises Adrian Kempe and Paul LaDue going to have to wait for their shot? And who of Matt Greene, Tom Gilbert, Derek Forbort, and Kevin Gravel will be the final cut on defense? Wait and see!