Our countdown to the 2016-17 season continues, with 23 days to go...
Time for a poll! Numerous key roster decisions await the Los Angeles Kings as they move closer and closer toward the preseason. Of course, by the time the actual season starts, the Kings will need to pick 23 players and send the rest packing for the AHL, waivers, or home. The players fall into four categories: LOCKS (they’ll be in the lineup for the first game of the year), INSIDE TRACK (they’ve got the best shot of making the Opening Night roster), OUTSIDE SHOT (they’ll have to earn their spot, but it wouldn’t be a massive surprise), and LONG SHOT (it would be a shock to see them on Opening Night, but... you’re saying there’s a chance). Feel free to fight me about the designations in the comments, though there is a simple distinction: everyone in the INSIDE TRACK section spent the whole season in the NHL. And guess what? 23 players fit that description.
LOCKS (10): Kopitar, Brown, Carter, Gaborik, Toffoli, Lewis, King, Clifford, Purcell, Pearson
INSIDE TRACK (4): Shore, Latta, Andreoff, Nolan
OUTSIDE SHOT (2): Dowd, Mersch
LONG SHOT (3): Setoguchi, Brodzinski, Kempe
LOCKS (4): Doughty, Martinez, Muzzin, McNabb
INSIDE TRACK (3): Gilbert, Greene, Scuderi
OUTSIDE SHOT (3): Trotman, Gravel, Forbort
LONG SHOT (1): LaDue
LOCK (1): Quick
INSIDE SHOT (1): Zatkoff
OUTSIDE SHOT (1): Budaj
LONG SHOT (1): Campbell, McCollum
What I want to know is: which of the OUTSIDE SHOTs do you think has the best chance of sneaking into the 23-man roster on October 12? Your choices include six guys who played in the NHL last year, but couldn’t hang on to a full-time gig. The smart money says most (if not all) of them will get a look this season, but we’re looking for the best candidate to make the team out of camp. Let us know what you think.