First Cuts: Who's Left?
Rich Hammond runs down the 37 players remaining after today's cuts. The line-up, meanwhile, is exactly as we discussed in the last post.
Ryan Smyth / Anze Kopitar / Dustin Brown
LW2 / Jarret Stoll / Justin Williams
Alexei Ponikarovsky / Michal Handzus / Wayne Simmonds
LW4 / C4 / RW4
Willie Mitchell - Drew Doughty
D5 - D6
And who else is still standing? Rich boils it down like this:
Remaining camp players " LA Kings Insider
Do the math, and you’ll see that the Kings need to make 10 more cuts to get to 23 (presuming that none of the four injured players will be ready to go on Oct. 9).
Break it down further, and presume that 11 forwards (I’m including Westgarth) have secured roster spots. Presume that Kaunisto probably isn’t going to make it. That leaves, in my opinion, one spot for either Clune or Zeiler (I think one will make it, but not both…probably Clune) and two spots up for competition from among a group of five: Clifford, Lewis, Loktionov, Moller, Schenn. At this point, that’s anybody’s guess.
Loktionov has had a great camp, and apparently Kaunisto has, too (haven't noticed), and that was enough to send Corey Elkins down before he otherwise might have.
Although it does seem like the momentum is in Westgarth's favor, I can't fully commit to this idea for some reason. Maybe because I haven't seen or heard enough about Clifford. Maybe it's just because Westgarth has only played nine games in the NHL.
And, as far as Clune or Zeiler, I feel like there's a third option: neither. Then we can have three of Clifford, Schenn, Moller, Loktionov and Lewis.
Back to Rich:
On defense, presume that five defensemen — including Drewiske but not including the injured Greene — have secured spots. That leaves two spots up for competition from among a group of six: Campbell, Fransson, Harrold, Hickey, Martinez and Muzzin. The wild card in all of this could be Harrold. Since he can play forward, it leaves open the possibility that the Kings could carry one spare forward and two spare defensemen (including the hybrid Harrold). That doesn’t seem likely to me, though.
That means that Harrold might not make the cut, and that's kind of surprising. If Rich is right and one of Clune or Zeiler will stay up, then Harrold isn't going to stay unless he beats out both Hickey and Muzzin, or he beats out three of Lewis, Loktionov, Moller, Schenn or Clifford. I don't think any of those will come to pass.
But then I have heard Harrold has been seen practicing in goalie equipment...
As far as the real training camp battles, now it gets interesting.