What I Wished For, What I Got
Back in July, I imagined the following (forwards only) roster:
2011-12 Kings (FREE INSIDE! Gagne!) - Jewels From The Crown
Dustin Penner - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
Simon Gagne - Mike Richards - Dustin Brown
Jarret Stoll - Andrei Loktionov - Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford - Brad Richardson - Scott Parse/Kevin Westgarth
Of course, there have been a few additions since then. Ethan Moreau, Trent Hunter (signed today) are in; Loktionov (sent to Manchester a few minutes ago) is out. Dwight King is still hanging around camp, but for what purpose, I don't know. With the signing of Hunter, the Kings are going to have to cut loose one forward who is not waiver-exempt.
And it's pretty obvious that player is Scott Parse. I would be surprised if he survived waivers, but his trade value is compromised thanks to (in my opinion) incredibly bad luck. Too bad, because he had a great rookie season, and the five games he played last year he led the team in PTS/60 and/or G/60, maybe both, I forget. Who cares? He's all but gone. Maybe we'll luck out and he'll survive waivers and can go to Manchester. (Is it too late to send him down on a conditioning loan? I'll have to look that up. That's a good idea if it's allowed, though I suspect you can't do a conditioning loan after a player has already come back from injury and played -- WAIT, we sent Schenn down last year for basically no reason...so maybe this is doable...)
Anyway, the forward lines look to be:
Penner - Kopitar - Williams
Gagne - Richards - Brown
Moreau - Stoll - Hunter
Clifford - Lewis - Richardson
(Westgarth, Colin Fraser)
King will get sent down before the team leaves for Europe. Colin Fraser...IR? That makes sense. But when he comes back, what then? Carry 14 forwards? Okay, but that means carrying only 7 defensemen, and that causes some other issues.
Willie Mitchell - Drew Doughty (!)
(Viatcheslav Voynov, Davis Drewiske, Thomas Hickey, Jake Muzzin)
If Fraser goes on IR, the Kings can keep two defensemen in the press box (8 in total). It sounds like Muzzin is hurt, so he will go on IR...
And that leaves Voynov, Hickey and Drewiske. Only two of those guys can go to Europe. And then, when Fraser comes off IR (which he isn't on, yet; I'm assuming this is about to happen), one of the remaining two will have to be cut (or else waive Fraser and send him down).
My hunch is Voynov stays, Hickey is sent down and Drewiske (due to not being waiver-exempt and being a cheap press-box option) lives to fight another day.
My preference, though, is that Lombardi sends Drewiske somewhere for a late-round pick, and lets both Hickey and Voynov stay. Is that irrational? Probably. I don't care.