The Dallas Stars have unofficially cut the roster down to the opening day maximum of 23, assigning 12 players elsewhere and releasing defenseman Andrew Hutchinson.
[Update]: It's official. From the Dallas Stars press release:
FRISCO, Tex. -- The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has assigned 10 players to the Texas Stars, Dallas' primary development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). The club also announced that it has placed center Warren Peters on injured reserve with a fractured orbital bone.
ASSIGNED TO AHL TEXAS STARS:
Right Wing Mathieu Beaudoin
Goaltender Matt Climie
Defenseman Maxime Fortunus
Center Aaron Gagnon
Defenseman Dan Jancevski
Goaltender Brent Krahn
Defenseman Garrett Stafford
Right Wing Raymond Sawada
Defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy
Left Wing Francis Wathier
PLACED ON INJURED RESERVE:
Center Warren Peters (fractured orbital bone)
Luke Gazdic and Andrew Hutchinson are still technically on the roster, hence the "25 players" number above. Gazdic may have to go on the IR as well, and Hutchinson is being placed on waivers and therefore is technically not a cut.
Before training camp began there was a pretty good idea of what the roster would like when the season started, with one and perhaps two spots up for grabs in the preseason. Jamie Benn, with perhaps the best training camp of any Dallas Stars player, has earned the right along with Tom Wandell to fight one more week for the chance to make the opening roster.
Don't get all excited about getting the chance to see Benn make his NHL debut on October 3 just yet. Marc Crawford and the Stars have stated several times the past few weeks that there is a good chance that the team keeps just 22 players on the roster: one extra forward and defensemen with the extra spot vacant to allow a prospect to get valuable time in the AHL, instead of being an healthy scratch two out three nights.
Continued after the jump.
With Jere Lehtinen (groin) and Brenden Morrow (sore leg muscles) nursing injuries and most likely out for tomorrow night's game, the Stars needed two players to fill their spots in the lineup. Both are expected to return to the ice next week and will be ready to play next Saturday night, so Wandell and Benn have one last shot to prove they're worthy of staying in Dallas. Unless Benn has another great game tomorrow night (entirely possible), chances are the Stars decide to stick with Wandell and have Benn get top-line minutes in Austin. With the Stars' AHL affiliate just a few hours down I-35, Benn is just a phone call away.
Now, some interesting things to take away from this. First, while this is a good glimpse into the lines and pairing we're likely to see next week, there's no gaurantee we won't see some shake up next week. However, Fabian Brunnstrom has gone from a tryout on the top line, to being relegated on the fourth line. We'll get to see Ott and Ribeiro back together after enjoying some good chemistry last season (only for one game though, Morrow is right back in that spot when he returns), Barch is going to get to see some minutes playing on the second line.
It's the defensive pairings that are more interesting, however. Crawford and Huddy have maintained continuity, pairing a large and physical defenseman with a more offensively-minded teammate. It allows for some mix and matching between pairs without messing with the overall scheme of the defense.
Here is what the roster looks like after the cuts from today.