Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Another cutdown day

We're down to 29 players in camp. The maximum is 23, and the Pens have to be there by September 30th.

There are 17 forwards, 9 defensemen and 3 goalies.

So who is left?

First off, two of the forwards are injured - Talbot and Lestestsu.

Forwards
You have to think the Pens will keep 13 (maybe 14) forwards. This is how I see them breaking down:

Kunitz - Crosby - Guerin
Fedotenko - Malkin - Kennedy
Cooke - Staal - Dupuis
Rupp - Adams - Godard
Bayda - Bissonnette - Conner

I think two of those guys in the 5th group will stay. If I had to guess, I'll say Bayda stays for sure and Conner probably stays.

Defense
Your top 6 are (pairing not exact, to be sure):

Gonchar - Orpik
Eaton - Letang
McKee - Goligoski

Competing for the 7th defense spot are Engelland, Lovejoy and Guenin. I think Guenin stays.

Goalies
Curry is only here until they see if Johnson is hurt seriously.

Here's the other consideration - the Pens only have a little over $1.6 million left under the cap, and only the top 12 forwards plus the top 6 defense are in that number. Anyone they sign needs to be willing to play for the league minimum. Having said that, the only guy that might want more than that would be Bayda, given that he played over 70 games last year with Carolina.

The roster is finally shaping up. It's pretty much what we thought, and as cool as it would be to see Caputi or Tangradi here, I think it's a good thing to let those guys learn and play regularly in Wilkes-Barre. We'll need them in Pittsburgh soon enough.

1 comment:

Will said...

Nice write up, Pat. I think you're right about who stays and who goes. I'd love to see Biz Nasty fighting every night, but the other 2 are probably more all round players. Tho I hear Biz has improved his all around game. Bayda adds grit and I hear Conner is really fast. I hear Guenin is having a great camp so I'm guessing him or Lovejoy.

Also agree about Caputi or Tangradi. Can't wait to see them, but we have a solid lineup without them (especially when Talbot comes back) and they need to be playing big min. every night, not 5-7 on the 4th line. I have a feeling we'll see both at some point throughout the season if they play well in W/B.

Can't wait for the season to start. Let's Go PENS!