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Roster Cuts shape position battles

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The Penguins cut 8 more players, bringing their number down to 35 guys in camp. We look at all 35 from the sure bets to make the roster, to the bubble players who are fighting for an NHL job.

Vincent Pugliese

The Pittsburgh Penguins have done another round of cuts today on Sunday, sending eight to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the AHL. From the team:

Players sent to WBS were forwards Nick Drazenovic, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, Steve MacIntyre, Jayson Megna and Adam Payerl, and defensemen Scott Harrington, Philip Samuelsson and Brendan Mikkelson.

Drazenovic, MacIntyre and Mikkelson have to clear waivers by noon on Mondaybefore they can report to WBS.

The Penguins now have 35 players on their training camp roster (20 forwards; 12 defensemen; 3 goaltenders

Those 35 players left include, for purposes of the maximum 23 man roster when training camp ends:

FORWARDS

  • SAFE (10): Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis, Beau Bennett, Jussi Jokinen, Brandon Sutter, Craig Adams, Tanner Glass
  • INSIDE TRACK (3): Matt D'Agostini, Dustin Jeffrey, Joe Vitale
  • BUBBLE(6): Zach Sill, Harry Zolnierczyk, Chuck Kobasew, Tom Kuhnhackl, Chris Conner, Andrew Ebbett
  • INJURED (1): Bobby Farnham

DEFENSE

  • SAFE (6): Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik, Paul Martin, Rob Scuderi, Matt Niskanen, Deryk Engelland
  • INSIDE TRACK (2): Simon Despres, Robert Bortuzzo
  • BUBBLE(3): Olli Maatta, Derrick Pouliot, Harrison Ruopp
  • INJURED (1): Brian Dumoulin

GOALIES

  • SAFE (1): Marc-Andre Fleury
  • INSIDE TRACK (1): Jeff Zatkoff
  • INJURED (1): Tomas Vokoun

With the Pens at/near/over the salary cap (depending on the possible LTIR status of Vokoun, which would let them off the hook at least temporarily), this list is obviously subject to change. A guy like Niskanen isn't safe to be on the opening night roster, but he's not going to be cut or waived, he'd be traded if necessary. And at this point, it's unclear if that will need to be the case.

Injured players like Farnham, as a reminder, can not be sent down until they are healthy. The Pens had a similar situation to this with Alex Grant, who got hurt in training camp and stayed a part of the injured reserve NHL list until he healed and then was sent back to the AHL. He wouldn't count against the 23 man roster in this scenario.

NHL camp last another week and teams have until then to determine which players they will take and who will be cut.