Rosters for the start of the NHL’s regular season are due tomorrow. In order to be prepared for that deadline, teams have to waive any and all players to be able to send them off the roster by today.
The Penguins answered their final questions about the bubble players on the roster by waiving several players including defenseman Mark Friedman and forwards Radim Zohorna, Vinnie Hinostroza and Colin White.
Tomorrow afternoon at 2:00pm the team will find out if anyone claimed these players. If not they can be assigned to Wilkes-Barre of the AHL, which will be necessary to get Pittsburgh under the limit of 23 players.
By the process of elimination based on who wasn’t waived, it can be determined that Ryan Shea and Jansen Harkins have made the NHL roster to start the season.
Shea, 26, has yet to play a regular season NHL games. Harkins was claimed off waivers last week. These newcomers to the organization have turned heads enough to beat players who have been around for a while like Friedman.
Questions still remain about how the prices will sort out.
“Kyle (Dubas) and our staff are going to have some difficult decisions here within the next 24 hours,” Mike Sullivan said. “There’s a lot of things that are on the table at this point. We’ll work through those. There’ll be more clarification over the next 24 hours on where our roster sits.”
Though Zohorna was waived, unlike others who got cut today like Friedman, White and Hinostroza, he could still be kept around Pittsburgh if he clears.
One potential stay-or-go factor for Zohorna could be linked to the potential availability of Jake Guentzel. Sullivan opened the door to Guentzel potentially being in the lineup on Tuesday on the regular season opener.
Mike Sullivan said there’s a chance Jake Guentzel could be in the lineup on opening night Tuesday versus Chicago.— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) October 8, 2023
“His status is day-to-day. He’ll more than likely be a game-time decision. He’s an important player for us. We’re real encouraged by his progress.”
Guentzel’s quicker than anticipated return is a boon for the team but could be a major part of the reason Zohorna is on waivers.
The Pens have also not yet officially announced any contracts or tryout releases for their other tryouts in Austin Wagner, Libor Hajek and the injured Mark Pysyk. The absence of contracts this late in the process could be indicative of their futures in the organization after White was recently signed off his tryout and no one else was.