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Thang assigned to Milwaukee, Roster at 32 – Who Makes the Final Cut?


Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

With news coming today that Ryan Thang was assigned to the Milwaukee Admirals roster, the Nashville Predators roster is currently at 32 and final cuts will be made over the rest of the week (presumably the FINAL cuts will be made after Friday nights game against Winnipeg)

Per the Predators press release:

“Nashville, Tenn. (September 24, 2011) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has assigned forward Ryan Thang to Milwaukee (AHL).

Thang, 24 (5/11/87), scored one goal on one shot and posted a +1 rating while appearing in three games during the 2011 preseason.

The transactions leave Nashville’s Training Camp roster at 32 players – 18 forwards, 11 defensemen and three goaltenders. Players by position currently participating in camp are as follows:

FORWARDS (18): Niclas Bergfors, Gabriel Bourque, Martin Erat, Mike Fisher, Blake Geoffrion, Matt Halischuk, Patric Hornqvist, Sergei Kostitsyn, David Legwand, Chris Mueller, Cal O’Reilly, Craig Smith, Jerred Smithson, Nick Spaling, Zack Stortini, Jordin Tootoo, Colin Wilson and Kyle Wilson

DEFENSEMEN (11): Teemu Laakso, Jonathon Blum, Francis Bouillon, Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Jack Hillen, Roman Josi, Kevin Klein, Tyler Sloan, Ryan Suter, Shea Weber

GOALTENDERS (3): Anders Lindback, Pekka Rinne and Jeremy Smith.

The Predators hit the ice for their second of three home preseason contests on Wednesday night when the Washington Capitals come to town (7 p.m. CT, 102.5 FM The Game). The club’s annual PredsFest game will be the preseason finale on Oct. 1 vs. Carolina. Tickets all preseason games are still available.

Season tickets for the 2011-12 Nashville Predators season in Smashville are on sale now and start at just $19 per game. Great interest-free payment plans are currently available for Full Season, Half Season and Flex 12 packages. For information on all our season ticket packages, visit or contact a ticket representative at 615-770-7800″

So, now that we know who is left, The Predatorial is going to give a “college try” as to what the final opening night roster is going to look like.

We’re going to start with the easiest battle:

GOALTENDERS: Pekka Rinne, Anders Lindback

Although Jeremy Smith had a beautiful training camp, I don’t think it will be enough to supplant Lindback from his backup role with the Predators. Smith will me the starter in Milwaukee and he’ll do superbly down there

FORWARDS: Niclas Bergfors, Sergei Kostitsyn, David Legwand, Cal O’Reilly, Mike Fisher, Martin Erat, Patric Hornqvist, Zack Stortini, Jordin Tooto, Jerred Smithson, Colin Wilson, Nick Spaling, Chris Mueller, Matt Halischuk(x)

However, with Mike Fisher currently on the shelf for the opener, there is most likely one forward spot left available.

I think Mueller has had the best training camp out of all 6 so far, but you have to look at how waivers work (thanks to OnTheForecheck) for these 6 players

Bourque, Geoffrion, Mueller, and Smith can all be sent to Milwaukee to start the season with no waiver repercussions. Barring any spectacular feats of skill over the next week, I think Bourqe/Smith will be heading up north to start the year, along with Geoffrion as well.

With such a great training camp, I think Mueller will start the season in Nashville. That being said, Kyle Wilson hits the waiver wire to get up to Milwaukee and Halischuk will be the healthy scratch for Nashville

(The only reason Stortini starts over Halischuk is the Predators may need some added muscle against Columbus/St. Louis, plus he showcased incredible restraint in the Jets game, leading to the game-changing double minor against Winnipeg)

DEFENSE: Ryan Suter, Shea Weber, Jonathon Blum, Kevin Klein, Francis Bouillon, Jack Hillen, Teemu Laakso, Tyler Sloan(x)

With Bouillon shelved for an indefinite period of time, there’s be a heated battle for the final defensive spots with the Predators

Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, and Roman Josi are going to be sent down to Milwaukee. Ekholm will hopefully stay in the AHL to get some heavy minutes, instead of heading back over to Sweden. Josi will heal up from his injury he received here in training camp and we’ll get to see how well Ellis does starting a season for an AHL team rather than an OHL team.

Laakso, Hillen, and Sloan will all stay on the active roster for defensemen, however I believe Laakso and Hillen will be the 3rd defensive pair with Sloan getting the healthy scratch.

Final Lines?

I’m not even going to try and guess on that, I promise I’ll be way off. So, that being said, let me know what you think. If I’m right, if I’m wrong, if I’m bold, if I’m crazy, let me know how you feel. We’ll find out in about a week how good this prediction is.

NOTE: These are just my thoughts as to the final roster spots and who makes the team, I am in NO WAY certain of this and I’m not taking away anything from any of the other players that are in camp. Just my thoughts on what I’ve seen so far.