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The Plot Thickens as Gaunce and Kenins are sent to Utica

With the news that Brendan Gaunce and Ronalds Kenins were sent down to Utica, let the serious rosterbation commence.

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The demotion for one, and disappointment for the other, makes it easier to try and figure out who falls where.  With Ronalds Kenins losing a spot he once had, the fourth line, and thirteenth forward spots open up.  Ben Kuzma and Iain MacIntyre give us their takes on the subject, and there is something to both of them, with some good quotes from the " head office " to disseminate.

My lines go:

1st Daniel Sedin Henrik Sedin Radim Vrbata

2nd Sven Baertschi Bo Horvat Jake Virtanen

3rd Alexandre Burrows Brandon Sutter Jannik Hansen (this line and above will flip pending...)

4th Brandon Prust Adam Cracknell Derek Dorsett

13th forward

This is where it gets interesting. Looking at those lines, you see no Linden Vey. You also see no Jared McCann, who is still in camp, and was actually the first name I typed in there.  I think Cracknell has earned a spot with his play.  All of this will change in two weeks anyhow, when Chris Higgins comes back from his busted foot.  Let's just say that I can see them going whole hog on embracing the kids and keeping McCann. They could also do some roster chicanery if they go back on the defensemen promise of playing eight this season. I don't think they will.  Linden Vey may pay the price for not being able to outplay McCann, or maybe GMJB finds a deal somewhere in the next 48 hours.  I would like to see the guy that can go back to the OHL make the team for at least the first two weeks.  If he plays so well in that "NHL audition". then Trader Jim has something to keep him busy.  If not, he gets the NHL experience, goes back and wins a Gold Medal ( hopefully , while starring there ), and then takes that NHL spot he had for a while next year.  In short, I don't know what they will do with this important roster spot.  Interesting times.

The defence

1st pair Alex Edler Christopher Tanev

2nd pair Dan Hamhuis Yannick Weber

3rd pair Luca Sbisa Matt Bartkowski

Seventh and eighth defensemen

Let the youth movement commence. There is more than enough experience in that top six to have two rookies to work in the mix.  Alex Biega has been very good again, (and Taylor Fedun showed flashes before he was sent down, too) and will be an injury call-up if the need arises again, and with confidence.

But the revelation has been Ben Hutton.

This is by no means a ( aid in a Ricky Voice, to no one in particular) "I toldaso I fu***** toldaso".  But I was high on him, and that did not falter after he had a lousy year in his last one in Maine.  College hockey teams can go from powerhouses to an easy two points very quickly.  It is a transient position for the college player, with so many goals and desires conflicting. Some hit the NHL as soon as possible to go for the money, while others are all in on four years and getting the sheepskin. The point is that the turnover is high, and the team a guy looked like a breakout player on can suddenly not afford him the opportunity to showcase those same skills, because he is the only good player on the team now, and he is basically swimming uphill.

So, I am happy that he is showing so well, and I believe he is about to earn a spot on merit.  Frank Corrado has been more pedestrian in camp so far, but has shown enough that he should stay on the roster, even if this also solves any thoughts of the waiver wire he is eligible for now. Those pairings are also subject to change, as maybe a burner like Bartkowski and Sbisa are not the best pairing, and Weber moves down to the third pairing ( and top PP time ) while one of the other two plays with Steady Dan.

Thirteen forwards, eight defensemen, and the two goaltender spots are already set.

I have no idea how the Cap works on this lineup, as this was a quick post, but I am very confident that having three ELC's on the roster is going to make it fit there.  I'll check the numbers when I have some time, or feel free to post it in the comments if you so dersire.  I sure hope it works, but apologies if I am over budget. Maybe Higgy can go on IR to start the season and free up a few bucks.  I went on what I have seen from camp, and because I honestly think all three rookies (four if you include, that is a lot of youngsters playing! ) can contribute this season. Jake Virtanen certainly looks like he is NHL ready.  But this is why we call it rosterbation.

Feel free to play along with the home game below...