By Jim Diamond
With no Nashville Predators placed on the waiver wire Monday, the team, barring any trades or waiver claims, will reduce its current roster of 25 to the opening night maximum of 23 or fewer through the use of Injured Reserve or by sending a waiver-exempt player or players to the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League.
The team’s current roster is as follows:
Forwards (16): Taylor Beck, Gabriel Bourque, Rich Clune, Matt Cullen, Mike Fisher, Filip Forsberg, Paul Gaustad, Calle Jarnkrok, Olli Jokinen, James Neal, Eric Nystrom, Mike Ribeiro, Derek Roy, Craig Smith, Viktor Stalberg, and Colin Wilson.
Defensemen (7): Victor Bartley, Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Seth Jones, Roman Josi, Anton Volchenkov and Shea Weber.
Goaltenders (2): Carter Hutton and Pekka Rinne.
The team appears set at defense and in goal, so the subtractions will come at forward.
Opening day rosters need to be set by 4:00 p.m. Central Time Tuesday. Since the waiver process takes 24 hours, a player can’t be placed on waivers after Monday in an effort to get the opening night roster to 23 or fewer players.
Fisher is still recovering from an Achilles injury sustained in offseason training, so he will be placed on Injured Reserve, leaving the Predators the need to make at least one more roster adjustment. Cullen and Stalberg have both missed significant time in training camp with injuries, making both candidates to join Fisher on IR to start the season.
Of the 25 players still in camp, only Forsberg, Jarnkrok, and Jones are exempt from waivers.
It is unlikely to occur, but should the Predators choose to claim a player or players who were placed on waivers Monday, they would need to factor the number of players claimed into getting their roster to 23.
The Predators play their first regular season game Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena against the visiting Ottawa Senators.