The cuts to the roster that were expected have indeed been made. The Wild look to go forward with the team they plan to skate for the season for the rest of camp. Russo reports the cuts, and says the team is keeping some players up as precautionary measures die to injuries in the defensive corps.
The full list of cuts, and some reaction, after the jump.
Who was cut?
G - Matthew Hackett
D- Tyler Cuma
D- Maxim Noreau
D- Jared Spurgeon
C- Chad Rau
C- Cody Almond
C- Carson McMillan
LW- Colton Gillies
Players placed on waivers, to be assigned to Houston:
RW - Jon DiSalvatore
LW- Robbie Earl
C- Warren Peters
LW - Petr Kalus
Who is Still Here?
Andrew Brunette - Mikko Koivu - Antti Miettinen
Guillaume Latendresse - Matt Cullen - Martin Havalt
Cal Clutterbuck - John Madden - Chuck Kobasew
Eric Nystrom - Kyle Brodziak - Brad Staubitz
Extra forwards: Casey Wellman, Matt Kassian
Nick Schultz - Brent Burns
Greg Zanon - Marek Zidlicky
Drew Bagnall - Clayton Stoner
Marco Scandella - Justin Falk
What Does This Mean?
Right now, there are still a few extras hanging around. As Russo said on his blog, this is likely due to the injury to Barker, and the desire to bring extra players to Finland with them. The re-assignment of Robbie Earl was a bit of a shock, as most had him as almost a lock to make the team. As is usually the case, Wild management obviously saw something we all didn't, and Matt Kassian gets to stay for now.
The forward ranks look pretty well set for the season, as we all expected. Wellman and Kassian will battle for that extra spot once the team returns from Finland. It really si up in the air on who would have the edge in that battle, as Wellman brings an extra forward with scoring touch, but Kassian brings an extra defensive minded forward with some serious fighting ability to the table. I put the odds for either of them at 2-to-1 and pick 'em.
Bouchard apparently skated with the team today, which is huge news for him and for the club. Getting him back sooner, rather than later, would be most welcome. The re-assignment of Hackett back to to Houston leaves Khudobin with the big club, at least for now. We'll look at the goalie situation a bit more in depth when some other roster moves are announced across the league, but for now, it looks like the team is sticking with the original plan of Backstrom / Khudobin.
Tyler Cuma had a great prospect camp, Traverse City tourny, and training camp, but he will benefit more from a season as a top pairing d-man in Houston than from sitting next to Russo in the press box. Same goes for Prosser, who will likely be Cuma's defensive partner. Both could only benefit from time in Houston, with the possibility of being a call up if there is an injury to one of the top guys here.
This week will be a very good gauge to actually judge how this team is going to play. The first four games featured tons of rookies with there being three games in three nights, two of them on the road. While everyone has their doubts, let's save judgment for just a couple more games, shall we?
The roster is nearly set. Any shocks? Questions? Better ideas?