Good morning from Toyota Sports Center. I’ll have a practice report after the guys get off the ice, but here are several quick notes on waivers and expected roster moves related to the previous and upcoming 24 hours:
Ontario Reign fans can take a deep breath. Peter Budaj, Jack Campbell, Andrew Crescenzi and Vincent LoVerde, who were placed on waivers yesterday, cleared. Budaj, the AHL’s top goaltender and Ontario’s most valuable player last season, had the greatest chance of getting claimed; expect notice soon that some of the four (Budaj was on the ice with the Kings today) have been assigned to Ontario. That Budaj cleared is also probably an indication that there might not be room for Thomas McCollum on the Reign’s roster this season. I’ll share any additional roster moves that could involve McCollum (and others) at a later point.
Also, via reports earlier today, defenseman Zach Trotman was placed on waivers, an indication that the team will assign him to Ontario should he clear. Trotman was essentially among the slightly longer shots of the defensemen to make the team, but with the rise of fellow right shot Paul LaDue (who is still probably a longer shot to make the team out of camp, but has impressed and is certainly being considered), and the stronger camp, according to team sources, experienced by left-shot Kurtis MacDermid, Trotman, signed on July 1 for $650,000, wasn’t at the very top of the depth chart amongst the tweener-type players. Kevin Gravel (who wouldn’t have to clear waivers) and Derek Forbort (who would) were generally regarded as more likely to earn a spot with the team than Trotman, though there is a comprehensive set of criteria – Handedness! Waiver status! Skill set! Experience! – that will ultimately decide the opening day blue line. Darryl Sutter indicated last week that the decision on whether the team would carry seven or eight defenseman would come into clearer focus this week.
More to come from El Segundo…