Esposito back to minors. Penguins pare roster to 27. Probable line combinations.
The Penguins pared their roster to 27 with their latest cuts, including sending Angelo Esposito back to his junior club.
With 20 players an almost definite to make the team, this leaves 3 spots up for grabs for: Ryan Stone, Tim Brent, Jonathan Filewich, Adam Hall on offense and Kris Letang, Mike Weaver and Alain Nasreddine on defense.
With Conklin being sent back, the goaltending tandem of Fleury-Sabourin is assured.
Take a deeper look for probable opening day lineups.
The Penguins pared their roster to 27 by sending forwards Nathan Smith, Connor James, Tyler Kennedy, Chris Minard, Jeff Taffe and Tim Wallace, defensemen Alex Goligoski, Ryan Lannon, Joe Rullier and Ben Lovejoy and goalie Ty Conklin to their minor-league team in Wilkes-Barre and returning centers Angelo Esposito and Dustin Jeffrey to their junior clubs.
As of now, it seems the Pens might be using Malkin, Staal and Captain Crosby in their natural center positions. If this holds, I see the opening day lineups as follows (though naturally Terrien is wont to change them often):
Stone-Brent-Hall/Filewich (I think Hall gets a roster spot)
Letang-Eaton (Letang is one of those 3 whose got it nearly locked up)
If Christensen can’t become a top 6 forward, my guess is he centers the 3rd line (his natural position) and Staal moves up and plays Wing on Malkin’s line.
So assuming Letang and Hall get a roster spot, who would the other spot go to? It seems Stone still has some to learn and will be sent down, as well as probably Filewich, as they wouldn’t want to stunt him on a 4th line only. However, he would assumingly be one of the first call-ups for a top 6 winger duty in case of injury. Tim Brent, who played a few games and won a Cup with the Ducks last year, may stay on, and then there’s also Mike Weaver who may make it. Alain Nasreddine will probably resume his AHL career and be one of the first callups like last year.