NHL teams had until 3 p.m. today to finalize their rosters ahead of tomorrow’s opening night games. While the Leafs’ official roster for their game against the Canadiens in Montreal has yet to be released (as far as I can tell at the time of this writing, anyway), from the way the roster looks right now combined with comments by head coach Randy Carlyle, we can take an educated guess.
Carlyle said today that 19-year-old defenseman Morgan Rielly will stick around on the big club for now as one of the seven defensemen. The interesting part is Carlyle also said his team would likely dress 12 forwards and six defensemen for tomorrow’s game. We won’t know which defenseman is sitting until tomorrow.
This Chris Johnston tweet just came across the wire:
The #leafs have recalled Troy Bodie, sent John-Michael Liles to the AHL and placed Frazer McLaren on LTIR. Let the season begin.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) September 30, 2013
According to this CapGeek tweet from earlier today, the Red Wings were able to open up a little more than $2-million by placing Darren Helm on long-term injury reserve:
Nyquist down, Coreau up puts #RedWings at $2,097,045 over the cap; Helm to LTIR makes new upper limit $66,397,045, rather than $64,300,000.
— CapGeek (@capgeek) September 30, 2013
I’m no capologist and I don’t play one on the Internet, so I can’t tell you exactly how much cap room the Leafs have to play with with McLaren on LTIR. CapGeek will have that information updated on their website tomorrow. At any rate, there is enough room for the team to recall Troy Bodie and his $600,000 salary from the Marlies to play on the fourth line tomorrow.
In light of this new information, here’s what the lineup might look like tomorrow night:
Obviously Carlyle hasn’t tipped his hand yet on who he’s planning to start in net. I don’t really think it matters, because whoever doesn’t start will surely play Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers. I’m not entirely sure why the Leafs decided to keep Rielly up with the squad when it looks pretty much set in stone who the top-six defensemen are. I would be in favour of having Fraser sit, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen. I also would’ve much rather seen Joe Colborne kept around (he was traded to the Calgary Flames Saturday for a fourth-round draft pick) instead of Bodie or Orr, but it is what it is.
So there it is, the Leafs’ opening night roster (we think). What do you think? To echo the words of the wise Chris Johnston: Let the season begin.