Keith Aucoin, Alexander Giroux, Brandon Sugden, and Karl Alzner were reassigned to the Hershey Bears this morning. Aucoin and Giroux will need to clear waivers but should be in Hershey tomorrow assuming they do.
I am sure it was tough for Aucoin and Giroux to hear that they didn't make the team but both will surely be the top call ups this season if they are in Hershey. Alzner really got caught up in a numbers game as the Caps didn't want to keep more than 7 defensemen on the opening night roster. Add that to the fact that Sloan would have had to clear waivers and Alzner didn't made the decision a little easier.
The Aucoin reassignment more than likely means that the Caps aren't planning on doing anything with Michal Nylander right now. Or they haven't been able to as of now anyway. If Nylander ends up getting moved I would expect Aucoin to make the jump up to the NHL but if Nylander stays in Washington then there really isn't room for Coiner.
None of the moves were overly surprising. Laing is a favorite of Boudreau's and Bourque has worked hard to get his chance. Had Fehr and/or Flash been healthy I don't think Bourque would have made it. And he better play his best hockey or he will be in trouble when those guys get healthy.
Check back tomorrow to see if Giroux and Aucoin can clear waivers and report in Hershey before Saturday night's opener.
As for the Hershey end 10 players have seen their final day in Hershey.
Andy Boudreau, Ben Boudreau, Joel Broda, Gavin Morgan, Rick Cleaver, Ben McLeod, Karl Sellan, Scott Langdon, Zach Tarkir, and Todd Ford.
Those cuts and the additions from Washington leaves the Bears with work to do before Saturday's opener. 19 forwards and 10 defensemen remain in Hershey plus 2 goalies. That would equal 31 players and the expectation is that the roster will be at 25 for the opening weekend. So after some simple math you can see that 6 players need to be cut. Those numbers include Sean Collins who technically hasn't been reassigned yet that I have heard and Grant McNeill who is out for a while yet with an injury. So I will say 5 cuts need to be made this week.
Of those 5 I am guessing that 2 will be defensemen and 3 will be forwards. There is no reason to have more than 8 defensemen in Hershey to start the season in my opinion (which lets be honest...doesn't mean much).
I thought the Caps had tough cuts to make for their final roster but the Bears might have it even harder.
On defense I think Patrick Wellar and Zack Miscovic will be headed to South Carolina to start the season.
At forward I think Anton Gustafsson will be headed back to Sweden for another year and Michael Dubuc and Jake Hauswirth will be headed to South Carolina. Dubuc is a great scorer but with Giroux in Hershey he is kind of without a roster spot.
The other players on the bubble are probably Josh Godfrey and Dylan Yeo on defense and Joe Finley and Trevor Bruess at forward.
It will be interesting to see what is decided and what the roster looks like for Saturday night.