The Bears wrapped up their 2012-13 preseason slate with a win over the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Sunday night. Overall it was a solid exhibition outcome...2-2, with no huge injuries.
This morning brought "final" cuts to get the team down to their opening night roster. There is still a full season to play and many of the players cut will definitely be back in Chocolate and White at some point soon.
T.J. Syner, Joel Champagne, Brett Flemming, and Alex Berry were all sent to Reading today.
That leaves 27 players on the roster including Danick Paquette who broke his arm and will be out for a while.
Click over to the roster page for a look at the roster as it stands now.
Alex Berry is probably the biggest surprise (to me anyway) as he scored 2 goals against Wilkes-Barre this weekend and scored 14 goals and 20 assists in the AHL two years ago. He missed last season with an injury so maybe this is a move to get him used to game action again. He is expected to play first line minutes in Reading.
Currently there are 15 healthy forwards on the roster and 9 defensemen. I wouldn't be surprised to see another defensemen sent to Reading before the weekend but I who knows. Teams always like to have some extra bodies for practice and the first few games as guys are still getting back into shape.
The Bears open the season this Saturday against the Syracuse Crunch...which are technically the defending AHL champs, kind of. The Crunch are now the affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who were previously in Norfolk.
Imagine for a second being a Norfolk Admiral this year. Assuming the Admirals do a banner drop at the homeowner, there are going to be a number of guys on the ice who weren't a part of it last year. In fact, based on look at the current roster...NOT ONE player from the 2011-12 Calder Cup Champion Norfolk Admirals remains in Norfolk. Awkward.
So Hershey will start the season against the true defending Calder Cup Champions in Syracuse. Looking at their prospective roster, it appears that a majority of last seasons team is "returning" intact.
Should be fun.