Early this morning, or what would be the evening in Germany, according to Helene Elliott, the Kings LA Times reporter, young defenseman Slava Voynov was reassigned to the LA Kings minor affiliate. The Kings are down to 24 skaters, and ready for opening night in Stockholm against the New York Rangers.
Voynov, 21, was the last member of training camp to be cut. This means the Kings will carry seven defensemen, 15 forwards, and two goalies. Although a third goaltender, Jeff Zatkoff will be traveling with the team for emergency purposes and reassigned after the trip.
Voynov, like many young players, was a victim of a numbers game. He was trying to crack into a defensive lineup that was unchanged from last season. And, with the return of Drew Doughty in the last week, the move was written on the wall for the Russian.
Kings Insider Rich Hammond posted earlier in the week, and asked coach Terry Murray about the chances of Voynov making the team upon Doughty returning.
"I can’t speak for management. That’s probably a conversation we need to sit down and have, but I would say the chances are not very likely that we would keep him around. With Drew back now, and the players that we have in place from last year, the chances are maybe not quite in his favor, but he has certainly made an incredible impression on us throughout the training camp."
So, with the final cuts made, here is what looks to be the Kings roster to start the season.
- Penner - Kopitar - Williams
- Gagne - Richards - Brown
- Clifford - Stoll - Moreau
and then a revolving door fourth line of; Kevin Westgarth, Brad Richardson, Trevor Lewis, Trent Hunter and Scott Parse. Colin Fraser remains out with a foot injury and looks to start the season on IR.
the Kings defensive group likely is the same as last season.
- Mitchell - Doughty
- Johnson - Scuderi
- Martinez - Greene
...with 26-year-old stay-at-home defenseman Davis Drewiske in the press box. And Jake Muzzin will also start the season on the IR with an upper body injury suffered from a hit by Phoenix forward Mikkel Boedker.
And, as usual, you can expect the tandem of Jon Quick and Jonathan Bernier between the pipes.
Time to get excited folks, hockey is back!