If you can believe it, the 2022-23 NHL regular season is starting next week. It’s been weeks and weeks of slowly chipping away at training camp rosters and trying to parse through several preseason games, but the Minnesota Wild made their final big move before the season begins and sent down a load of players to the AHL.
Minnesota has returned defenseman Carson Lambos to the WHL’s Winnipeg Ice; and assigned forwards Adam Beckman, Mitchell Chaffee, and Nick Swaney, and defenseman Ryan O’Rourke, to the Iowa Wild.
In addition to those moves, they placed forward Brandon Baddock on waivers. If he clears, he will be assigned to the AHL.
That leaves 27 players remaining, but it doesn’t mean that the Wild have to get rid of four players for their 23-man roster before the season starts on Oct. 13. With Jon Merrill and Jordan Greenway out for the first couple of weeks of the regular season, they can get placed on Injured Reserve, and open up two more spots for the remaining players battling.
With the four forward lines and three defensive pairings to start the season, basically finalized, and the goaltending tandem of Marc-Andre Fleury and Filip Gustavsson confirmed, that means forwards Steven Fogarty, Nic Petan, and Mason Shaw are competing for the 13th forward position, while Dakota Mermis and Andrej Sustr are still hanging around for a potential seventh defenseman spot.
Petan has impressed enough as someone in their prime, that his spot on the roster as a depth option was expected. Fogarty is most likely just hear for filler as the Wild look to wrap-up their preseason this weekend. But the most interesting player still remaining in St. Paul is Shaw. The gutsy forward has competed and competed and worked hard to grind through everyone else and show that he can be in the NHL as that prototypical hard-working depth forward. His game just fits the Wild like a perfect glove, so it makes sense he’s still hanging around.
We most likely won’t see any more cuts until after Thursday’s penultimate preseason game, since head coach Dean Evason mentioned that he wants to play the season-opening lineup against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, at the final preseason game.
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