Nashville Predators set Opening Night roster, send Franson & O'Reilly to Milwaukee

As they pare down the roster to meet the NHL's 23-man limit this afternoon, the Nashville Predators have sent defenseman Cody Franson to their AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. With Cal O'Reilly having cleared waivers (as reported by John Glennon), it looks like the Preds will open the season with 21 active players. That number excludes Joel Ward and Colin Wilson, who start the season on injured reserve.

After the jump, your Opening Night Nashville Predators roster...

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today several transactions to set the club's roster for Game One of the 2009-10 season, which comes Saturday, Oct. 3 at Dallas (7 p.m., FOX Sports Tennessee (HD) and 104.5 The Zone). Forward Cal O'Reilly and defenseman Cody Franson were assigned to the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL), while forwards Joel Ward and Colin Wilson were placed on injured reserve.

The four moves puts Nashville's active roster at 21 players entering the regular season - 13 forwards, six defensemen and two goaltenders.

Players by position currently on the active roster are as follows:

FORWARDS (13): Jason Arnott, Wade Belak, J.P. Dumont, Martin Erat, Marcel Goc, Ben Guite, Patric Hornqvist, Ryan Jones, David Legwand, Mike Santorelli, Jerred Smithson, Steve Sullivan, Jordin Tootoo.

DEFENSEMEN (6): Francis Bouillon, Dan Hamhuis, Kevin Klein, Teemu Laakso, Ryan Suter, Shea Weber.

GOALTENDER (2): Dan Ellis, Pekka Rinne.

A notable consequence here is that the door is quite open for Colin Wilson to start the season as a Nashville Predator. Interestingly, he's listed as being on injured reserve, rather than as a non-roster player as was speculated. We'll have to wait and see how quickly he can return to the lineup, and what the team chooses to do then.

Eric at Admirals Short Shifts makes a good case that O'Reilly's demotion to the AHL might well be a long-term situation.

Congratulations also have to go out to Teemu Laakso, who not only beat out Cody Franson and Jonathan Blum for a roster spot, but played well enough that the Preds are willing to pay Alexander Sulzer NHL-money to work out his game in Milwaukee, in favor of the young Finn.

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