The Nashville Predators announced more cuts today as they trim their training camp roster down to 31, with names including defenseman Teemu Laakso and forward Andreas Thuresson (both cleared waivers earlier today), and 2008 1st-round draft pick Chet Pickard. This comes via Josh Cooper at The Tennessean. Defensemen Brett Palin, Grant Lewis, and forward Kelsey Wilson are also headed to Milwaukee.
Follow after the jump for a look at the remaining competition for open jobs...
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There aren't any surprises here, and I would expect that tomorrow in Atlanta, we'll see another lineup which looks close to what we'll see on Opening Night, with the exception of perhaps 2-4 competitors for various spots.
While the regular season roster limit is set at 23, the Preds have typically carried 21 or 22 players in recent years. That means 9 or 10 more players will be eliminated over the coming days.
Battles remain for Nashville jobs
One of the most interesting battles remaining is on defense, where Ryan Parent, Aaron Johnson, and Alexander Sulzer are battling for two positions as the 6th & 7th defensemen (although David Poile's latest comments would indicate that Parent has won his place already). All would require waivers to go to Milwaukee.
In goal, the "battle for the backup" is down to the two early favorites, Mark Dekanich and Anders Lindback. All indications so far are that the Preds are content with one of these two behind Pekka Rinne for the time being, but if they decide otherwise, they may have to move quickly as teams like Minnesota and Philadelphia have suffered goaltending injuries in recent days, and may scoop up Jose Theodore off the open market. After he's gone, the pickings look mighty slim out there.
Up front, it would appear that Sergei Kostitsyn is working his way into an NHL job, while Jonas Andersson could get left as the odd man out. At center, Cal O'Reilly and Jamie Lundmark are also on the bubble, either as a 4th-line center or spare forward. Lundmark would appear to have the edge in terms of versatility and experience, while O'Reilly has the greater offensive upside.
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