The Nashville Predators have set their roster for the opening night of the 2011-2012 NHL season, and the big story is that defenseman Mattias Ekholm has indeed made the cut. Mike Fisher and Francis Bouillon will start the year on Injured Reserve, as this list contains 25 names, while only 23 are allowed to be Active at any given time.
If you include the J.P. Dumont and Brett Lebda buyouts, this roster has a collective payroll of $52.7 million at the present time (using current salary, not cap hit, with figures from NHLNumbers.com and CapGeek.com).
After clearing waivers, Kyle Wilson has been assigned to the Milwaukee Admirals.
Follow after the jump for the team's press release...
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has assigned forward Kyle Wilson to the American Hockey League's Milwaukee Admirals, and placed defenseman Francis Bouillon and forward Mike Fisher on injured reserve, setting the team's opening night roster at 23 players.
The Predators 23-man unit for the 2011-12 season opener on Friday night at Columbus (6 p.m. CT, FOX Sports Tennessee, 102.5 The Game) be 25 players - 15 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders. All 30 NHL teams must submit their 23-man opening night roster by 2 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Players by position currently with Nashville are as follows:
FORWARDS (15): Niclas Bergfors, Martin Erat, Mike Fisher, Blake Geoffrion, Matt Halischuk, Patric Hornqvist, Sergei Kostitsyn, David Legwand, Cal O'Reilly, Craig Smith, Jerred Smithson, Nick Spaling, Zack Stortini, Jordin Tootoo and Colin Wilson.
DEFENSEMEN (8): Teemu Laakso, Jonathon Blum, Francis Bouillon, Mattias Ekholm, Jack Hillen, Kevin Klein, Ryan Suter and Shea Weber
GOALTENDERS (2): Anders Lindback and Pekka Rinne.
The Nashville Predators closed out their eight-game preseason with a record of 7-1-0, culminating with a 2-1 overtime victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Games start counting on Friday, Oct. 7 and Saturday, Oct. 8 with back-to-back road contests to open the 2011-12 regular season against Central Division foes Columbus and St. Louis (7 p.m. CT, FOX Sports Tennessee). The Preds home opener comes the following Thursday, Oct. 13 when the Phoenix Coyotes come to Smashville (7 p.m. on SportSouth).