The Lightning have now cut their enormous roster down to 28 players, including Eric Perrin, who is still currently playing on a professional tryout at the moment. So far, he has done really well to stick with the club this far into the preseason.
I would think that the goaltending tandem is pretty well set to go with Ellis and Smith, but with some preseason action still to go, it still may not be a bad idea to keep Desjardins around for some extra work and keeping a goalie in the press box, not having to worry about working on the evening.
The seventh defenseman looks to be down to three candidates in Roy, Smaby and Vernace. None of the three are going to be great pool candidates, but they should have a shot at some ice time at the very least.
With 16 forwards on the books, there will likely have to be three cuts, possibly only two, going into opening night. The biggest surprises being Perrin and 2007 draft pick, Johan Harju, who has been playing in Sweden for the bulk of his career already. The last couple spots on the forward lines should be hotly contested through the remainder of camp and you may find a sleeper in there after all.
|Steven Stamkos||Pavel Kubina||Dan Ellis|
|Martin St. Louis||Randy Jones||Mike Smith|
|Vincent Lecavalier||Victor Hedman||Cedrik Desjardins|
|Ryan Malone||Brett Clark|
|Steve Downie||Mike Lundin|
|Simon Gagne||Mattias Ohlund|
|Domenic Moore||Mathieu Roy|
|Sean Bergenheim||Matt Smaby|
|Teddy Purcell||Michael Vernace|
With an unsigned Perrin, two buyouts and a 27-man signed roster, the Lightning are also sitting in pretty good shape with only a few cuts to go. I have them currently projected at $56.6 million, as the complete package. With demotions and a possible signing, the Lightning are doing really well against the cap and might be a player at the trade deadline, especially if this line-up can translate a lot of their potential on paper into wins in the standings.