It’s all over. After a training camp filled with excitement (Tkachev), sadness (Byfield), and a swerve (Kaliyev), the LA Kings month-long process of piecing their opening night roster together has reached a natural conclusion. It didn’t come without a few curveballs, though.
Final rosters aren’t due to the league office until Monday afternoon. However, to make that happen, teams needed to essentially make their final cuts on Sunday because any players requiring waivers need 24 hours to go through that process (it’s from 11am PST to 11am PST, which is two hours later than past seasons).
In advance of Monday’s deadline, the Kings have placed forward Austin Wagner and defenseman Austin Strand on waivers. Should they clear, the expectation is they will be assigned to AHL Ontario.
The move also means prospect Arthur Kaliyev appears to have done enough to stay up with the big club. He’s been a consistent producer throughout the preseason.
LA KINGS 2021-22 OPENING NIGHT ROSTER
Arvidsson – Kopitar – Brown
Kempe – Danault – Iafallo
Tkachev – Vilardi – Andersson
Moore – Lizotte – Kaliyev
Anderson – Doughty
Bjornfot – Roy
Edler – Walker
Andreas Athanasiou and Olli Maatta will start the season on injured reserve, a process that requires them to miss at least seven days. The original hope was that Maatta would play in the team’s final preseason game. Now, he’ll have the opportunity to rest a little longer and once he is ready to go it’s expected Christian Wolanin will go through the waiver process to make room for him.
Up front, GM Rob Blake and coach Todd McLellan will have to figure out what to do when Athanasiou is fully healed. The easy move would be to send Kaliyev to Ontario, as he is exempt from waivers. If they continue to like his play, the other likely options would be to put Blake Lizotte or Carl Grundstrom on waivers.
What does all of this mean for AHL Ontario? We’ll take a look at that in a follow-up article soon. In the meantime, see below for a pretty-darn-close look at the Reign situation.
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