The road traveled this week had an unexpected turn, yet Kings management arrived at the same decision despite the detour — forward Jaret Anderson-Dolan will be placed on waivers today as part of their cutdown to 21 players.
Although the league maximum allows for up to 23 players on the Opening Night roster, LA’s salary cap situation will only allow them to carry 21 players as highlighted here:
With only enough cap room to fill one of those open boxes, the decision began for GM Rob Blake and coach Todd McLellan as, ‘Do we want to carry an extra forward of an extra defenseman?’
As noted earlier in the week, we were hearing from team sources that it would likely be a defenseman. The prevailing thought was that would be the lesser of the two evils should they need to sub in a player due to injury (or other reason). Of course, this would also mean potentially playing with only 11 forwards if an issue arise with one of their 12 guys up front.
As luck — or timing — would have it, when Arthur Kaliyev was suspended a few days ago, McLellan was able to give the 11+7 roster configuration a test drive during the team’s final preseason game. In checking in with our sources over the past 24 hours, we have confirmed that they’re sticking with the initial plan, leaving Anderson-Dolan as the odd man out.
The Kings will carry seven defensemen to start the year, including Toby Björnfot and Andreas Englund. Both will need to play while Kaliyev finishes his suspension over the first two regular season games. After that — assuming everybody is healthy — one of those two defensemen will be scratched and the Kings can return to playing with the usual 12 forwards. Goaltender David Rittich is expected to also be headed to waivers soon. It’s just not happening today. The veteran goalie was signed as a depth move and never intended to be in a battle for a job at the NHL level. McLellan and the Kings will open their 2023-24 campaign with a tandem of Pheonix Copley and Cam Talbot.
There has been an important development to the situation, explained below:
UPDATE: Rittich Still Up, Explaining What’s to Come with Kings Roster
Originally selected in the second round at the 2017 NHL Draft, Anderson-Dolan made his debut with the Kings in 2018 and has gone on to play in games each of the past five seasons. In total, he has suited up for 96 games and recorded 24 points (14G, 10A).
He also lived at Anze Kopitar’s house early on.
He was nearly a point-per-game player during the 2021-22 AHL season, posting 47 points in 54 games, including 24 goals.
Should he clear waivers, JAD will be assigned to Ontario.
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