In advance of opening night rosters due to the NHL office on Monday, the Kings began their final purge on Friday afternoon by sending Brandt Clarke, Alex Laferriere and Alex Turcotte to AHL Ontario.
None of the players required waivers, so they could be sent to the Reign immediately. Clarke and Laferriere were impressive during the preseason; they are just currently caught in a roster crunch. Put simply, the Kings do not have enough cap space to carry them as extra players on the NHL roster.
In five exhibition games played, Laferriere recorded three goals and four points. Clarke had three assists in the four games he suited up for.
With these moves, the final decision will come down to which player they want to expose on waivers — Andreas Englund, Toby Björnfot, or Jaret Anderson-Dolan. As reported on Mayor’s Manor recently, our sources indicated earlier in the week that it looked like the two defensemen would end up making the final roster. That decision became compromised over the last 24 hours, as forward Arthur Kaliyev was suspended for the first two regular season games. In essence, he now becomes the 21st player on the roster (i.e. a healthy scratch on opening night and his contract counts towards the salary cap).
If the Kings keep JAD on the roster to play as one of the 12 forwards, that means one of the aforementioned defenseman would need to be put on waivers Sunday — with the other guy staying to play the left side on the third pair. Most likely, due to his two-year contract, that would be Englund going on waivers. However, nothing has been decided.
Another option would be to stick with the original plan, putting JAD on waivers; which would force coach Todd McClellan to play with 11 forwards and seven defensemen for the first two regular season games.
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