Jayson Megna made a statement on Friday, enough of a statement to stick around through the latest round of cuts and potentially make the NHL roster to start the season.
Shane Gersich was reassigned to the Hershey Bears on Saturday while Liam O’Brien and Riley Barber were placed on waivers, the Capitals announced. Should O’Brien and Barber clear waivers, they will be reassigned to the AHL as well.
The injury to Travis Boyd has left an open spot on the Capitals roster as he is expected to start the season on IR. If Friday was an audition for that spot, Megna certainly took advantage.
Megna and Gersich both were in the lineup for Friday’s preseason game, a game in which Megna showed off his speed as he torched Carolina’s defense to score a goal.
The latest cuts leave Washington with 15 forwards on the roster. At most, the team will keep 14 (12 for a lineup plus two extra). Should Boyd go on IR, however, that will leave 14 meaning the 15 forwards on the roster now could in fact be the team’s forward roster to start the regular season.
Nathan Walker is another player who was thought to be battling for an NHL job this year. As of now, he remains on the roster.
Barber and O’Brien have both been impressive this preseason, but with several bodies and too few spots, they find themselves on the outside looking in, for now. Placing them on waivers allows any team in the league a chance to claim them. The Caps will have to cross their fingers and hope they do not find themselves without one or both of those players when waivers clear.
Once Barber and O’Brien clear, Washington will have a total of 26 players on the roster. The deadline to cut the roster down to the 23-player maximum is 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Should Boyd go on IR that will leave the team with 25. Defenseman Aaron Ness will almost certainly be headed to Hershey as well. That means there is likely only one spot left up for grabs it may all come down to the health of Michal Kempny.
Kempny is considered day-to-day after suffering an upper-body injury in Tuesday’s game. If he is not ready to return for Wednesday’s opener that leaves the door open for Jonas Siegenthaler who has played exceptionally well this preseason. If Kempny is ready to return, however, as Siegenthaler is waiver exempt, he most likely will find himself heading back to Hershey as well.
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