The Nashville Predators looked closer to regular-season ready when they got their first preseason win Sunday, 2-0 over the New York Islanders.
In reality, though, they still had work to do. Franchise officials made another round of cuts Saturday when 13 players were sent to Milwaukee or to their junior clubs.
That left 33 on the training camp roster and a minimum of 10 more moves to be made.
A look at who remains and what is likely to happen at each position group:
• Forwards (21): Mike Fisher, Matt Cullen, David Legwand, Paul Gaustad, Patric Hornqvist, Colin Wilson, Craig Smith, Viktor Stalberg, Eric Nystrom, Matt Hendricks, Gabriel Bourque, Nick Spaling, Rich Clune, Filip Forsberg, Taylor Beck, Austin Watson, Joonas Rask, Patrick Cehlin, Miikka Salomaki, Colton Sissons and Simon Moser.
This is – by far – the most interesting position group in terms of what happens between now and the start of the regular season. The most likely scenario is that coaches keep 14 forwards – nine returning veterans, four free agent additions and Forsberg, one of five players with more than a point this preseason. That means two will be scratched for each game (provided everyone is healthy, of course), which is something coaches traditionally have tried to avoid. If Forsberg regularly is one of the scratches, the approach won’t make sense.
• Defensemen (nine): Shea Weber, Kevin Klein, Roman Josi, Seth Jones, Victor Bartley, Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Joonas Jarvinen and Joe Piskula.
Barring injury, there’s no reason to think that this group won’t take shape as originally planned with Ellis and Ekholm as the final two behind the four returning veterans and first-round pick Jones. Jarvinen and Piskula will start at Milwaukee.
• Goalies (three): Pekka Rinne, Carter Hutton and Marek Mazanec.
Nothing to see here. The pecking order was set in the offseason when Hutton agreed to a free agent deal to be Rinne’s backup. And don’t read too much into the fact that Mazanec is still here while Magnus Hellberg already has been sent down.
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