Brent Krahn cleared waivers today and was assigned to the Texas Stars.
He and either Richard Bachman or Tyler Beskorowany will be the goaltending duo down there to start the season. My guess is Bachman has earned a job in the AHL, and he may even push Krahn for top minutes in Cedar Park. That should be an interesting battle in itself.
Tom Wandell (shoulder) skated again and could go on the road trip to St. Louis Saturday, but the odds are he will not play in that game. He still should be ready to start the season Oct. 8, but he needs more contact to be 100 percent sure.
The most interesting experiment on Saturday will probably be that Jamie Benn will center James Neal and Loui Eriksson. Brad Richards is getting the game off, and it will be kind of neat to see Benn in a truly offensive role from the center position. Benn has been one of the best offensive players in every level of hockey he has played in the past three years, but he has done that primarily as a left wing and his role appears to be different on this team if he is going to play in the center spot on the third line.
He is an extremely talented player, but it just seems the way he has been used so far in training camp, he is not going to get the scoring chances he has in the past. So for one game, playing on this line, we'll get a glimpse of whether or not he can play center and still be a top scoring threat from the pivot. You don't want to overreact, but it is an interesting test.
The lines should look something like this:
Brenden Morrow-Mike Ribeiro-Adam Burish
James Neal-Jamie Benn-Loui Eriksson
Brian Sutherby-Toby Petersen-Brandon Segal
Krys Barch-Aaron Gagnon-Fabian Brunnstrom
Kari Lehtonen in goal with Andrew Raycroft as the backup.
Tomas Vincour, Wandell and Matt Niskanen could also be on the trip, so there are still some decisions that have to be made for the final lineup.