OK, so training camp is officially over today and the Stingrays had to cut their roster down to 23 players, well 24, because you can include a guy on your roster as long as he’s on the 21-day injured list.
You can see the list below of the guys that made the final cut and the lines and defensemen pairings that they’ve been running with the last week or so. Not much of a change since my last post.
The breakdown is 14 forwards, eight defensemen, including Zack Currie, who has a lower body injury, and two goalies. The last player to get released was forward Kyle Thomas, who played at Norwich, and had been impressive during the Stingrays intra-squad scrimmages.
One look at the roster and you can tell that this group will be much more dynamic up front. The Rays loaded up with some quality forwards. Instead of being forced to rely on one or two scorers like last season, there are six or seven guys that have proven they can score in this league. There are also a handful of guys that are borderline AHL players and that’s what you need to win championships.
When your third line is Chad Painchaud (30-goal scorer in 2009-10), Chris Langkow (18 goals in 2012-13 season) and Jack Downing (28 points in 34 games last season) then you’ve got scoring on all three lines.
Stingrays head coach Spencer Carbery should be able to roll his lines and keep guys fresh throughout the game.
The one major theme throughout this camp has been the pace and the competiveness of the practices. But that’s what you get when you have 29 guys in camp.
“Everyone is competing for ice time at every position,” said Stingrays captain Kevin Quick. “If you have a bad day, you might find yourself on the fourth line or the last D-pair. It’s been like night and day from last year’s camp.”
The last couple of cuts were not easy for Carbery, who agonized over the final decisions he made.
“I had to let some very good hockey players go. Guys who would normally have made the roster, but not this year,” Carbery said. “It wasn’t easy to have those conversations, but at the end of the day, you’ve only got a certain number of spots and you’ve got to let guys go. No question that this has been the most competitive camp I’ve been a part of as a player or a coach.”
Depending on injuries at the AHL and NHL levels over the next week or so, the Stingrays could very well get two more players from Providence. The most likely candidates are forward Seth Griffith and defenseman Ben Youds.
Of course, the team you have in October rarely is the same one you’ll get in April during the playoffs. The one thing the ECHL has going for it now is that they’ve moved their season a week later to be closer to the end of the AHL season. The Stingrays finish the regular season on April 11. The last ECHL game is scheduled for April 13. The final AHL regular-season game is set for April 20. ECHL teams will be able to pick up some of their AHL players during the opening round of the Kelly Cup playoffs.
I’ll have an advance story for the season opener on Saturday.
Here’s a look at the what The Reading Eagle is writing about the Royals.
Peter Boyd-Scott Campbell-Jordan Owens
Igor Gongalsky-Justin Maylan-Wayne Simpson
Chad Painchaud-Chris Langkow-Jack Downing
Andrew Cherniwchan-Patrick Gaul-Marc Hagel
Anthony Collins-Lindsay Sparks
Ryan Grimsahw-Steve Spinell
Kevin Quick-Jeremy Price
Scooter Vaughan-Luka Vidmar
Injured reserve: D Zack Currie (lower body).
See you at The Rink,