Some cuts were expected on Tuesday and the Habs have indeed made some, removing four players from their training camp roster and placing five on waivers, all of whom cleared on Wednesday.
Defencemen David Sklenicka and Michal Moravcik were both assigned to Laval of the AHL while winger Joel Ward was released from his PTO. Most notably, Nick Suzuki was returned to Owen Sound of the OHL despite a strong showing. Barring an emergency recall situation, his contract will slide another year which means he’ll have three years left on his deal starting next season.
On the waiver front, Michael McCarron headlined the list of players on the wire. The 2013 first rounder was joined by forwards Hunter Shinkaruk and Byron Froese as well as defencemen Rinat Valiev and Brett Lernout. Shinkaruk and Froese both cleared waivers last year while the other three passed through for the first time.
The Habs are now down to 34 players at camp – three goalies, 12 defencemen, and 19 forwards. They are as follows:
Goalies: Charlie Lindgren, Antti Niemi, Carey Price
Defence: Karl Alzner, Jordie Benn, Simon Despres, Noah Juulsen, Victor Mete, Xavier Ouellet, Jeff Petry, Mike Reilly, David Schlemko, Matt Taormina, Jarret Tyszka, Shea Weber
Forwards: Kenny Agostino, Joel Armia, Paul Byron, Michael Chaput, Phillip Danault, Jacob de la Rose, Nicolas Deslauriers (injured), Max Domi, Jonathan Drouin, Brendan Gallagher, Charles Hudon, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Artturi Lehkonen, Matthew Peca, Tomas Plekanec, Nikita Scherbak, Andrew Shaw, Tomas Tatar, Hayden Verbeek
Among that group, Tyszka, Taormina, and Verbeek will all be surefire cuts but are currently injured. They need to get down to 26 (including Weber, Shaw, and Deslauriers who are IR-bound) by the start of the regular season. That means several more cuts will inevitably need to be made in the coming days.