The first two preseason games are in the bag, with the Panthers going 1-1 versus the Nashville Predators. Some good games all around, and fans got to see glimpses of possible future lines and future stars for the Cats, as well as the Preds. Both these teams have some really strong organizational depth and it shows. We may not be seeing some of the younger guys until they have had some seasoning, as Panther management have repeatedly stated that they do not want to rush prospects as previous regimes have done. However, the future certainly looks brighter than it has in almost a decade, and the amount of depth in the potential opening day lineup is quite encouraging.
More after the jump...
That being said, the cuts started rolling in today, with the Panthers sending Vincent Trocheck, John McFarland and Josh Birkholz back to their respective junior teams. The Cats also sent Adam Comrie, Michael Caruso, Justin Bernhardt, Jake Hauswirth, A.J. Jenks, Bill Thomas, Garrett Wilson and goalie Brian Foster back to the AHL. San Antonio Rampage head coach Chuck Weber has to be quite happy with the depth he'll have this season, as the cuts announced today are just the beginning, and we'll certainly see some more notable names sent back to the AHL to help the Rampage succeed next season before camp ends and the NHL season starts. The Panthers are now down to 46 total players, and that number will continue to shrink over the next couple of weeks.
Out of those names, McFarland is a little bit of a surprise, as he had by all accounts a pretty solid rookie camp and many thought he might be given a longer look. Trocheck also had a great rookie camp but is still very young and needs a couple more seasons in juniors or with San Antonio. We'll see these guys again before long though.
We'll keep you updated with any additional cuts that may come along today. Stay tuned!