Panthers trim roster before heading to West Point

A few surprises still in the mix for roster spots

In case you missed it yesterday, what with that Hurricane Matthew thing happening (or not), the Florida Panthers assigned forwards Connor Brickley, Dryden Hunt and Kyle Rau and defenseman MacKenzie Weegar to the Springfield Thunderbirds of the AHL.

The team also released veteran blueliner Adam Pardy from his PTO.

The moves left the training camp roster at 27. That number includes center Nick Bjugstad who is expected to be out for 4-6 weeks after breaking his hand against Dallas on Tuesday.

With Bjugstad slated for injured reserve at some point, that means the Cats will have make three more cuts before the start of the regular season.

There are some surprising names still left in camp as the Panthers prep for their final preseason game against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday in West Point, NY.

Center Denis Malgin, who dazzled during the rookie tournament, and veteran AHLers Paul Thompson, Shane Harper and Greg McKegg are seemingly fighting for the last forward spot.

Two of those players could make it if the Cats decide summer acquisition Jared McCann would be better off in Springfield for the time being. McCann hasn’t stood out during the preseason games so this is a possibility, although my feeling is the former Canuck will be on the opening night roster.

On the back end, it’s not shocking Ian McCoshen has stuck around, but perhaps the biggest surprise of camp is that 19-year-old Thomas Schemitsch is still in the mix.

With the Cats depth on the defense, I fully expect both of the young d-men to join the Thunderbirds, but their good showing certainly bodes well for the future.