Anaheim announced more cuts today, and none of them are surprising. Both Max Friberg and Chris Wagner were re-assigned to Norfolk. Admirals fans should be happy with this news as Friberg and Wagner project to play big roles on the team. I still think Friberg makes his way to the top-6. Chris Wagner may be a winger or a center, and throughout the lineup. I would not be surprised to see Wagner and Friberg on a line together.
Jesse Blacker and Mat Clark were technically assigned to Norfolk. They’ll both have to pass through waivers and I expect they’ll clear at Noon eastern tomorrow. Clark is coming off of shoulder surgery that kept him out most of the season. He’s expected to be a leader on this team and really needs to find a way to stand out this year. Blacker is coming off his best year as a pro but was marred with inconsistency. He really didn’t provide as much offense as one would have liked to see from the supposed puck-moving D-man. Both players should be part of the Norfolk top 4.
Josh Manson’s name is mysteriously missing. Well, sort of mysteriously. Manson suffered an injury and is likely being cared for in Anaheim. Nothing has come out yet about his status. I am disappointed in this because I was interested to see his development this year in Norfolk. That’s not impossible but it is obviously delayed.
The last big roster moves involve the battle between William Karlsson and Rickard Rakell for third-line center and Jason Labarbera’s stagnation. Anaheim plays their last game Saturday against San Jose and I have a feeling the Karlsson/Rakell battle will be center stage. Karlsson probably gets assigned. LaBarbera has to be put through waivers and that’s a matter of time. The team is shaping up!
Preseason starts Thursday at 11AM when Norfolk travels to Charlotte.