Prior to this season and having a team in my hometown, my interest in the concept of “Clear Day Rosters” was simply a quick glance at the handful of AHL teams I paid attention to, and how these lists would affect them, and their NHL affiliates.
Tomorrow, the AHL will release the teams Clear Day rosters, which is a list of names that can be used in the remainder of the regular season and into the playoffs. The clear day rosters contain 22 players (20 skaters and two goaltenders), plus an “in-residency” list of names of players who can be pulled from ONLY if three or more players on the clear day roster are otherwise unavailable (due to injury, recall or suspension).
Yet another variable to the clear-day rosters is the idea of junior and NCAA players who can be added to the team. In a quick glance over the Hurricane’s roster, the only name that jumps out at me as a possible addition to the Checkers once his Junior season with the Everett Silvertips ends is Rasmus Rissanen, a defenseman. Rissanen, 19, is a Finnish player on the verge of completing his second season in the WHL.
The Canes also have two defensemen in NCAA programs in Brian Dumoulin and Justin Faulk. Dumoulin is a sophomore at Boston College, and Faulk a freshman at the University of Minnesota – Duluth. I would be surprised to see Dumoulin make the jump to pro so soon, and Faulk would not be old enough (19) to play next season in the AHL.
The best example of a Junior player who finished out a season with an AHL team is Montreal goaltender Carey Price. In 2007, after his junior season ended with the Tri-City Americans of the WHL, he played only two regular-season games with the Hamilton Bulldogs before the playoffs began. He then went on to play 22 playoff games, resulting in the Bulldogs winning the Calder Cup that year. So clearly, a junior player can have a great deal of impact on an AHL team.
For the most part, I don’t think we’ll see any surprises on the Checkers Clear Day roster. With that being said, I’m still excited to see the final 22, mostly because there are a few “fringe” players who could go either way roster-wise.
Interesting notes include the fact that Mike McKenzie was sent to Florida last Wednesday, and the Hurricanes assigned Jared Staal to the Checkers again. It’s an interesting “swap” simply because the two players are completely different on the ice, but since Staal is a Hurricanes prospect and McKenzie is not, they probably want to see what Staal can do at the AHL level after spending the majority of the season in the ECHL. Of course, Staal has been a healthy scratch both games since being returned, and McKenzie was contributing on a regular basis before being sent down, which makes for one confused blogger regarding the rationale of that call up! The team has a few banged up guys in Nick Dodge, Bobby Sanguinetti and Michal Jordan, which leaves the current roster at 20 healthy players. I’ve heard Sanguinetti is close to returning, and hope that Dodge’s hand is on the mend. Jordan took a pretty nasty hit in last Saturday’s game, and I really hope he is on the mend.
And then there is the Jerome Samson situation. If any stats junkies can help me out with this, I’d appreciate it. I’m also not sure whether or not Samson is eligible to return to play for the Checkers in the playoffs. I believe he would be allowed to play during the AHL regular season, but I’m not certain about the playoffs. Per the CBA and my understanding of it, he does not have to clear waivers to pass between the NHL and AHL, but he was on the active NHL roster at the NHL trade deadline which may make him ineligible for post-season play in Charlotte. The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins ran into a situation with two of their regular players who got injured in the NHL and were still on the Pittsburgh roster on Monday. As a result, they are ineligible to play in the AHL playoffs. What I don’t fully understand is whether their injury is keeping them from being returned to the AHL, or waiver eligibility/rules and the fact both skaters (I believe) must clear waivers to be returned to the AHL.