The Hamilton Bulldogs made their first cuts today, releasing six players who were in camp on a tryout basis. There were no surprises among the names, except for one. Matt Lashoff may have seemed a good fit as the left-shooting AHL veteran defenceman to help out the young prospects, but everybody else was training camp fodder.
As we've harped on, there will be five rookie or second-year defencemen on the Bulldogs roster, with Greg Pateryn, Nathan Beaulieu and Morgan Ellis the returnees, and Darren Dietz and Magnus Nygren the newcomers. We'll need some d-men with size and experience to pilot these kids through the shoals of professional hockey. These veterans wouldn't necessarily take up a lot of minutes or pressure situations, those will be reserved for the prospects, to temper them. Veterans would come in handy however to provide support and mentorship while the kids develop, to steady things on the bench and in the dressing room.
Matt Lashoff, a serviceable two-way d-man with lots of AHL games under his belt and some NHL experience as well would seem to fit the bill, but any reports on his play at Canadiens camp was that he was underwhelming. If he's not showing anything there's no sense keeping him at camp.
There are other vets still there, Drew Shiestel and Joel Chouinard among others. Davis Drewiske could conceivably end up in Hamilton too, once he's all healed up. There will be a churn of defencemen cut from NHL and AHL camps soon, and a resultant domino effect, so some homeless blueliner could catch Marc Bergevin's eye and get scooped up and plunked down on the third pairing.
With the Canadiens roster now set, we're going to have a good sense of what the Bulldogs roster will look like in a week or so.