we'll see but i think the incumbents are doing enough to keep their space...for now. i think we've seen some good things from matteau, gelinas and merrill but they will (and should) all start in albany. urbom and tedenby are interesting cases because they are not waiver eligible and can be claimed for nothing which would be a shame. if jagr and clowe start the season on IR, that can keep the two of them here. assuming they do are ready for game one, the assumed incumbent that are in question are gionta and barch. this also assumes that brunner has done enough to make the team - which is something that i think is for sure.
that's the forward line i'd hope would make it but i expect gionta to get the call over tedenby based on pdb's comments that gionta is an important part of the team yada yada yada.
for the d, i expect that the assumed 7 make it:
in a world where talent and not "politics" makes the decision, then gelinas should make the team over sal but we all know that's never happening. i hate the idea of urbom being exposed to waivers but most feel he won't get claimed and there's just not a spot.
i'm biased on volchenkov so i can't give an honest opinion. i honestly think he brings a dimension that noone else on the team does. but sal - goodness i'd love to see him moved. urbom strikes me as an acceptable replacement there - he'll make his share of mistakes but he can skate and has some poise. i just see sal as one of the worst defensemen in the league - a guy that gets abused. but again, we've covered this ad nauseum.
that being said - all the kid defensemen going to albany and being on the albany-newark express is fine. it's the waiver kids that worry me (tedenby/urbom)
What about Carter?