This isn't a thread for your ideal lineup. Just educated guesses to what we actually see come opening night and how we got there.
20 Forwards left:
The 9 that are 100% safe: Cammelleri-Zajac-Jagr, Zubrus-Elias-Havlat, Clowe-Henrique Ryder x x x x x
The 1 that is 99% safe due to his contract: Ruutu
Ruutu x x
The 1 that is 90% safe due to Pete and Lou's love: Gionta
Ruutu Gionta x
The 1 that is only here to keep the locker room loose and to remind Pete and Lou of that when they eventually call him up in November for no reason but say it is because of that: Cam Janssen (Cut)
The 2 that are impressing the staff, but it just makes sense to have them start the season in the AHL: Matteau and Boucher
Boucher is making things tough for the staff, and if this was another year and another camp, he would in NJ to start the season. Crazier things have happened. Bergfors had such a good camp in 2009 that it sent Shanahan packing. One more great pre-season game, and he really might complicate the matter, but in the end, I see the AHL for him. There isn't such a rush and the Devils have options. There is a good case to make that he deserves to be here.
The 1 that never should have been signed and will most definitely be put on waivers after Lou perhaps makes some calls for him: Bernier
The signing was weird at the time. It never made all that much sense. Too many better options at the moment. Don't think Lou will have that big of a problem with him making 600K in the AHL.
The 1 that they have some faith in and has had a good enough camp to make the team: Brunner
He's done enough. They know they can scratch him. A good player to throw in the top 9 if there is an injury.
Ruutu Gionta Brunner
Okay two more spots to go, and this is where I see two distinct battles taking place:
Gomez vs Josefson: The redemption narrative has been in full force. I've read some mixed reports, but it seems everyone within the organization has liked what they have seen from Scott. I bet he might get two more looks, and any added offense in the final pre-season games, and the return becomes official.
I have not seen Jacob play, so I can't say much. I know the organization sees something in him. He might really need to impress in his final game(s). If he doesn't, I could see the team trying to sneak him through waivers. He probably does too.
Carter vs Tootoo: I'm of the belief the organization wants someone with some grit/energy/drop-the-gloves-ability, especially with Clowe being told not to. I don't think Carter is much of a fighter, but he's there. Tootoo has impressed so far, and I think as of now he has a small lead over Carter to make the team.
So as of now, with 6 days to go: My predictions are:
Ruutu Gionta Brunner
What the 4th line will actually be is anyone's guess right now.
AHL: Bernier, Josefson, Boucher, Matteau, Janssen
Out of the organization: Carter
Edited by devilsrule33, Yesterday, 11:46 PM.