SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – The new NHL season is just a couple days away and teams across the league are making the final tweaks to their opening night rosters.
By the time the Florida Panthers play their season opener at the BB&T Center on Saturday night against the Flyers, most teams will already have a game or two under their belts.
The Panthers came into the day on Monday with their roster sitting at 26 players, needing to get down to 23 by the end of the afternoon.
General Manager Dale Tallon started the day by waiving defenseman Dylan Olsen and forward Garrett Wilson. They will both report to the Panthers’ American Hockey League affiliate in Portland, Maine if they clear waivers.
Neither of those moves were surprising, but the next one was.
Tallon announced later in the day that the team was sending 2015 1st round pick (11th overall) Lawson Crouse back to his junior team, the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League.
Crouse was expected to be with the club for at least the nine game ‘NHL tryout’ period that rookies are granted, but now fans will have to wait a bit longer before the impressive teenager makes his first appearance with the Panthers.
The move also brings the team down to 23 players, meaning that veteran forward Martin Havlat has likely made the team.
A crafty veteran who played for Tallon in Chicago, Havlat has battled injuries in recent years but is now healthy again and hoping to get back to his strong offensive ways with the young Panthers.
Tallon said on Monday that he’s hopeful to come to a contract agreement with Havlat.
The Panthers will face the Philadelphia Flyers in their season opener at the BB&T Center on Saturday, October 10th at 7 p.m. You can hear every game on Sports Radio 560 WQAM, the radio home of the Florida Panthers.
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