So, the roster is set, and mostly what I thought would happen happened, but then sometimes it didn't. The defensive cuts worked out exactly as expected: Allen, who outplayed the others, will get further play time in the AHL and be the most likely first call-up, while Falk beat out Bickel for the #7 spot.
Up front, only 5 cuts were made, not 6, as Hagelin will start the season on Injured Reserve (Callahan, who is recovering somewhat faster from the identical surgery on the same day, will not). I expected 4 of the cuts to be Fast, Hrivik, Lindberg, and Mashinter. 3 out of 4 ain't bad, but in a surprising move, Vigneualt kept Jesper Fast up with the big club. His other two cuts were Kreider and Powe, leaving Asham and Pyatt up to round out the roster.
If you've been paying attention, the starting goalie and defensemen should be obvious at this point (Lundqvist, McDonagh-Girardi, Staal-Del Zotto, Moore-Stralman), but the forward lines are something of a mystery. Some light was shed today when it was reported that Richards has been moved to the wing, skating at practice opposite Nash on a line centered by Stepan. This move makes sense to me: simplifying Richards's game might lead to good things for him offensively, and the Rangers, as my dad put it, "have 14 forwards, of whom 18 are centers," so this is a pretty solid shift. Behind that first line of Nash - Stepan - Richards, Vigneault seems to be keeping Pouliot - Brassard - Zuccarello together as a 2nd line.
Behind them, based on what we've seen at camp, it seems like Boyle will be the #3 center and Moore will be the #4 (with Miller, who is also a natural centerman, shifted to the wing). That leaves 4 wings to be taken up by any of: Asham, Dorsett, Fast, Miller, and Pyatt (given reports that Callahan, though active, will not be dressed on opening night). I don't imagine the Rangers leaving Fast in the lineup just to bench him (even if he outplayed others, wouldn't they rather develop him in Hartford, like Conor Allen?), so it seems most likely they'd try to use him on the third line, most likely along with J.T. Miller, who deserves more than 4th-line minutes. Behind Miller - Boyle - Fast, I would guess that Pyatt is the odd man out, in favor of a fourth line of Dorsett - Moore - Asham.
And so, here's my best opening night guess:
Nash - Stepan - Richards
Pouliot - Brassard - Zuccarello
Miller - Boyle - Fast
Dorsett - Moore - Asham
McDonagh - Girardi
Staal - Del Zotto
Moore - Stralman
Healthy Scratches: Pyatt, Falk
What do you think?