Close, but no cigar for Derek Roy.
Roy, who lasted throughout Washington’s entire training camp and preseason on a professional tryout, was released on Monday along with five other players: Aaron Ness, Liam O'Brien, Justin Peters, Ryan Stanton and Chandler Stephenson.
Roy is the most notable transaction. Some thought the 32-year-old center might earn a contract given the health of No. 1 pivot Nicklas Backstrom, who’s likely to miss the start of the year after hip surgery.
Roy had two points in four exhibition games for the Caps, and had been in the running for the club’s third-line center position. It was assumed Evgeny Kuznetsov would ascend to No. 1 duties in Backstrom’s absence, while Andre Burakovsky would (potentially) shoulder second-line responsibilities.
Now, it looks as though Jay Beagle will assume those duties.
It’s also worth noting that by passing on Roy, the Caps are potentially saving cap space for an in-season acquisition, perhaps at the trade deadline.
As for today’s other moves, three of the players released — Ness, Peters and Stanton — will require waivers before getting assigned to AHL Hershey.
This essentially sets Washington’s opening night roster (assuming Backstrom opens on IR, and there isn’t one more cut coming.) Youngsters Stanislav Galiev and Chris Brown (also a candidate to start on IR) are in the mix, along with veteran AHLers Sean Collins — a 26-year-old forward that spent the last five seasons in the Columbus organization — and d-man Taylor Chorney, who was with Pittsburgh/AHL Wilkes-Barre in ’14-15.