After the news that Ryan Johansen had signed a new deal, it was simply a matter of time before the Blue Jackets announced their final roster moves. With all NHL clubs required to submit final rosters by tomorrow at noon, the club had to make decisions on waivers and assignments as they prepared to take on the Buffalo Sabres this Thursday.
Kerby Rychel was assigned to Springfield, along with defenseman Frederic St. Denis, while Jerry D'Amigo was placed on waivers earlier today, and is expected to be assigned to the Falcons if he clears.
The other "bubble" forward, Brian Gibbons, was placed on IR, but it seems likely that he, too, will head to Springfield once he's ready to play.
For Rychel, it has to be a bit of a disappointment, but it's also a great opportunity for him to get some top six minutes and continue to build up his game.
Meanwhile, it's clear that his fellow 2013 first round picks, Alexander Wennberg and Marko Dano, have both made the opening day roster, though we still don't know exactly how head coach Todd Richards intends to fit them into his lineup. It's a big step, but they'll be expected to prove that they should stay up once guys like Boone Jenner and Nathan Horton get healthy.
Here's the roster as it stands going into the season:
Scott Hartnell - Ryan Johansen - Nick Foligno
Matt Calvert - Brandon Dubinsky - Marko Dano
Alexander Wennberg - Artem Anisimov - Cam Atkinson
Jack Skille - Mark Letestu - Corey Tropp
Extras: Jared Boll, Michael Chaput
James Wisniewski - Tim Erixon
Jack Johnson - David Savard
Fedor Tyutin - Dalton Prout
Extra: Cody Goloubef
Injured Reserve: Ryan Murray, Brian Gibbons, Nathan Horton, Boone Jenner
These pairings and lines are mostly speculation at this point, but it seems like a reasonable possibility for how things could shake out based on what we've seen in the pre-season. If Johansen is ready to go on Thursday, as expected, I'd expect to see him on the ice. If he's not, however, I wouldn't be totally shocked to see Wennberg moved into the top six and Michael Chaput asked to take a spot in the bottom six to fill in.