The Mavericks, currently in the training camp portion of their 2011-12 title run, have cut and traded their roster in an attempt to get to the "Perfect 19" necessary for a CHL roster.
At the end of last week the team announced they have waived forward Matt Dias and defenseman Janis Brakss (by the way, defensemen preview coming up after camp ends). I had Dias as high as the second line in some projections, but, uh, I suppose that was wrong. This left the roster with 27 players. Only 8 more to go! See more moves after the jump.
Earlier on Monday, the Mavericks rid themselves of six more players. Defensemen Joshua Hepditch and Jared Lavender, and forward Derek Knowles were all traded away. Lavender spent the past two seasons with the Mavericks, recording a +9 and playing in 94 games. Knowles played last season with the Mavs, but only played in 38 games and two playoff games. He had seven points overall. My early projection had him riding the bench on the expanded roster, so his departure does not seem so surprising with so many new faces. All were traded for future considerations.
Meanwhile, the remaining three players were waived. They are forwards Toms Hartmanis and Derek Pallardy and defenseman Steven Later. Pallardy played nearly all of the past two seasons with the Mavs, and his departure seems the most curious. Although not a potent scoring threat (13+31=44 points in two seasons), he was a young player learning head coach Scott Hillman's system nearly straight out of college. I would imagine he did not provide the scoring punch the team appears to be looking for this season. The Mavs were sixth in goals for last season, and just appear to need more out of a second line-type forward. I stated earlier that Hartmanis and Vern Cooper may be in a battle for a second line wing spot, and if I was accurate then it is safe to say that Cooper won the battle. Later played the end of last season in Independence totaling 13 points in 18 games, and playing 9 playoff games. This leaves the skater roster at 21, meaning two more players need to be cut.
Typically the Mavs carry six defenders, about eleven forwards, and two goaltenders. This would mean three full defensive lines and nearly four full forward lines. Who will be the next two players cut? My guess is O'Nabigon or Dickson, just because they are similar players fighting for a bottom six-type role. The other cut will probably be the goalie Macek, but he may stay somehow connected with the organization.
Remember, forward Ryan Jardine, defenseman David Pszenyczny and Dustin Friesen, and goalie Charlie Effinger are all under two-way contracts with the Chicago Wolves and Mavericks. Friesen is currently one of eight defenders on the Wolves roster and has played in all four of their games and has a -3.
Also, along with trading for Knowles, the Rapid City Rush have also picked up former Mav Blake Forsyth. He spent all of last season and seven games in 2010-11 with the Mavericks scoring a total of twenty points (3+17=20) and was a +26 last season.