The Hershey Bears are fresh off a Calder Cup championship, but what will the roster look like next season? Well, there should be some fresh faces with the chocolate and white but it should still be a Cup-contending club.
Here’s a breakdown by position:
This is pretty simple. Daren Machesney is out and expect Braden Holtby to be in. Michal Neuvirth will compete for a job with the Caps, but either he or Simeon Varlamov will be in Washington and the other will be the No. 1 guy with the Bears.
Subtractions: Sami Lepisto, Staffan Kronwall, Dean Arsene
Potential Additions: Joe Finley, Zach Miskovic, Josh Godfrey
TBD: Bryan Helmer
Skinny: Expect a younger but still-as-crowded blueline this year. Karl Alzner and/or John Carlson could make the Caps roster, but one of them will likely be in Hershey.
As of today the top six could be Carlson/Alzner, Tyler Sloan, Patrick McNeil, Sean Collins and two from a group of Greg Amadio and the three kids mentioned above. If Helmer re-signs, that is one less spot for the kids. Expect one or two of them to end up in South Carolina.
Subtractions: Andrew Joudrey, Graham Mink
Additions: Boyd Kane
Potential Additions: Trevor Bruess, Anton Gustafsson, Michael Dubuc
TBD: Alexandre Giroux, Kip Brennan, Darren Reid
Skinny: Kane will replace Mink, but maybe not on the top line. If the Caps re-sign Giroux and none of last year’s Bears can crack a crowded forward corps, it will be pretty crowded in Hershey as well. Gustafsson says he wants to play in North America, but will there be room for him? Dubuc will try to squeeze his way in after a successful season with South Carolina. Considering that the kid line of Perreault, Bouchard and Osala should be even better next year the Bears should have no problem scoring goals.