With Pikkarainen on IR, Devils May Have Final Roster Set

The Devils have placed forward Ilkka Pikkarainen on the IR, meaning their roster is down to 23 after the previously mentioned players cleared waivers earlier today.  According to Gulitti, Lou Lamoriello is also considering putting Jay Pandolfo on IR, but otherwise the opening roster may be set.  Here it is, from the Devils website:

Goaltenders (2): Martin BrodeurYann Danis

Left wings (5): Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, Jay Pandolfo, Zach PariseAndrew PetersBrian Rolston

Centers (4): Rob NiedermayerRod PelleyTravis ZajacDainius Zubrus  

Right wings (5): Niclas Bergfors, David ClarksonMatt HalischukJamie LangenbrunnerBrendan Shanahan

Defensemen (7): Andy GreenePaul MartinMike MottauCory MurphyBryce SalvadorJohnny OduyaColin White

Update with Additional Commentary by John: Per Gulitti, Jay Leach, Tim Sestito, and Rob Davison all cleared waivers and will be with Lowell. Sestito and Davison can come back up later, but Leach would be subject to waivers if called up - so his tenure with the New Jersey organization may end with a whimper in Lowell.

With respect to the roster move, Pikkarainen going on IR is essentially a delaying tactic for a few games. Maybe the Devils want a closer look at Matt Halischuk?  Maybe Lou is lining up another move?  Lou was quite up-front about keeping Pikkarainen as a Devil, so someone else is going down/elsewhere.  Halischuk can go to Lowell without going through waivers, so I still think he's likely to get cut eventually.

Gulitti did get one quote from Lou that pretty much spells out who "won" in this year's preseason.  This quote should be seen as very good news for fans of Halischuk and Vladimir Zharkov. If Lou's praising you publicly, you're doing something very right.

"I don't think that you could be more happy with the young players," Lamoriello said. "They've progressed with all of the work they've done last year and during the summer, pre-training camp. They made it very, very difficult [to make cuts], which is a good problem. The young players are ready to play and we actually sent a couple down [that played well]. [Vladimir] Zharkov had an excellent camp. He's very close.

"Then, you've got Bergfors, Halischuk, Pelley and Leblond. These are players who are ready. They're making decisions difficult."

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