It's just practice, but the latest lines Coach Ramsay tried out today include both Antropov and Peverly playing on the wings.
The centers in that lineup were Little, Rissmiller, Machacek, Hozapfel, Burmistrov, and Thorburn.
I would be very surprised if Rissmiller or Hozapfel made the team out of camp, and don't expect to see Machacek either. Burmistrov will have to show some major improvement over rookie camp and Tuesday night's preseason game to prove that he belongs in the NHL this season.
So that puts us with only two NHL ready players practicing the pivot position today.
Jimmy Slater wasn't listed in that lineup at all, despite the fact that he was on the ice practicing both Tuesday and today. He adds one more NHL ready center.
Again, this is just practice and doesn't necessarily reflect what the lineup will look like on October 8, but I would say that unless Burmistrov and/or Machacek make major strides over the next couple of weeks, we can't ice a competitive team without either Antropov or Peverly playing center. Rolling Little, Burmistrov, Slater, and Thorburn down the middle just isn't going to cut it.
Following Vivlamore's tweet about Thorburn playing center and John Manasso's new article about Petterson's excellent chances of making the team, I took a look at the names currently in camp and made my own cuts to decide who was still going to be here for opening night.
12 Roster forwards:
Plus Cormier on IR and Dawes in the press box, despite Ben Wright's prediction.
9 Roster Defensemen:
Plus Boris and Meyer in the press box. I think Meyer will be a good one to keep around in case of an emergency. He's 29 years old and shouldn't take away ice time from our prospects in Chicago and he won't hurt us too much if he has to fill in. But if we have two or three days notice that one of our top 6 D-men have gone down, we should call up Kulda.
Guess who?- Pavelec and Mason.
No offense to Akim Aliu, Riley Holzapfel, Andrew Kozek, Spencer Machacek, Patrick Rissmiller, Arturs Kulda, Jaime Sifers, Noah Welch, and Andrei Zubarev, but you should all make reservations at Pizzaria Uno next week.