Oh the American Hockey League clear day. What a twisted web of confusion you weave, but one that is both interesting and notable. Indeed, the 30 teams in the minor league released their clear day rosters, which all but set the 22-man lineup for the duration of the regular season and playoffs. This is done to even the playing field around the league as in the coming weeks NHL counterparts will be ending their seasons just shy of the playoffs. No stocking your team with incredible NHL talent. But then again, that's what the Oilers have finagled the last two seasons.
This list is important for the Barons specifically. They've been a dominant Western Conference team for much of the season, had a hiccup this weekend, but look to finish strong and gain an early advantage in the shortened first round of the Calder Cup playoffs (now best of five; formerly best of seven).
A quick primer on the clear day roster as defined by the American Hockey League:
Lists were due to the AHL office at 3 p.m. ET Monday. Only players listed on a team's clear day roster are eligible to compete in the remainder of the AHL regular season and in the 2012 Calder Cup playoffs unless emergency conditions arise as a result of recall, injury or suspension.
Teams may also add signed junior and college players or players on amateur tryout contracts after today, but only once their respective junior or college seasons are complete.
The key here being that the Barons will need to widdle down the lineup to a manageable 22 players. Does this mean the likes of Kirill Tulupov or Curtis Hamilton will be on the outside looking in? Yes, but with a few reservations. The "in house" list of players can remain as a part of the team, and can be inserted based on any injury. From the flu to a broken bone, anyone deemed unhealthy to skate immediately frees up a roster spot.
The other bit of information not to overlook is junior and college players that sign ATO's and are eligible for the AHL final leg once their junior/college seasons are over. Kyle Bigos, for one, would be a potentially decent fit in a healthy lineup where Kirill Tulupov doesn't make the 22-man cut.
Released this morning was the official 22-man roster for your Barons. Following the list, some commentary:
Yann Danis (G)
David LeNeveu (G)
Not a lot of surprises here. The Swedes are all included. Those not listed are Curtis Hamilton, Tanner House, Kevin Montgomery, and Kirill Tulupov. The two rookies left off is a shame, but they'll likely play in injury situations. I'm surprised that Dan Ringwald gets the nod over Kevin Montgomery, but it proves how far Mr. Ringwald has come and perhaps where he's going in the future with the Barons.