Nashville Predators 2023 Preseason Finale: Fringe of the Roster

Sep 27, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators right wing Michael McCarron (47) waits for the face off during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators right wing Michael McCarron (47) waits for the face off during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Marc Del Gaizo
Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports /

Del Gaizo was the Early Surprise in Predators Training Camp

It’s really difficult for a player to crack an NHL roster out of training camp with zero NHL experience to back him up. That’s what Marc Del Gaizo is up against, while trying to beat out Jeremy Lauzon, Alexandre Carrier and Dante Fabbro.

Del Gaizo has done enough to get another look later down the road if a call-up is necessary, but he’s fighting an uphill battle to supplant the other three defensemen on the depth chart.

In the preseason finale on Friday night, Del Gaizo will be in over Lauzon. Lauzon played on Thursday and tallied an assist, one hit, two shots on goal, two penalty minutes in a brief ice time of just 10:48.

It would take something crazy and out of nowhere, which I never completely rule out with this new front office, but it seems that Del Gaizo will be heading back to Milwaukee. He’s waiver exempt at age 23 and no NHL games played yet.

Good for Del Gaizo to get one more taste of NHL action deep into the preseason before heading back down to the AHL. He’s still very early in his professional hockey journey.

Related Story. 4 Questions Predators Have to Answer in October. light

These Players Feel Safe….For Now

Those four players above are the ones closest to the roster bubble. However, there are some others who are certainly at the bottom of the depth chart, but should be safe at making the initial Nashville Predators roster out of training camp.

Let’s start with Kiefer Sherwood. Hard-nosed player, never takes a shift off and is just what you need for a fourth line role player. In fact, he has proven he can be flexible and play on multiple lines in a pinch.

Sherwood is locked into the Predators lineup and would no doubt in my mind be claimed if the Predators were crazy enough to waive him. I don’t think they are.

Denis Gurianov when he was first acquired in free agency was viewed as a player that might have to earn his way onto the roster. It appears the organization really likes his upside and just needs a change of scenery in Nashville to upstart his NHL career again after falling off the grid with the Dallas Stars.

Despite all of the speculation, Fabbro and Lauzon will both make the roster and be rotational defensemen along with Carrier. It would be absolutely wild if somehow Del Gaizo took a spot from one of them, and also not very smart.

At the very least, Fabbro and Carrier can become decent trade pieces down the road. They’re safe unless the front office is asleep behind the wheel.