Rita - the odd man out?
There's no question that over the past couple seasons I have been a Rita supporter; a guy who thinks he should have been given a better opportunity to stick in Edmonton. I can say that from what I've heard it sounds like he's done enough to not be farmed out, especially being on a one-way deal for the league min.
But if they have to clear a roster spot (and they will if they decide to keep Schremp, unless someone gets injured in the last 3 pre-season games) he seems like the likely guy given that they can ship him to Europe, but also because he might still have a bit of trade value. On a team like WSH one would have to think he'd easily make the lineup as a regular, he's still somewhat young, and makes the league minimum. Perfect for a rebuilding team, or maybe even a team tight against the cap who wants a cheap 13th forward that they think has some upside.
My vote is that he stays, and starts the year on the 4th line LW with Stoll and Laraque. I don't think that's in the cards, both because it sounds like they have been playing him mostly at RW to start the year, and also because I think the EDM coaching staff likes Winchester and Harvey a bit more. But supposedly he'll be on a line with Smyth and Horcoff tonight, so no time like the present to impress the coaching staff.
Speaking of, were I coach, I think I wouldn't mind seeing lines something like:
Smyth Peca Dvorak
Moreau Horcoff Pisani
Torres Reasoner Hemsky
Rita Stoll Laraque
to start the season.
With a PP unit something like:
Smyth Horcoff Hemsky Bergeron Pronger