Marc Desrosiers - USA TODAY Sports

Take Town: Crossing the border

A thing that can sometimes be very funny in the preseason is the idea of who's fighting for what roster spots. The reason it's funny is that you can see a headline that says, like, "Jack Campbell pushing Stuart Skinner for No. 1 role," and it's like, right. That should be the case. He's a goalie who's making $5 million against the cap. The fact that he's not the No. 1 already suggests something has gone seriously wrong and this guy who came into last season with basically no NHL experience should not have had such an easy path to the starter's role laid before him in the first place.

And look, veterans lose a step, they lose their spot, it happens. Plenty of teams with a good prospect or three still hanging around training camp are probably weighing whether it'll be better to at least give a kid a look in a top-six role or send them to the AHL to take on more of a first-line role. That kind of decision usually comes with a veteran being shuffled down the lineup.

But when it's a veteran who's earning a lot of money, and the narrative shifts to, "It'll actually be pretty interesting to see where this goes," that's a sign that the general manager of the team probably messed up pretty badly.

This isn't like the Canucks trying to figure out which of their bad right-side defenders gets to play with Quinn Hughes ("Wow, first-pair defenceman Ian Cole playing his off side!"), because they don't really have any good options at all. It's more, "Could Morgan Geekie be Boston's No. 2 centre???" because, y'know, that shouldn't be allowed to happen on a team that wants to clear 100 points again.

Hey, it's the NHL, and someone's always gonna be gunning for someone else's job. But with the way this stuff gets talked about, you gotta laugh.

Let’s go:

Access this article by registering

FREE account required to access
this article

Register as a free user at to get access to this article and more quality, in-depth coverage at EP Rinkside.

(only name and email address are required)

This article is about:
NHL Ottawa Senators St. Louis Blues NHL Jack Campbell Justin Faulk Shane Pinto
Scoring Leaders