Capitals cut down the roster, Derek Roy doesn’t make the cut

Liam O'Brien was one of a few Washington Capitals recent cuts.
Anne-Marie Sorvin/Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Spor

With the roster finalization deadline looming, the Washington Capitals officially made their final cuts and the opening night roster became a bit more clear.

The Capitals released Derek Roy from his professional tryout contract, shipped Liam O’Brien to the AHL Hershey Bears and sent Justin Peters, Ryan Stanton and Aaron Ness through waivers. Chandler Stephenson was also sent to Hershey on Sunday.

The release of Roy and the demotion for Stephenson likely means that Barry Trotz feels comfortable with Jay Beagle as the third line center. It also means that Nicklas Backstrom, who will miss the beginning of the season as he recovers from offseason hip surgery, will likely only be out of the lineup for a short period of time.

In addition to the injured Backstrom, Chris Brown remains on the roster. Brown has been out for part of the preseason with a hand injury.

Stanton and Ness were fighting for the seventh defenseman spot, but Taylor Chorney ultimately survived the cut. O’Brien, who is waiver-exempt, was sent to Hershey instead of Stanislav Galiev, who requires waivers, as well as Sean Collins, who requires waivers as well.

Peters will have to go through waivers, but his demotion opens the door for the Capitals’ Philipp Grubauer to backup Braden Holtby.

The Capitals open up their season against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.