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More cuts needed to reach 23 maximum

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ROOKIE Mark Scheifele's signing Monday alters the landscape of the Winnipeg Jets' opening-day roster.

One less forward spot is now available.

Even though they don't play until Sunday, the Jets have to declare their maximum-23-player roster to the league by Wednesday.

The team has no salary-cap issues, but has not had an easy time getting down to the allowed size.

To that end, 14 forwards, eight defencemen and three goalies -- that makes 25 -- were still in the "game" on Monday.

That does not include a list of four forwards who are injured -- Aaron Gagnon, Kenndal McArdle, Ben Maxwell and Eric Fehr -- any or all of whom could start the season on the long-term injury reserve list.

Netminder David Aebischer, 33, had not signed as of late Monday, which was a deadline he had agreed to with his former Swiss-league team in Lugano. Aebischer was listed on their roster Monday.

Also still around is Portage's Troy Bodie, a physical forward who remains on a tryout basis.

"Early in the weekend, I was thinking more about it and it was driving me nuts. So I stopped thinking about it," said Bodie, who added he had not yet been offered a contract. "I guess the opportunity to show what I can show is done now. What I did I'm happy with. It's all a waiting game."

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said he was still working on a lot of issues Monday.

"Bodes' agent and I have had many conversations about different situations," the GM said. "There's lots of things that come into play, from number of contracts (NHL teams are allowed just 50) to opportunities to depth charts to where the roster stands."

If the Jets don't include Bodie, they could keep centre Tim Stapleton on the roster of 13 forwards, even though he has cleared waivers.

The group would appear to be including Patrice Cormier, who was believed to be fighting for a job during camp.

The Jets are going to include defenceman and Winnipegger Derek Meech on the roster. He signed as a free agent in July.

"He's someone that has tremendous flexibility, experience at the National League level and can both play forward and defence and he's a tremendous person," Cheveldayoff said. "He's had a really good training camp. He's earned the opportunity."

The group of defencemen looks like it will add up to eight, with Randy Jones and possible swing-man Meech remaining after the top six.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 4, 2011 D1

History

Updated on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 9:54 AM CDT: Adds art.

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