Forward Luke Popko and defenseman Reggie Traccitto saw their respective tenures in Ontario end Friday.
Michael Pelech and Jordan Hill are expected to be added to the roster in time for tomorrow night’s game against the Alaska Aces, and Popko and Traccitto — both rookies — were determined the odd men out.
“They’re both very nice kids,” coach Karl Taylor said. “In my evaluations I had other people ahead of them. I was forced to make a decision.”
Traccitto had one assist and a team-low minus-5 rating this season, having appeared in all eight regular-season games. He had signed with the Reign in the summer following a strong 19-year-old season in the Ontario Hockey League.
“We’ve had some injury issues as well. If we were healthy, he probably wouldn’t have (played in every game),” Taylor said. “We probably would have worked him out of the lineup. But with Eric’s injury, and with Pat Bowen’s passport issue and having to put him on 21-day (IR), we haven’t had the opportunity to get him into it. When Jordan (Hill) came, we had to make a move.”
The 22-year-old Popko was scoreless with a minus-2 rating in three regular-season games, after going scoreless with a minus-1 rating in two preseason games.
Taylor said that the former Boston University standout was a “class act, an unbelievable person. … We just felt that other guys have shown more than he has. Doesn’t mean he’s not a good player, it just didn’t work out here.
“We wish them both all the best, they’re good kids.”
More in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin, including reactions from Hill and Pelech.