October 25: Michalek, McBain, and Bernier all cleared waivers, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports (Twitter link).
October 24: The Toronto Maple Leafs have waived winger Milan Michalek while the Arizona Coyotes have placed defenseman Jamie McBain on waivers, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports (Twitter links). They join Steve Bernier on the waiver wire, whose signing and waiving were reported earlier today.
Michalek was acquired by Toronto last season as a salary throw-in as part of the Dion Phaneuf trade with Ottawa. He played in just 13 games with the Leafs last season, picking up a goal and five assists. He’s off to a quieter start this year, with a goal and an assist in five games while averaging just 14:16 per night, his lowest ice time since his rookie season back in 2003-04 (where he played in just two contests).
For his career, the 31 year old has played in 747 games with the Sharks, Senators, and Maple Leafs. He has 208 goals and 238 assists under his belt as well as four years with 55 or more points, the most recent coming in 2011-12. However, with a salary and cap hit of $4MM, it’s unlikely that any team will claim him, even if they think he could help their team. More likely will be that teams will wait to see if Toronto is willing to retain any salary in a trade for him down the road.
As for McBain, he’s in his first year with the Coyotes after signing a one year, two-way deal early in free agency, one that pays him $650K in the NHL and $300K at the AHL level. He has suited up in three games with Arizona so far this season, being held off the scoresheet while averaging 16:40 per game.
After spending the first four years of his career in Carolina, McBain has bounced around in recent years with stints in Buffalo and Los Angeles on top of his time with the Coyotes. He has played in 348 career NHL contests, picking up 30 goals and 80 assists.
The move bodes well for Coyotes rookie blueliner Jakob Chychrun who is now one of seven remaining defensemen with the team. He has played in four games so far and hasn’t looked out of place, picking up three points while logging over 16 minutes per night.
Additionally, Ottawa’s Phil Varone cleared waivers and will be assigned to Binghamton of the AHL.