12:20pm: James Mirtle of The Athletic confirms that Marchenko is on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a mutual termination.
11:05am: According to his agent Dan Milstein, Toronto Maple Leafs defender Alexey Marchenko has been placed on waivers. Milstein says that there will be a statement made tomorrow, which leads one to believe that it may be a mutual termination of the contract. Marchenko is owed $1.45MM this season, but has been pursued by teams in the KHL all summer and could potentially make more and have a bigger role there next year.
Selected off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings mid-season, Marchenko played 41 games between the two teams but was generally ineffective. The 25-year old has some upside to his game, as a big-bodied defender who can skate and make an above-average first pass, but has had trouble using his size to his advantage in his short NHL career. In 121 career games he has just 21 points, but could very well be in line for an Olympic position with Russia should he return to the KHL.
Marchenko played for CSKA Moscow when he was just 17, and the team has made it clear that they want him back. Following other NHL defenders like Andrei Markov, Nikita Tryamkin and Nikita Nesterov, Russia will have a wider base to select their Olympic roster from. That’s all dependent on whether a mutual termination is actually achieved, which is not clear at this point. The Maple Leafs could be placing him on waivers just to try and tease out a buyer and rid themselves of his contract.