The only player on waivers today is Adam Clendening of the Arizona Coyotes, according to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic. Freddie Hamilton and David Booth, who were placed on the wire yesterday, have both cleared. Booth and Hamilton will stay with their respective teams for the time being, but can now be sent to the minor leagues for the next 30 days without having to pass through waivers again.
Clendening, 25, wasn’t extended a qualifying offer from the New York Rangers this summer and instead signed a one-year deal with the Coyotes. The contract is one-way, meaning Clendening will earn his $650K even if he clears and is sent to the minor leagues. Though he was once a second-round pick and emerging prospect for the Chicago Blackhawks, Clendening has bounced around the league in recent years unable to secure a full-time role. Playing 31 games for the Rangers last year he recorded 11 points, but wasn’t in their future plans.
The Coyotes recalled Dakota Mermis yesterday, but it’s unclear if he’ll figure into their immediate plans or if he’s just another paper transaction to help them stay cap compliant. Mermis was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2015, but has yet to make his NHL debut. Since Niklas Hjalmarsson is nursing an upper-body injury, the team did need an insurance policy on defense. If Clendening is ticketed for the minor leagues, Mermis becomes that policy.
One thing to remember is that team’s sometimes waive players to increase their trade value around the league. Should Clendening clear, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him shipped off to a team looking for some depth on defense. As a short-term option he can be used on the NHL roster, and if he clears waivers he’ll be able to be stored at the AHL level in case of emergency. Claiming is also an option, but he’d then need to stay on the NHL roster.