With today being the last day to place players on waivers, many teams have placed players on waivers in hopes of adding some roster flexibility for the remainder of the season. According to Bob McKenzie, many players have been placed on waivers, including defensemen Christopher Breen and Paul Postma of the Boston Bruins, forward Jussi Jokinen of the Columbus Blue Jackets, defenseman Cody Goloubef of the Calgary Flames, forward Lance Bouma of the Chicago Blackhawks, forward Chris Stewart of the Minnesota Wild, forwards Alexandre Burrows and Jim O’Brien and defenseman Johnny Oduya of the Ottawa Senators, defenseman Mark Alt and goaltender John Muse of the Philadelphia Flyers and forward Chris Thorburn of the St. Louis Blues.
McKenzie adds that New York Rangers forward cleared waivers today.
Of teams that are still in the playoff race, the New York Islanders will likely get the first shot on many of these players if the team is looking to add more depth after trading for defenseman Brandon Davidson Saturday.
While several of these players are AHL players who aren’t seeing time, there are several veteran players who are affected by the moves. Two of the most obvious are Burrows and Oduya. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch writes that the team failed to find anyone interested in trading for either players, so the hope is a team might be willing to claim them without having to give anything up.
Burrows is one of those the team would like to close the book on. Acquired at the trade deadline a year ago for prized prospect Jonathan Dahlen, the team then made it worse by signing him to a two-year extension, worth $2.5MM per season. While he scored 15 goals between Vancouver and Ottawa last year, Burrows has struggled, having tallied just three goals in 51 games. Oduya was signed in the offseason and the veteran could be a solid candidate to be claimed by a team that needs some defensive depth.
Another player who is likely to be claimed is Stewart, who the Minnesota Wild placed on waivers as the team wants to make room for adding 2016 first-rounder Luke Kunin or if the team signs Boston University star Jordan Greenway. The veteran is an excellent locker room presence, has quite a bit of experience and can score as he has nine goals in 47 games this year. Jokinen who has already been on waivers this year returns to it and could be claimed if a team wants some depth to their forward line. Chicago’s Bouma is another who could be claimed as he has fallen out of the Blackhawks lineup, but provides forward depth that could be useful for a team making a playoff run. He’s played in 53 games this year, totaling three goals, six assists and +1 plus/minus ratio.
Other players like Alt and Postma are likely just heading to the AHL to join their playoff rosters. Alt has played just eight games in Philadelphia, spending most of his season in Lehigh Valley. Postma has been with the Bruins all year and might be heading to the Providence Bruins to help the team with their playoff push. He has appeared in just 12 games all season for Boston.
Both Breen, O’Brien, Muse and Goloubef each signed two-way contracts in the last 24 hours and had to be passed through waivers in order to assign them to their respective NHL teams. O’Brien signed a two-way contract today, while Goloubef signed yesterday. FlamesNation’s Ryan Pike reports that Muse signed a two-way deal today.