Every player placed on waivers yesterday – even surprise Ottawa Senators addition Zack Smith – cleared, as the wire continues to be a smooth operation for NHL teams looking to re-stock their AHL clubs this preseason. Will the next round of players also go untouched? Per TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, another 17 players have been waived today, including:
G Jean-Francois Berube (Columbus)
G Kevin Boyle (Anaheim)
F Sam Carrick (Anaheim)
D Trevor Carrick (Carolina)
G Jared Coreau (Anaheim)
F Kyle Criscuolo (Buffalo)
F Chase De Leo (Anaheim)
F Tyrell Goulbourne (Philadelphia)
F Tyler Graovac (Calgary)
F Morgan Klimchuk (Calgary)
D Tyler Lewington (Washington)
D Steve Oleksy (Anaheim)
F Brandon Pirri (Vegas)
F Alan Quine (Calgary)
F Buddy Robinson (Calgary)
F Anton Rodin (Anaheim)
F Kerby Rychel (Calgary)
F Michael Sgarbossa (Washington)
Odds are that this group of players will likely play out as the other have this off-season. There are very few names that jump out as worthy of an NHL roster spot. Many are also recent unrestricted free agents, meaning teams have had a chance to bring them in already and 30 didn’t do so.
Of the group, Berube and Pirri have the most name value. A former top goalie prospect who the New York Islanders once kept on as a third goalie simply so that he would not be subjected to waivers, Berube has lost much of his shine. A poor effort as the third-string goalie for the Chicago Blackhawks last season led to an off-season trade to Columbus, where he will most likely play in the AHL for much of the year. Teams desperate for a backup goalie would be better off with Coreau than Berube in all likelihood. As for Pirri, the one-time 20-goal scorer is hard to get a read on, excelling with some teams and struggling with others. He only played in two games last year with the Golden Knights and score three goals, yet somehow was unable to hold on to a roster spot. One of the league’s greatest enigma’s, Pirri’s value on waivers is a mystery.
Graovac, Rychel, and Quine are nice bottom-six pieces, but signed to two-way contracts for a reason. Oleksy is an ideal eighth or ninth defenseman. The Carrick brothers are also solid pros but have been limited in their NHL experience due to ability not opportunity. Others on the list are similar: notable veterans who would be an asset as a minor league depth player, but simply not as a lock on the NHL roster.
Finally, there’s Rodin, who may be the outlier that could be claimed by the right team. The former Swedish Hockey League MVP has unquestionable ability, but was not able to make a difference with the Vancouver Canucks and seemingly has realized the same fate with the Anaheim Ducks. A team willing to guarantee him top-nine ice time could find that he is a weapon when healthy. Is that upside worthy of a waiver claim?