Saturday: Sustr has cleared waivers, Friedman reports (Twitter link).
Friday: The Anaheim Ducks have had a rough start to the season, and have decided to make some changes. Andrej Sustr, signed this offseason to a one-year contract, has been placed on waivers according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.
Sustr, 27, was not so long ago a full-time player for the Tampa Bay Lightning. The right-handed behemoth, who stands 6’7″ and can seemingly reach from hashmark to hashmark, suited up for more than 70 games in three straight seasons for the team, recording a career-high of 21 points in 2015-16. That came crashing to a halt last season when he played in just 44 games, and was allowed to leave in unrestricted free agency given their new options like Mikhail Sergachev and Ryan McDonagh.
It took just a few days on the open market for Sustr to find a home though, as he signed with the Ducks for $1.3MM and was expected to take a spot on the third pairing. The team had also signed veteran defenseman Luke Schenn, but for far less money. They’d waived Korbinian Holzer even before he ended up with wrist surgery, and all signs pointed to Sustr improving on the 13 minutes of ice time he averaged last season. That didn’t happen through his first four opportunities, as the team gave him fewer than that in each game. He still managed to take a minor penalty in three of those games, and didn’t help the Ducks do much at either end.
That $1.3MM price tag will likely keep Sustr in the Ducks organization, and allow them to move him to the minor leagues if necessary. Though there is always a need for right-handed defensemen in the league, his play so far has not shown much reason to believe he can be one of them. The Ducks would receive $1.025MM in cap relief by burying him in the minor leagues, though they’re not right up to the ceiling at the moment anyway.