It was the performance of winger Nikolay Goldobin at training camp that ultimately led to Sam Gagner’s surprise placement on waivers, GM Jim Benning told Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre. The 23-year-old Russian is now waiver-eligible and the team also didn’t want to risk losing him for free on the waiver wire where there was a good chance he’d have been claimed. However, the Canucks now have to pay Gagner $3.5MM in salary this season to play at the minor league level, something that owner Francesco Aquilini acknowledged that he wasn’t particularly pleased about. It’s not even Vancouver’s farm team that will benefit from Gagner’s services as he was loaned to Toronto’s AHL squad instead. Meanwhile, Goldobin is rewarding Vancouver’s faith him with a strong showing to start the season as he has three points through the first four games so while the decision was an expensive one for ownership, it looks like the right one so far.
Elsewhere around the league:
- The Blues may be without winger Jaden Schwartz on Saturday night. The team announced that he is dealing with a lower-body issue and head coach Mike Yeo has classified him as “questionable to doubtful” for their upcoming game against Chicago. The injury was sustained on Thursday night when he blocked a shot in the first period. He did, however, remain in the game. Even if he is out tomorrow, Yeo acknowledged that Schwartz won’t be out long-term.
- Despite a Swedish report that Capitals prospect Axel Jonsson-Fjallby intends to exercise the European Assignment Clause in his contract, a team spokesman told Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post that the winger has no plans to return to Sweden at this time. The 20-year-old is in his first season in North America after playing with Djurgarden of the SHL last year and while there would certainly be a temptation to play at home, it likely wouldn’t bode too well for his NHL chances. He has suited up in a pair of games so far this season for Hershey of the AHL.
- Blackhawks winger Andreas Martinsen is dealing with a back injury, notes Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago. The 28-year-old was a bit of a surprise inclusion on Chicago’s roster to start the season after spending most of last year in the minors although he has had a limited role in the early going this season, logging just under seven minutes per contests in a pair of games.