Tuesday: Schlemko has cleared waivers and was immediately assigned to the Laval Rocket of the AHL.
Monday: The Montreal Canadiens have decided to waive another veteran defenseman, this time placing David Schlemko on waivers according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. Schlemko is currently on injured reserve.
Almost nothing has gone right for Schlemko since he was acquired from the Vegas Golden Knights prior to last season. The veteran defenseman has played just 55 games for the Canadiens over that stretch, recording seven points and finding himself paired with different teammates on a regular basis. Unable to stay healthy or consistently in the lineup, waivers and a potential trip to the minor leagues was a logical next step.
Still, it’s always surprising to see a player of his experience and talent available for the whole league. Perhaps it shouldn’t be given Montreal’s moves this season, as the team has made it obvious they won’t wait around for passengers to find their game. Schlemko joins Karl Alzner, Jacob de La Rose, Nikita Scherbak and Xavier Ouellet as waived Canadiens since the beginning of the season, not to mention Tomas Plekanec who saw his contract terminated. GM Marc Bergevin is working hard to provide an opportunity for his young players while also maintaining a competitive roster, and Schlemko is just the next name on the list that isn’t giving the team enough.
It’s hard to see anyone claiming the 31-year old at this point, given his recent injury and $2.1MM cap hit. That hit doesn’t even end this year, as Schlemko has another season on the four-year deal he signed with the San Jose Sharks in 2016. More likely the Canadiens will bury him in the minors for a time like they did with Alzner, or pursue a trade to send him to another organization.