Tuesday: Manning has cleared waivers and is on his way to the Bakersfield Condors.
Monday: The Edmonton Oilers have placed defenseman Brandon Manning on waivers today for the purpose of a minor league assignment. Manning will head to the Bakersfield Condors if he clears tomorrow. This move will help the Oilers clear enough cap space to activate Andrej Sekera, who is close to returning from injury.
Waiving Manning is just the latest move to seemingly undo one of former GM Peter Chiarelli’s recent transactions, as the defenseman was only acquired by the Oilers at the end of December. Edmonton gave up Drake Caggiula in order to bring in Manning and his $2.25MM average salary that runs through next season, but have decided he’s the easiest player to part with to make room for Sekera. The 28-year old defenseman played in just 12 games for the Oilers and recorded a single point.
Even though some have speculated that a claim is possible, it seems unlikely that anyone will have interest in assuming Manning’s entire remaining contract. The Blackhawks had tried for weeks to move Manning with no luck before finding the desperate Oilers, and Edmonton too has attempted to find a buyer. More probable is that Manning will go to the minor leagues for the time being in order for the team to clear a prorated $1.025MM from their cap, giving them some additional flexibility to activate Sekera.
Like the move on Sunday to trade away Ryan Spooner, Manning’s demotion will be seen as the latest failure of an organization that made many under Chiarelli. Keith Gretzky has taken over as interim GM but the team is still searching for a permanent solution. After dealing with the Spooner, Manning and Cam Talbot situations—the latter was sent to the Philadelphia Flyers over the weekend—the team must now decide what to do with young forward Jesse Puljujarvi.