January 1: Both players have cleared waivers. Alain’s contract can now be terminated.
December 31: Two more players have been placed on waivers today, though the reasoning is a bit different for each. Clark Bishop has been placed on regular waivers by the Carolina Hurricanes according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, while Alexandre Alain of the Montreal Canadiens has hit unconditional waivers for the purpose of a contract termination. Alain has decided to pursue full-time studies and reconsider his future in professional hockey. Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin released a glowing statement of the prospect, even if he is about to become an unrestricted free agent:
Alexandre embodies several values that are important to our team. Besides having an impeccable attitude and being a proud competitor, he is an excellent teammate appreciated by all. I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.
The 23-year-old Alain signed an entry-level contract in 2018 as an undrafted free agent and has spent the last two seasons playing with the Laval Rocket of the AHL. In 60 games last year, he recorded 11 goals and 24 points. His decision today may come as a surprise, but this is not the first time that academic achievement has been attached to Alain’s hockey career. In 2018, he won the QMJHL Scholastic Player of the year award and was given the Guy Lafleur Award of Excellence and Merit by the Canadiens, which is presented to amateur hockey players who best combine hockey performances and academic achievement.
Bishop meanwhile is a 24-year-old depth forward for the Hurricanes, who played five games at the NHL level last season but spent most of the year in the AHL. That’s likely where he’s headed once again, though the early waiver placement is interesting and could suggest that he has a chance to play overseas like Roland McKeown who cleared waivers today. At any rate, his chance of being a full-time player for the Hurricanes this season is low.