Sunday: Henrique has cleared waivers. Despite a career of consistent scoring and quality two-way play, it seems that teams were too frightened by Henrique’s lengthy contract and slow start to the season to risk a claim. This may not be over though; it is hard to imagine that there are not teams in the NHL that could benefit from the dynamic Duck’s services if they can make the salary cap work in a trade.
Saturday: There have been some notable veterans placed on waivers in recent days and Saturday has yielded another of those moves as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports (Twitter link) that the Ducks have placed center Adam Henrique on waivers. While it’s not common for a GM to comment on a player hitting the waiver wire right away, Bob Murray did release a brief statement to Elliott Teaford of the Orange County Register:
Adam is not alone in this. But I’m tired of talking and waiting. We need results and difficult decisions must be made.
It has been a tough year for the 31-year-old, to put it lightly. Henrique has just three goals and an assist in 16 games this season despite logging over 16 minutes per game and nearly two per night with the man advantage. For someone that’s expected to be a top-six forward, that type of production hasn’t been good enough which has resulted in this move. The drop-off offensively comes as somewhat of a surprise considering that Henrique actually led Anaheim in scoring last season with 26 goals and 17 assists in 71 games; had it not been for the pandemic, he would have had a realistic chance at reaching the 30-goal mark for only the second time in his career.
Henrique still has three years left on his contract after this season with a $5.825MM AAV and salary and with many teams being capped out (only five teams can afford to claim him), it’s quite unlikely that he’ll be claimed on Sunday. Instead, the placement will give them a bit more roster flexibility and allow them to shuffle him to the taxi squad on non-game days, allowing them to temporarily clear $1.075MM off their salary cap. It could also serve as somewhat of a wakeup call to Henrique and the rest of the Ducks who are off to a bit of a sluggish start to their season having won only six of 17 games so far, though that’s still enough to be just two points out of a playoff spot in the West Division.