Oct 13: MacEwen was claimed by the Philadelphia Flyers, but the other three have cleared.
Oct 12: The Columbus Blue Jackets have suspended Mikko Lehtonen for failing to report to the AHL after he was assigned to the Cleveland Monsters this week. The team has also placed him on unconditional waivers and will terminate his contract. Lehtonen isn’t alone though, as the Chicago Blackhawks have also placed Matej Chalupa on unconditional waivers according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. Zack MacEwen of the Vancouver Canucks and C.J. Suess of the Winnipeg Jets are also on regular waivers.
Lehtonen, 27, was expected to make a big impact at the NHL level after putting up strong numbers in the KHL, even winning that league’s Defenseman of the Year award in 2020. Instead, he struggled to crack the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup on a regular basis and then was sent to Columbus, where he signed a new one-year, $900K deal this offseason but still failed to make the team out of camp. Instead of going to the AHL, he’ll likely head back overseas where he can once again star as a top-four puck-mover. His NHL career could very well end with just 26 games and six points.
Chalupa meanwhile is just 23, but apparently isn’t going to spend another year in the minors trying to establish himself as a call-up option for Chicago. He played 27 games for the Rockford IceHogs last season and scored seven points, but he too is likely headed back overseas. Both contracts will come entirely off the books for the Blue Jackets and Blackhawks.
MacEwen, 25, will lose his spot to Alex Chiasson, who the Canucks signed today to a one-year deal. The depth forward has actually played in 55 games for the Canucks over the last three seasons, but isn’t much of an offensive contributor at the NHL level and is unlikely to be claimed.
The same can be said about Suess, who has just one NHL game under his belt and is likely headed to the Manitoba Moose. Suess has been dealing with an undisclosed injury throughout training camp and won’t even be the first call-up option for the Jets this season.