Nov 15: Leslie cleared waivers and can be assigned back to Belleville.
Nov 14: The Ottawa Senators are addressing their blue line crisis by going outside of the organization. Well, sort of. The team has announced that they have signed defenseman Zac Leslie to a one-year contract, elevating a player who was already under contract with the AHL’s Belleville Senators. Leslie’s contract is a two-way pact with the minimum $750K NHL salary and a $150K AHL salary, pro-rated to the remainder of the 2021-22 season. Per PuckPedia, he was immediately placed on waivers.
Leslie, 27, is an Ottawa native who initially joined the organization this summer after spending the past two seasons with the AHL’s Stockton Heat. Before that, Leslie played on an NHL contract for four years with the Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights. However, Leslie has never had the opportunity to make his NHL debut.
That could change soon, as the Senators currently have four defensemen in the NHL’s COVID Protocol, just lost Erik Brannstrom to a long-term injury, and have Artem Zub playing injured. They had seven healthy defenseman on NHL contracts, three of whom are untested prospects. By adding an eighth in Leslie, who at least has considerable pro experience, the Senators can safeguard against the possibility of yet another injury before their COVID crisis is fully resolved. The former OHL standout has been productive in the AHL and seems capable of playing at the next level.