Jan 19: While Smith has been claimed by the Detroit Red Wings, Lagesson cleared waivers and has been assigned to the Oilers’ taxi squad.
Jan 18: The Edmonton Oilers have placed William Lagesson on waivers, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. Gemel Smith of the Tampa Bay Lightning has also been placed on waivers as he nears a return from the injury that has kept him out through the first part of the season.
Lagesson, 25, played just 7:29 in the Oilers brutal third-period meltdown on Saturday night, and has gotten into just ten games this season overall. Waived at the start of the season, he cleared and spent a good chunk of the year in the minor leagues. A fourth-round pick in 2014, he has four points in 37 career NHL games, not exactly what would draw much attention from other teams.
Still, in the era of COVID-related absences, you never know who will be grabbed off waivers as an emergency replacement. Lagesson does carry a cap hit of just $725K, less than the league minimum salary and something that could be of interest to a cap-strapped contender.
Smith meanwhile hasn’t played at all this season, but his placement on waivers suggests that period on the sidelines could be coming to an end. The 27-year-old forward has cleared waivers several times in the past, including last January. It seems almost guaranteed that he will clear again, given he has just eight games (at any level) under his belt since the start of 2020-21.