Feb 22: Not only did the Sharks grab Dzingel, but Pederson has also cleared waivers according to Chris Johnston of TSN, meaning they’ll keep him in the organization. Pederson can now be assigned to the minor leagues.
Feb 21: Toronto is apparently on the way to San Jose. The San Jose Sharks have claimed Ryan Dzingel off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs, just days after the team acquired him from the Arizona Coyotes. To open a roster spot, the Sharks have waived Lane Pederson according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.
When the Maple Leafs acquired Dzingel, they quickly explained that the plan was to put him on waivers and try to keep him in the organization as a depth option. His entire $1.1MM cap hit could be buried in the minor leagues, giving them an experienced NHL option to replace the outgoing Nick Ritchie. Instead, he’ll get a chance to jump into the lineup with the Sharks, where he’ll have to be kept on the active roster.
It’s certainly not like Dzingel deserves to be in the minor leagues. Though his offensive production has dropped off in recent years, he still is an excellent skater with strong defensive capabilities. In 26 games for the Coyotes this year he scored four goals and seven points, but perhaps could get a bigger opportunity with the reeling Sharks. The team has won one game over the last month, often scoring two or fewer goals in the process.
The last time an underused forward came to San Jose from Toronto, it certainly worked out for the new club. Alexander Barabanov ended up with the Sharks after 22 largely underwhelming games with the Maple Leafs and now is a regular in the team’s top-six. While Dzingel may not be able to recreate the 26 points in 41 games Barabanov has this season, he has performed to that level in the past and potentially could still be a nice addition.
The player he’s replacing in Pederson, meanwhile, has just not been able to create any offense at all this year. In 26 games, Pederson is still without a single goal and has recorded just two assists. The fact that he’s in the first season of a two-year deal that will be one-way in 2022-23, likely keeps him from being claimed on waivers.
For Toronto, the overall effect of the trade is Ritchie (and a draft pick) out, Ilya Lybushkin in, for roughly the same cap hit. The difference is that the defenseman will actually stay on the Maple Leafs roster, meaning as a net transaction, they’ve actually created a bit of cap space.