November 18: After clearing waivers last week. the Senators have now officially sent Zaitsev to the AHL’s Belleville Senators.
November 9: Three players have hit waivers today, including some rather expensive defensemen. Mike Reilly has been waived by the Boston Bruins for the second time this season, now that his clock needed to be reset. If a player suits up for 10 NHL games or spends 30 days on the active roster after clearing waivers, they must clear again before being sent down.
With Charlie McAvoy expected to be activated in the coming days, the Bruins needed to open a roster spot and some cap space. Reilly’s $3MM won’t come off the books entirely if sent down to the minor leagues, however, meaning the team may need to make another transaction like moving Derek Forbort to long-term injured reserve to make the financials work.
The Ottawa Senators have also placed Nikita Zaitsev and Magnus Hellberg on waivers, a disappointing outcome for the former who signed a seven-year, $31.5MM contract in 2017 only to see his play deteriorate substantially in the seasons since. Zaitsev has played in seven of the Senators games this season and saw fewer than 12 minutes of ice time last night against the Vancouver Canucks. He was on the ice for two goals against despite those limited minutes and has been unable to provide consistent defensive effort for the team.
If he clears, the veteran defenseman can be sent to the minor leagues, giving the Senators a bit of cap relief. He will still make his entire salary in the AHL, however, not something that Ottawa likes to do with high-priced talent.
Hellberg, meanwhile, seems like the most reasonable target of the three for any team that is looking for some goaltending help. Nabbed from the Seattle Kraken before the season began, he stopped 29 of 30 shots in his only appearance with the Senators and recently had a long run of success in the KHL. The 6’6″ netminder wasn’t needed anymore with Cam Talbot and Anton Forsberg healthy, but could be an asset for other teams.