Saturday: As expected, Hunt has cleared for the third time, Friedman reports. That allows him to return to the Eagles.
Friday: For the third time this season, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Brad Hunt finds himself on waivers, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. Should Hunt clear waivers, as he has done twice already this season, he will return to the Avalanche’s AHL affiliate, the Colorado Eagles.
Hunt, 34, has split time between the AHL and NHL this season, playing 43 games with the Avalanche and 24 with the Eagles. In the AHL, Hunt is a difference-making offensive defenseman. He has scored 21 points in the AHL this season, and his contributions have helped the Eagles clinch a spot in the Calder Cup playoffs. In the NHL, Hunt’s impact has been more limited, and he has registered just eight points in his 43 games played.
With the once injury-ravaged Avalanche blueline now getting markedly healthier, Colorado has made the decision that Hunt is better served to play a top-pairing, top-scoring role in the AHL rather than spending time in the press box as coach Jared Bednar’s ninth defenseman.
So while he last saw extended AHL time in December, Hunt heads back to the Eagles with the likely possibility that he’ll remain there for the rest of their season, unless any new injuries hit the Avalanche’s blueline. If that ends up being the case, the addition of Hunt will give the Eagles a significant boost in their chase of higher seeding for the AHL’s playoffs.
In order to get that boost, though, Hunt will need to clear waivers first. Seeing as he went unclaimed his prior two go-arounds on the waiver wire, one would assume Hunt will clear once again. But since he has nearly 300 games of NHL experience and has just a $762k cap hit, it’s not a total impossibility that a team desperate for defensive help puts in a claim. But that does seem unlikely, though, seeing as Hunt’s contract does stretch for another season, meaning he wouldn’t quite be a short-term stopgap option.