According to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, the Calgary Flames have placed checking center Derek Ryan on waivers for the second time this year. He cleared just before the season began and then bounced back and forth between the taxi squad and active roster for the next month, accruing cap space for the Flames on off days. Ryan then suffered an injury but is nearing a return, and to continue that practice, he needs to clear waivers again.
Ryan, 34, has just a single point in ten games this season after failing to crack 30 a year ago. He’s in the final season of a three-year, $9.375MM contract signed in the summer of 2018 but still should be in regular rotation at the bottom of the lineup should he clear tomorrow. The Flames, who have been practicing a delicate salary tight rope walk all season, are trying to bank as much cap space as possible in order to have room for an addition at the deadline. When Ryan was injured, his daily swaps stopped and he was placed on long-term injured reserve instead.
That LTIR designation means he wasn’t able to return for at least ten games and 24 days, both thresholds that have eclipsed recently. Once healthy, he’ll have to be activated, though it’s unclear how exactly the Flames will maneuver the salary cap at that point.
Of course, there is always a chance that someone claims Ryan, though it seems very unlikely. His cap hit, performance and recent injury all point to him sliding through waivers untouched.