With Connor Brown done for the season due to ACL surgery, the Capitals have his $3.6MM cap hit to work with for LTIR space. They used a chunk of that today as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports (Twitter link) that Washington has claimed winger Nicolas Aube-Kubel off waivers from Toronto.
It’s the second straight season that the 26-year-old has been plucked off the waiver wire in November as a year ago, Colorado scooped him up from Philadelphia. He went on to have a strong finish to his season with 11 goals and 11 assists in 67 games with the Avs while suiting up 14 times in their Stanley Cup run, leading to him signing a one-year, $1MM contract with the Maple Leafs on the opening day of free agency last summer.
However, things didn’t go particularly well for Aube-Kubel with Toronto as he was a healthy scratch in five of their first 11 games this season while he was held off the scoresheet in six games while logging just over nine minutes per game and with a need for some roster flexibility, they decided that Aube-Kubel was the one to part with. Notably, on top of the cap savings and roster spot being opened, this also frees up a contract slot for Toronto who was at the maximum of 50 prior to this claim.
Meanwhile, for Washington, it’s a low-risk move to bring in a bottom-six forward with some NHL experience as Aube-Kubel has 175 career NHL appearances under his belt which will give Peter Laviolette another option as he looks to find the right combination on the fourth line. With the Caps having a full roster, they’ve assigned Garrett Pilon to AHL Hershey to open up a spot on their 23-man roster. Pilon has five points in seven games with the Bears so far this season.