Friday: Soshnikov and Street have cleared waivers according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. The Blues have now sent Soshkinov to the minor leagues, though Street was still present at the Ducks’ morning skate in Carolina.
Thursday: The St. Louis Blues are preparing to make a change up front, as they today placed Nikita Soshnikov on waivers for the purpose of sending him to the minor leagues. Soshnikov has played in just five games for the Blues this season, and is still looking for his first point. With Robert Bortuzzo almost ready to return from injured reserve, the team needed another open roster spot. In addition, CapFriendly reports that Ben Street has also been placed on waivers by the Anaheim Ducks for the second time this season.
There’s no doubting that Soshnikov has enough talent to crack an NHL roster somewhere, but the simple fact is he’s had trouble staying healthy throughout his short career. The 25-year old forward was signed out of the KHL in 2015 by the Toronto Maple Leafs, and quickly made an impact on that team by scoring 18 goals in the minor leagues and adding another five points in 11 NHL contests. He was a regular in the Maple Leafs lineup the next season, but suffered a concussion after colliding with Zdeno Chara in 2017 and would never really find his way back into Toronto’s lineup. Traded to the Blues last season for a fourth-round pick after a deadline had threatened his return to Russia, he suffered several injuries in St. Louis and ended up playing just 12 games for them.
After five games this season, Soshnikov is now available for any team in the league to make a claim. The feisty forward is a versatile bottom-six option, but just hasn’t been reliable enough to really contribute on a consistent basis. His $800K cap hit is relatively inexpensive, but could still scare off enough teams that he slips through and is assigned to the minor leagues once again.
Street meanwhile was already waived and cleared for the Ducks before the season began, but needed to go through the process again given the fact he’s played 18 games this year. The veteran center is a legitimate All-Star talent in the AHL, but hasn’t ever been able to show enough in the NHL to warrant consistent playing time. It’s unlikely he’ll be claimed, but perhaps a team with a desperate need on the fourth line will take a shot.