Feb 26: Both players have cleared waivers today and can now be assigned to the minor leagues.
Feb 25: On top of Jake Leschyshyn’s previously-reported waiver placement, two others are on the wire today as NorthStar Bets’ Chris Johnston reports (Twitter link) that the Maple Leafs have placed defenseman Jordie Benn on waivers while the Bruins have done the same with forward Vinni Lettieri. Additionally, Johnston tweets that defenseman Kevin Gravel, who was waived yesterday, passed through unclaimed.
Benn has played in 12 games for Toronto this season, picking up a goal and an assist in less than 16 minutes per night while chipping in with 29 blocked shots and 32 hits. However, he has been eighth on the depth chart for a while and hasn’t suited up for a month now. The 35-year-old is on a one-year, one-way contract worth the league minimum of $750K and would be a low-cost depth addition for a team looking to shore up some depth. The impetus for the move from the Maple Leafs is to create some extra cap flexibility as his cost would come off the books entirely if he went unclaimed and was sent to the AHL’s Marlies. With Matt Murray set to come off LTIR as soon as this week, some roster moves will need to be made for them to be able to do so.
As for Lettieri, he was recalled by the Bruins at the end of January but landed on injured reserve one day later without suiting up. This placement means that he has been cleared to return. The 28-year-old has had a productive season with Providence of the AHL, notching 16 goals and 21 assists in 41 games. He has 82 career NHL appearances under his belt and could be scooped for extra depth but the likelier outcome is that he clears and returns to the AHL. That would open up an extra $750K in cap room for Boston heading into the trade deadline.
In related news, the Bruins also announced that center Tomas Nosek has been activated off LTIR. He has been out with a foot injury for a little more than a month. The 30-year-old has eight points in 42 games this season but is a key penalty killer that has won more than 58% of his faceoffs so far.