Nov 23: While Hellberg was claimed yet again, both Simmonds and Sanford have cleared and can be sent to the minor leagues.
Nov 22: The NHL waiver wire is busy today, with three names available for claim. Chris Johnston of NorthStar Bets reports that Wayne Simmonds of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Zach Sanford of the Nashville Predators, and Magnus Hellberg of the Seattle Kraken have all been placed on waivers.
For Simmonds, this isn’t much of a surprise. The 34-year-old has already passed through waivers once this season in early October. No longer a regular in the Toronto lineup, he has bounced up and down between the NHL and AHL whenever necessary, playing in just four games to this point. He’ll likely continue to do the same thing, but needed to have his waiver clock reset after 30 days on the active roster had passed.
Hellberg, meanwhile, will just have to hope he doesn’t have to move again. The veteran netminder signed with the Seattle Kraken but when the team tried to waive him early in the year, the Ottawa Senators grabbed him while they dealt with goaltending issues. While he was taken back by the Kraken, he hasn’t actually played for them yet and is now at risk of another claim. Given his success in the KHL and .935 save percentage in one game with Ottawa, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see Hellberg on his way to a new team tomorrow.
It’s Sanford that is somewhat surprising among the three players, as this will be his first time on waivers. The 28-year-old signed a one-year, $850K contract with the Predators in the offseason after splitting last year between the Senators and Winnipeg Jets. In eight games so far he has just two points, and saw fewer than 13 minutes in last night’s game against the Arizona Coyotes. Notably, he took an interference penalty in a tie game with only 2:52 remaining that could have easily cost the Predators the game, though they would eventually kill it off and win in a shootout.
Because of his size, inexpensive contract, and history of success in the league – Sanford scored 16 goals and 30 points in 58 games during the 2019-20 season – there’s a reasonable argument to be made for a team to claim him. If he isn’t taken, though, clearing waivers will give the Predators a bit more roster flexibility.