The next 24 hours will be hectic for some NHL teams. They need to be down to their 23-man roster tomorrow, so any player requiring waivers will need to be waived today.
We’ve already seen a few NHL veterans on waivers. Look for more to appear on the wire today.
The Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers yesterday after Nikita Nikitin was placed there on Saturday. Those two will be paid $6.8 million to play in the AHL. Combined they will count $4.9 million towards the Oilers salary cap.
Edmonton still has to make at least one more cut by tomorrow.
Jordan Eberle and Dillon Simpson will start the season on the IR, so they have to release one forward or one D-man.
Griffin Reinhart, Leon Draisaitl, Anton Slepyshev, Connor McDavid and Oscar Klefbom don’t require waivers, but Reinhart, Slepyshev and Draisaitl are the only three among those five who might be sent down.
Head coach Todd McLellan will decide whether he wants both Draisaitl and Slepyshev in his top-nine, or if he wants another veteran like Lauri Korpikoski. If he feels he needs a veteran, then I could see Slepyshev or Draisaitl starting the season in the AHL. If McLellan feels he’s earned a spot, then Rob Klinkhammer could be on the move to the AHL.
Klinkhammer and Brandon Davidson are the other two on the bubble. Davidson has played very well, and the Oilers could use his mobility on the backend. Klinkhammer is a fourth liner who hasn’t played on the PK regularly, and for me that makes him expendable.
***UPDATE…Draisaitl sent down***
The Oilers choose to send Draisaitl to Bakersfield. Slepyshev will start the season with Hall and McDavid most likely, while Korpikoski will play with Lander and Yakupov.
Draisaitl played well, but the Oilers had to decide between him or Slepyshev. I don’t think they wanted three rookies in their top-nine. Draisaitl will play centre in the AHL, and like Darnell Nurse, I’m sure we will see him in Edmonton at some point this season.
Some will suggest this was salary cap/bonus related. I’m not so sure. Draisaitl’s “A” bonuses are as follows. A maximum of up to $850,000. Meaning he could hit four of them. Each is worth $212,500.
- Goals: 20
- Assists: 35
- Points: 60
- Top-6 in TOI among forwards (Minimum 42 games played)
- .73 points per game (Min of 42 games played)
- Top-3 in +/- among forwards (min 42 games played)
- All rookie team.
- Named to All star team.
- Named All star MVP.
How many of those were realistic? I’d say assists and possibly all rookie team. He wasn’t going to score 58 points (.73PPG) and I doubt he would’ve reached 20 goals. If people assume Hall and McDavid score 60 points, how many others will? Nugent-Hopkins would be my guess.
His other bonuses are “B” Bonuses. He would earn $1.625 for each one, but can only earn a maximum of $1.625 million. So basically one of the next four.
- Top-five vote getter for Hart trophy.
- NHL 1st or 2nd All star team.
- Conn Smythe
- Top-ten scorer in league (minimum of 42 games including PPG)
I didn’t see him reaching any of these either, so I don’t buy the theory his demotion is salary cap/bonus related for next year.
What are your thoughts on Draisaitl being sent down?
- In the summer of 2014 the Philadelphia Flyers signed Andrew MacDonald to a six-year, $30 million contract. They put him on waivers this morning. Ouch. The Flyers will carry $4.05 million in dead cap space with him in the AHL, which is more money than the combined salary of their entire AHL team.
- The Habs placed goalie Dustin Tokarski on waivers. Mike Condon, who hasn’t played an NHL game, will be Carey Price’s backup. Condon was in the ECHL in 2013, and played 48 games in the AHL last year posting a 2.44 GAA and .921sv% in 48 games.
- Another young goalie, J.F. Berube, will likely be placed on waivers by the LA Kings. Berube has been their AHL starter the past two seasons. He posted a .913sv% both years with a 2.37 GAA in 2014 and a 2.18 GAA last year. Teams like him, but will they claim him or wait and see what the Wild and Flames do?
- The Flames have three goalies, and I don’t see any way Joni Ortio would get through waivers. The Flames might start the season with three goalies, and hope a team suffers and injury so they can find a trading partner. They put Mason Raymond on waivers today, which could suggest they start with three goalies.
- The Wild have Dubnyk, Backstrom and Kuemper. Kuemper has played 63 NHL games, but he’s struggled with consistency. He only had a .905 sv% last year behind a very stingy defence. Backstrom only has one year remaining on his contract, but he has a NMC and can’t be sent to the minors.
- Former Camrose Kodiak and first round pick of the Blackhawks, Dylan Olsen, was waived today by the Florida Panthers.
- Unless the Oilers and Nikitin mutually agree to terminate his contract, it is not coming off the books. Nikitin won’t get paid $4.5 million in the KHL, so even if they agree to let him go play in Europe instead of the AHL, he will still count against their salary cap.
- My playoff predictions in the west…
St. Louis, Nashville, Dallas and Chicago in the central. Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose in the Pacific. Winnipeg will cross over and be the fourth team in the Pacific. The Oilers will finish 5th in the Pacific ahead of the Flames and Coyotes. The Flames lack of offence will cost them a playoff berth.
- The Toronto Blue Jays enter the playoffs as the hottest team in baseball. They finished the season 43-18. Their reward for a great finish is to play the second best team the past two months, the Texas Rangers. They went 41-22 since July 29th. It should be a hell of a series. Let’s hope the Jays play an afternoon game on Thursday, so we can watch it live and then watch the Oilers/Blues season opener Thursday evening.
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