Another day, another piece of waiver wire news. Today, it’s James Neal.
According to the team’s official Twitter account, the Oilers have placed James Neal on waivers.
The #Oilers have placed forward James Neal on waivers.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) February 13, 2021
Through nine games this season, Neal has two goals and one assist while logging an average of 13:15 per game. At even strength, he’s been on the ice for four goals and five against.
Given his large contract, it seems very, very unlikely that anybody out there will put in a claim for Neal. Such as we saw with Alex Chiasson going on waivers and coming back, this is simply a move to give Edmonton more roster flexibility, as Neal will freely be able to go up and down from the Oilers to the Taxi Squad once he clears.
Having Neal on the Taxi Squad as a buried contract will also save the Oilers $1,075,000 against his cap hit. Here’s an explanation from PuckPedia on how that works.
We’ll likely see one of Joakim Nygard, Devin Shore, or Patrick Russell called up for Edmonton’s next game against the Jets on Monday as this move would leave the Oilers with only 11 forwards on their active roster.