As the upcoming NHL season grows ever closer, some veteran players – such as defensemen Zbynek Michalek of the Arizona Coyotes and Rob Scuderi of the Los Angeles Kings – may start out the new year playing in the American Hockey League.
Both Michalek and Scuderi were featured on a long, surprising list of players placed on waivers Monday morning by various clubs around the NHL. As with the other waived players – which include Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, forward Teemu Pulkkinen of the Detroit Red Wings, and Montreal Canadiens goaltender Mike Condon – the two will have 24 hours in which they can be claimed by any of the 29 other NHL clubs. If they aren’t claimed by noon on Tuesday Eastern Time, they’ll be eligible for reassignment to the minors.
Michalek, who has spent the last two seasons on and off the injured reserve list for the Coyotes, isn’t a terribly surprising waiver name. He’s a right shot defenseman, and the Coyotes boast Michael Stone, Connor Murphy, and Luke Schenn to play on that side. Likewise, he’s joined by left shot defenseman Klas Dahlbeck on the waiver list – who may be replaced in the lineup by Jakob Chychrun to start the season.
Scuderi, on the other hand, has likely been waived due to outliving his useful play at the NHL level. Last season, between the Kings and the Chicago Blackhawks, he played in just a collective 38 regular season games – and spent time in the AHL last year, as well. He’s joined on waivers by forward Michael Latta, whom the Washington Capitals chose not to re-sign this summer.
Perhaps the most surprising name of them all, though, was Pulkkinen. The Detroit Red Wings have seen the Finnish forward put up 11 goals and 20 points in just 70 regular season NHL games, and he’s only 24; with the chance that he’s still finding his feet in the NHL (last year, he only played in 36 games and recorded 12 points), it seems like a risky move for the Atlantic Division club.
Some of the other names on waivers for Monday include Michael Sgarbossa of the Anaheim Ducks, Seth Griffith of the Boston Bruins, Brandon Bollig of the Calgary Flames, and Alex Stalock of the Minnesota Wild.
Here’s the full list of waived players: