Archive for Waiver Wire


Quick Roster Notes

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There has been a flurry of activity the past 24 hours, so let’s quickly summarize everything in one post:

  • Sean Avery was placed on waivers yesterday and cleared. He has been assigned to the CT Whale. There is no known timetable for him to report or for him to seek other options.
  • Stu Bickel and Brendan Bell were placed on waivers yesterday as well.  Both cleared, but will remain with the roster until further notice. This is similar to what the Rangers did with Todd White last season.
  • Tim Erixon has been recalled. He will be at practice tomorrow and will play this weekend.
  • To make room for Erixon, Marc Staal has been placed on IR. This is also a move to save a little bit of cap space while he deals with his post concussion symptoms. There is no timetable for his return.

Also, the forward lines for Friday appear to be set:

Brandon Dubinsky-Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik
Ruslan Fedotenko-Artem Anisimov-Ryan Callahan
Wojtek Wolski-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello
Mike Rupp-Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust

The defense pairings are still relatively unknown, as Erixon has not arrived in Sweden yet.

This sure has been a busy day for the New York Rangers organization.  First, we heard that Sean Avery is going to be waived, having lost out in the battle for the 13th forward position to Erik Christensen.  Shortly after, we heard that Dale Weise will indeed get a shot at the NHL, as he was claimed off waivers by the Vancouver Canucks.  Now, Brendan Bell and Stu Bickel have been waived, which means that the Rangers roster is set for the start of the year.

The fact that Bell and Bickel have been waived means that the coaching staff expects Mike Sauer to play in the regular season openers in Sweden.  Sauer had been out with a sprained right shoulder, and didn’t play a single game in Europe.  Although Sauer is back, the Rangers will need to dress at least one of Bickel or Bell in the first two regular season games, as they currently have just five healthy defensemen.  This is not an uncommon scenario, the Rangers did this with Todd White a bunch of times last season.

The Rangers roster appears to be set:

Goal (3): Martin Biron, Henrik Lundqvist, Scott Stajcer*
Defense (6): Michael Del Zotto, Steve Eminger, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Michael Sauer, Marc Staal
Forward (13): Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko, Marian Gaborik, Brandon Prust, Brad Richards, Mike Rupp, Derek Stepan, Wojtek Wolski, Mats Zuccarello

Just a note regarding Stajcer, any team opening the season in Europe is allowed to carry an extra goaltender for the duration of the trip.  When the Rangers return, expect Stajcer to be returned to a CHL team for an overage season.

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So if you haven’t heard, word on the street  internet is that Sean Avery will be placed on waivers and presumably will head to Hartford. Obviously with Avery being such a polarizing player, this news has been met with both criticism and acclaim.

Being the eternal centrists that we are, we decided to weigh the pros and cons of this move. We will let you, the people; decide if this move was beneficial.


  • The Rangers lose the league’s best agitator, a player who initially was very successful at knocking elite players off of their game.
  • With solid ice-time, Avery was a 10-15 goal producer. That’s exactly what you want for a bottom six grinder costing you $1.9 mill.
  • Even if his offense disappeared, Avery was always a good forechecker and fit well tactically into Torts’ dump & chase/2-1-2 strategy.
  • Avery rarely lost a fight. Few were better at creating home ice advantage and getting the crowd going.
  • Sean wasn’t a pro’s pro and he’s presumably bringing his baggage to Hartford where our prospects are learning to be professionals. Expecting him to be an exemplary mentor, in the way Redden has, is a stretch.
  • HBO’s 24/7 just went down a notch on the Nielsen ratings estimates.
  • Erik Christensen gets a roster spot…for now
  • If he gets picked up by an Eastern Conference team, that could come back to bite us in the ass big-time.


  • If he gets picked up, we are off the hook with his cap hit. The claiming team and Dallas now split the cost.
  • He had just 3 goals in 76 games last season.
  • If EC doesn’t perform, it could open up a spot for another young guy down the road
  • Some thought he should have been on the first line. I looked at his bad passing ability and his propensity to be off-sides and thought otherwise.
  • Though the occasional spin-o-rama made me second guess myself…until of course he caused a bad turnover or was off-sides again.
  • Prior to the “sloppy seconds” fiasco Avery was akin to drawing key penalties, but that asset quickly diminished upon his return to NY.
  • It’s one thing to be an agitator, but it’s another thing to be a scumbag. Cheapshotting unsuspecting players and punching guys when they’re already down on the ice won’t win you any favors with teammates or more importantly, the referees.
  • Avery took bad penalties. Indeed some of them were due to overzealous refs, but if he’s marching to the box late in the third period, it’s going to cost you wins plain and simple.
  • At the end of the day Avery was a distraction. Teammates, coaches, and others in the organization don’t want to have to answer questions about his extracurricular activities. Even though those extracurriculars were part of why I liked the guy, the media bombardment he received brought too much negative attention to the organization. He just created too many headaches for too many people and that goes beyond John Tortorella.


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Dale Weise Claimed By Canucks

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There has been a lot of action in Rangerland, as the Vancouver Canucks have claimed now ex-New York Ranger forward Dale Weise off of waivers.  Weise had a good preseason, but in reality, there was no real place for him on this roster. With Mats Zuccarello claiming the last spot, Weise was bound to be sent back to the AHL.  The Rangers had announced he had been cut over the weekend, but did not place him on waivers until Sunday, a day after placing John Mitchell and Kris Newbury on waivers (they were all cut the same day).

It is good to see that Weise was claimed by a team, as it was clear he had no future with the Rangers organization.  Ryan Bourque and Carl Hagelin had moved ahead of Weise on the depth chart, and with Chris Kreider and Christian Thomas looming, there was simply no spot for Weise this year or next.  Weise is going to be a good bottom six player, and the Canucks are a great club to get claimed by.  Good luck to Weise in the future.

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Breaking News: Sean Avery To Be Waived

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Looks like Erik Christensen has won the battle for the final roster spot.  Sean Avery will be waived by the New York Rangers.  Avery was a healthy scratch for the last two preseason games, and many, including myself, thought it was so that cocah John Tortorella could get a longer look at what they had in Christensen.  It turns out that they liked what they had in Christensen, even if his blown defensive coverage led to the decisive goal during yesterday’s game.

Avery will be waived and can be sent to the CT Whale.  His days in New York were numbered, but I don’t think anyone expected them to be over before the season even started.

Update 11:30am: While I am not a fan of Christensen (he is way too inconsistent and seems complacent in his own end), I can see his value in the shootout. Avery did nothing to earn a spot on the team. Avery’s cap hit made him the easier cut, and Christensen is the lesser of two dead-weight evils.

For a complete breakdown of the pros and cons of Sean Avery’s departure, click here.

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The Rangers weathered the proverbial storm in the first period against HC Slovan, and came out on top of the Slovakian team 4-1 in Bratislava.  Let’s get to the bullet points.

  • Mats Zuccarello had another strong game. He already solidified his roster spot, but he may be a dark horse to wind up on the top line if Wojtek Wolski falters.
  • Stu Bickel looked pretty good, despite his penalty.  I am going to call him Pickle at least once per game this year though.
  • What a play by Brandon Prust on Artem Anisimov’s short handed tally.  Prust knocked down a Slovan behind the net, took the puck, and dished it to Artie in front of the net, who pretty much had ten seconds to bury it.  The goal was Artie’s, but the work was done by Prust.
  • The first powerplay unit of Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, and Michael Del Zotto looked pretty good. Richards had a nice play to get the puck to Zuc for his goal.
  • The second unit had some fancy passing too, and was a pretty nice surprise.  Dan Girardi made a nice pass to Brian Boyle in front of the net for his chip in goal.
  • Despite the win, the Rangers looked very sloppy in the first period.  They were getting out skated, out shot, and out performed in every aspect of the game.  They were lucky to only be down 1-0 after the first.
  • This is the second straight game where the Rangers took way too many penalties against inferior opponents.  That needs to stop.
  • There is one more preseason game in Switzerland before the Rangers open their season in Sweden.
Also, Dale Weise was placed on waivers today, which confirms that he was not on waivers yesterday. It’s still unknown why the Rangers waited a day to waive him. I’ll assume they were trying to trade him, but couldn’t find any takers.
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Valentenko Clears Waivers

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In a bit of surprising yet unsurprising news, no claims were put in for any of the players placed on waivers over the weekend.  That means Pavel Valentenko cleared waivers and can be assigned to the CT Whale.  I said that if anyone were to be claimed on waivers, it would be Tenk, but it’s good to see he is still with the organization.

Also clearing was Wade Redden, but that was expected.

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Waiver Status Of Each Rangers Player

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To explain waivers a little bit at a high level: it was implemented to prevent teams from trapping players in their minor leagues.  When a player is waived, the 29 remaining teams have the ability to put in a claim for the player before he is sent to the AHL.  Waiver priority is based on record (worst record gets top priority), and if none of the 29 teams put in a claim, the player goes to the AHL.  This is how the Rangers acquired Erik Christensen.

Waiver eligibility is defined on a series of parameters, but centers around the year and age that a player signs their entry level contract (ELC), and the number of NHL games played up through that point.  If a player crosses a certain games played or years since ELC threshold (which ever comes first), then he is no longer exempt from waivers.  Games played can be met in the middle of the season.  Note that two-way contracts have absolutely nothing to do with waivers, as two-way contracts only dictate financial terms.

The breakdown is below:

  • ELC signed at 18 years old: first of 5 years since signing the deal or 160 NHL games played.
  • ELC signed at 19 years old: first of 4 years since signing the deal or 160 NHL games played.
  • ELC signed at 20 years old: first of 3 years since signing the deal or 160 NHL games played.
  • ELC signed at 21 years old: first of 3 years since signing the deal or 80 NHL games played.
  • ELC signed at 22 years old: first of 3 years since signing the deal or 70 NHL games played.
  • ELC signed at 23+ years old: first of 3 years since signing the deal or 60 NHL games played.
When a player is no longer exempt from waivers, he can no longer be sent down or called up without passing through waivers.  This generally plays into roster decisions made in the preseason.  This also plays into who gets called up from the AHL in the event of an injury.

I have written two posts about the waiver concerns of Michael Del Zotto and Mats Zuccarello, and have received numerous requests about (insert player here).  So, I decided to just compile a list of the players signed to contracts and broke them into three categories: Exempt From Waivers, Not Exempt From Waivers, and Special Cases (players that will cross their games played threshold during the season).  In the not exempt from waivers list, I bolded the ones likely for a call up when the season starts.  I also added this information as a new page, and you can access it by clicking the “Waivers” link at the top.  The full list is after the jump.

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The NHL waiver wire normally gets a bump in action as the trade deadline approaches as teams try to create flexibility both in salary and roster spots.  Today’s waiver action has some intriguing names in former Rangers as Nik Zherdev and Ales Kotalik along with Marek Svatos and Buffalo Sabres captain Craig Rivet.

The most intriguing of those names from a talent standpoint is obviously Zherdev who elicits very strong opinions on both sides from Rangers fans at the mere mention of his name.  The 26-year-old winger is currently on 1 year $2 million dollar deal with Philadelphia and has 15 goals, four assists in 47 games this year.  There are certainly flaws in Zherdev’s game and questions about his commitment still linger, but for a team like New York that has a talent deficiency and is without their most talented sniper, taking a no-risk chance on Zherdev has to be intriguing.

The frustration with Zherdev and his inconsistency is there for everyone who watched him play and that has not gone away or he would not be on the waiver wire today.  I would frame the debate slightly differently and look at the Rangers current roster and our own frustrating talent but little results player, Erik Christensen.  You ask me right now whether I take a chance on Christensen doing something productive or Zherdev and I take Zherdev every time.  People forget that in his one season here he was tied for the team scoring lead with his 58 points so it is not like he did not produce overall and certainly at a better rate than the Christensen’s we keep throwing out there now.

The only hesitation I have on Zherdev is the way he and Tortorella related when Z was here the first time.  Zherdev’s lack of attention in the defensive zone put him in the doghouse nearly immediately and he never got out.  For that reason I do not think the Rangers will make the claim to take the risk on the talent, but I believe they should.  Seriously, the worst thing that could come from making the move is that it busts and he gets benched or waived.

The other name that might cause some interest for the Rangers is Craig Rivet.  Rivet, 36, is a 16-year NHL veteran who has seen very little playing time this season.  He has clearly fallen out of favor in Buffalo and has been a healthy scratch for the past 16 games while they have been moving to a somewhat younger defensive unit.  I am not big on Rivet as a player at this point, but he would fill the checklist for a veteran defender who could provide leadership and he wouldn’t cost any assets unlike McCabe.

Obviously you are also not going to get the upside of McCabe, but this could be a more expensive version of last year’s Anders Eriksson move where you bring in a guy you can trust just to eat third pair minutes and help balance out the minute distribution.  In all honesty I don’t see how it is better than just playing Eminger, but for whatever reason he has clearly fallen into the doghouse with Torts, so maybe they look at Rivet.  Another low-risk gamble type move, but low reward here as well I feel.

Svatos has no interest for me as the Rangers do not need another small forward and he has never regained the form he had his first year.  Kotalik is a heck no.

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White/Kennedy Clear Waivers; Drury/Prospal On IR

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When the Rangers waived centers Todd White and Tim Kennedy yesterday, many assumed that one or both would be claimed, especially Kennedy, who comes very cheap. However, both cleared waivers. Since both have cleared waivers, their salaries ($2.375 for White, $550,000 for Kennedy) are removed from the Rangers cap. The Rangers have 30 days to assign them to the AHL, or else their salaries will be added back to the cap, and they will both need to clear waivers again.

As expected, the Rangers have placed centers Vinny Prospal and Chris Drury on injured reserve. Their salaries will remain on the books, but the Rangers will be allowed to go over the salary cap ceiling, if necessary, by their combined salaries. The total amount the Rangers are allowed to be over the cap is the prorated amount of both players salaries for the number of days spent on IR. With two of the three on ice leaders out, it’s going to be interesting to see who gets the temporary A’s.

Derek Stepan won the Lars-Erik Sjoberg award, as voted on by the Rangers press, for the top rookie in camp. This was probably the easiest vote for the award in history.

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