After yesterday’s craziness – everybody cleared, which means 30 NHL general managers are confident they have a better backup goalie than Reto Berra and a better seventh defenceman than Mark Barberio – today’s waiver wire is a little quieter. It is fairly rich in defencemen, though, including 346-game NHL veteran Clayton Stoner.
The full list, via our own General Fanager:
On waivers today:
DAL: Stransky, Dowling
VAN: Zalewski, Pedan, Megna, Chaput
— General Fanager (@generalfanager) October 6, 2016
Let’s take a look at what’s there.
- C Michael Chaput. Vancouver’s waiver assignments today were pretty unsurprising, but Chaput has some things going for him. He’s a 6’2” centre with okay scoring numbers (45 points in 63 games) in the AHL and a two-way reputation. It’s more likely that he’s a recall option, but a team in need of a No. 5 centre might plausibly be interested.
- G Magnus Hellberg. Today’s waiver wire goalie option has played all of two NHL games, but he’s 6’5”, Nashville-trained, only 25 years old and coming off a 0.918 save percentage season in the AHL.
- RD Scott Mayfield. Mayfield is from the same draft class as David Musil, and has some virtues in common. He’s 6’4” and 225 pounds and plays a physical brand of hockey – though we should give him credit for slashing his AHL penalty minutes total from 173 in 2014-15 down to just 80 last year. Footspeed and overall ceiling are a question mark, though being a right shot improves his chances.
- LD Andrey Pedan. Ryan Biech of Canucks Army has a thoughtful write-up on Vancouver’s decisions this morning, and naturally he spends most of his time on Pedan. The 6’5”, 213-pound defenceman put up 21 points in 45 AHL games last season and found his way into a 13-game NHL call-up, too. One has to like his tools – in addition to size and ability with the puck, Pedan’s actually a pretty decent skater, too.
- LD Clayton Stoner. I can’t imagine him getting claimed. It’s not that he’s a bad defenceman – the 6’4”, 216-pound stay-at-home rearguard is actually a perfectly capable No. 5 defenceman. His problem is the same one Mark Fayne had when he was waived last year: contract. Stoner comes with a $3.25 million cap hit for two more seasons. Add in that he’s 31, and it’s difficult to justify taking that commitment on. Perhaps there’s a trade to be made later sending money back the other way, though.
- RW Matej Stransky. Stransky finally had something of a breakout year. The 6’3”, 210-pound winger scored 23 goals in the AHL last season. He’s only 23 years old, he’s good with the puck and both killed penalties and worked on the power play last season. Offensive upside is obviously a bit of a question mark, and he’s not an overly fast skater, either.
With all due respect to Stoner, the most attractive options on today’s waiver wire are younger defencemen. One of the reasons that depth defenders tend to fall out of the league as they approach age 30 is because teams like to clear space for players with a bit more potential. Pedan and Mayfield are both young enough to have growth potential. In Pedan’s case, the selling feature is his tools, which suggest he may have upside beyond being a No. 6 defenceman; in Mayfield’s case, it’s the fact that he’s a right shot who can probably effectively play a No. 6 role today.
Mayfield probably has the best chance of landing somewhere else.