On Thursday night, Panthers GM Dale Tallon made waves by sending Kris Versteeg back to Chicago in exchange for prospects Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen.
Apparently, there are more waves to come.
“I’m not happy where the team is,” Tallon said, as per the Miami Herald. “We’re going to continue to be aggressive, help the franchise move forward.”
In this instance, being aggressive meant taking on some financial responsibility. Florida is absorbing 50 percent of Versteeg’s salary and cap hit for the three remaining years on his four-year, $17.6 million deal — meaning the Panthers are now carrying a $2.2 million cap hit and paying Versteeg around $2.3 million annually until 2016.
Yes, welcome to the new NHL, where GM’s looking to deal have to find creative ways to get it done.
But Tallon did say he wanted to be aggressive, and it doesn’t sound like he’s bluffing. He already cleaned house by firing Kevin Dineen and Dineen’s entire coaching staff, and later placed veteran defenseman Ryan Whitney on waivers.
Just to further hammer home the point, Tallon told the Panthers website he’s not done shaking things up.
“We want to be big, we want to be strong, we want to be deep, we want to be tougher,” he said. “We are going to continue to be aggressive and make changes.”
The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.
Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.
That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.
If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.
The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.
Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.
Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.
With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.
Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.
In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.