One d-man out, another one in. Call it Washington’s circle of life.
On Tuesday, blueliner Steve Oleksy cleared waivers and was sent to AHL Hershey, allowing the Caps to recall 22-year-old Nate Schmidt. Oleksy and Schmidt are two of 12 defensemen to have suited up for Washington this season.
“The cycle keeps going and you see things. You don’t want a guy to sit too long,” said head coach Adam Oates, per the Washington Post. “It makes for a difficult position. You put [Oleksy] on waivers because [there’s] no other choice.
“You hope he gets picked up and gets a chance to play. He’s been great about it.”
It’s a tad surprising Oleksy cleared waivers, given he’s played 60-plus games over the last two seasons (and has seven playoff appearances to boot.) What’s more, Oleksy has a very affordable cap hit — $541,667 — and can chip in offensively, having scored two goals and 10 points in 33 games this season.
As for Schmidt, he gets another kick at the can after appearing in 28 games for the Caps earlier this season. He was sent to Hershey after John Erskine returned from injury and appeared in 15 games, scoring six points.
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Last night, we passed along news that veteran d-man James Wisniewski — acquired from Carolina at the draft — suffered what looked to be a serious injury just 47 seconds into his ‘Canes debut, and was ruled out for the remainder of the night.
Now, he’s been ruled out for a lot longer than that.
From the club:
Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that defenseman James Wisniewski will undergo surgery on his left knee after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Thursday night’s game in Nashville.
Recovery time for the injury is estimated at six months.
This is, obviously, a tough development for both player and club. The ‘Canes were counting on Wisniewski to be a regular contributor on defense this year, and help improve last year’s middle-of-the-pack power play.
Wisniewski, meanwhile, was looking to bounce back from a disappointing ’14-15 campaign. He was shipped out of Columbus at the deadline to Anaheim but never made an impact for the Ducks, failing to see any playoff action as Anaheim made it all the way to the Western Conference final.
Two days after an uninspiring performance versus San Jose, the Los Angeles Kings will be getting an injection of youthful enthusiasm tonight versus Arizona.
Coach Darryl Sutter confirmed today that Jordan Weal will make his NHL debut at Staples Center.
A 23-year-old center, Weal is expected to replace Andy Andreoff and skate between Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan on the fourth line.
“It’s really exciting,” Weal told LA Kings Insider. “A lot of work has gone into getting to this part of my career, and the hard work’s just going to continue. It’s going to keep going, and I’m trying to do as much as I can in this game and keep improving from this game moving forward in trying to solidify a solid spot in the lineup.”
The 70th overall pick in 2010, Weal had 69 points in 73 games last season for AHL Manchester.
Related: Jordan Weal is looking to make the leap