It’s become a fairly common story in the NHL — a young player that would be better off in the AHL, but because he’s no longer exempt from waivers, he’s stuck in a league that’s not serving his development best.
Such is the case with Capitals forward Stanislav Galiev. The 23-year-old has only played two games for Washington this season, his last coming on Oct. 15. He did get to play five for Hershey, but because he was there on a conditioning assignment, he couldn’t stay longer than two weeks.
Which brings us to today’s story in the Washington Post:
That leaves the Capitals wondering what to do with Galiev, a prospect who needs to be developed but is watching NHL games from a press box seat instead of getting first-line minutes in the AHL.
That Washington is healthy and winning arguably makes it harder to justify inserting Galiev into a game. T.J. Oshie, Justin Williams, Andre Burakovsky and Tom Wilson are ahead of him; Wilson was projected to be a third-line winger, but the forward corps is so crowded that he’s back on the fourth line.
There have been teams that have gambled and lost in situations like this one. In October, the Canucks tried to get Frank Corrado to the minors, only for Toronto to swoop in and claim the 22-year-old defensman. (If not for waivers, the Canucks might be tempted to send 23-year-old forward Sven Baertschi to the AHL.)
Corrado, by the way, has yet to play for the Leafs. His conditioning assignment is over, too.
As for Galiev, all he can do now is work hard in practice and wait for his opportunity.
“We’ll get him in here fairly shortly, I think,” Caps coach Barry Trotz said. “We have to.”
Not that Galiev should be hoping for an injury, but it’s worth noting that Adam Clendening — another 23-year-old who’s no longer waiver exempt — is getting his chance in Pittsburgh in the wake of Olli Maatta‘s injury.