Author: Mike Halford

Toronto Maple Leafs v Tampa Bay Lightning

Report: Leafs waive veteran d-man Robidas (Update: Maybe not)


Looks as though 38-year-old blueliner Stephane Robidas will be hitting waivers today.

Per multiple reports, Toronto is set to put Robidas on the wire at noon ET, a move that comes just one year into the three-year, $9 million deal he signed last summer.

Robidas, who recovered from two serious leg fractures prior to signing with the Maple Leafs, never really fit into Toronto’s lineup. He appeared in just 52 games last season, missing time both with an upper-body injury and while sitting as a healthy scratch.

Unlike today’s other big waiver move — Philly putting Andrew MacDonald on the wire — Robidas won’t give Toronto much financial relief (should he clear waivers and head to the AHL Marlies). Because he was signed as an over-35 player, the Leafs can only recoup $100,000 of his $3M cap hit.

UPDATE: There’s some uncertainty as to Robidas’ status, and if he’ll be actually be subjected to waivers. Sportsnet reports that he won’t be on the club’s opening night roster, and head coach Mike Babcock said Robidas is dealing with a knee injury.

An injury could allow Toronto to place Robidas on IR to open the campaign, giving the club additional time to decide how to proceed.

Flyers waive MacDonald, he of the $30M contract

Andrew MacDonald

In April of ’14, the Flyers signed d-man Andrew MacDonald to a six-year, $30 million extension.

Less than 18 months later, they’re placing him on waivers.

Philly GM Ron Hextall confirmed the move Monday morning, announcing that MacDonald would hit the wire at Noon ET. The decision comes with MacDonald still having five years and nearly $26 million left on his contract.

It’s a tough situation for both MacDonald and the club.

The Flyers acquired the 29-year-old from the Isles at the ’14 trade deadline and, at the time, MacDonald was one of the NHL’s biggest bargains, carrying just a $550,000 cap hit.

Philly thought it’d found a diamond in the rough, even though underlying possession metrics — and pundits that specialize in them — suggested otherwise. After watching MacDonald play just 19 regular-season and seven playoff games, then-GM Paul Holmgren made a big splash to retain his services.

From there, things went badly.

McDonald had a rough ’14-15 campaign, sitting as a healthy scratch on a number of occasions. Following the year, he expressed his dismay with how things went.

“It was disappointing,” MacDonald said, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Obviously, it’s not nearly the way I envisioned things going and I was pretty disappointed in myself and my own play, and just felt like things kind of snowballed throughout the year and really just didn’t work out.”

As for the future, it seems highly, highly unlikely MacDonald will be claimed on waivers. Should he clear, Philly will have the option to send him to the AHL, and receive $950,000 in salary cap relief.

That would, however, still leave the team with roughly $4 million of dead money.

Caps release Derek Roy from PTO

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Close, but no cigar for Derek Roy.

Roy, who lasted throughout Washington’s entire training camp and preseason on a professional tryout, was released on Monday along with five other players: Aaron Ness, Liam O'Brien, Justin Peters, Ryan Stanton and Chandler Stephenson.

Roy is the most notable transaction. Some thought the 32-year-old center might earn a contract given the health of No. 1 pivot Nicklas Backstrom, who’s likely to miss the start of the year after hip surgery.

Roy had two points in four exhibition games for the Caps, and had been in the running for the club’s third-line center position. It was assumed Evgeny Kuznetsov would ascend to No. 1 duties in Backstrom’s absence, while Andre Burakovsky would (potentially) shoulder second-line responsibilities.

Now, it looks as though Jay Beagle will assume those duties.

It’s also worth noting that by passing on Roy, the Caps are potentially saving cap space for an in-season acquisition, perhaps at the trade deadline.

As for today’s other moves, three of the players released — Ness, Peters and Stanton — will require waivers before getting assigned to AHL Hershey.

This essentially sets Washington’s opening night roster (assuming Backstrom opens on IR, and there isn’t one more cut coming.) Youngsters Stanislav Galiev and Chris Brown (also a candidate to start on IR) are in the mix, along with veteran AHLers Sean Collins — a 26-year-old forward that spent the last five seasons in the Columbus organization — and d-man Taylor Chorney, who was with Pittsburgh/AHL Wilkes-Barre in ’14-15.