Tag: waiver claims

Blake Comeau

Calgary claims Comeau

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Blake Comeau can pack his bags for Calgary as the Flames have claimed him on waivers. The former Islanders forward is coming off a season that saw him score 24 goals but he struggled mightily this season on Long Island.

In need of an apparent change of scenery, the Isles tried to move him before this unable to find a trading partner. Putting him on waivers gave Comeau the chance to land somewhere else and that somewhere else is Calgary. There Comeau will rejoin his former World Juniors coach Brett Sutter. If someone can help Comeau find his game, Sutter is as good a choice as any and that’s something Flames GM Jay Feaster was likely banking on.

The other upside for Calgary is that they were able to get a 25 year-old forward who could find his game once again and help spark a Flames team in desperate need of something to help them out. If Comeau can find that 20-goal scoring nose for the net again, it’s a great pickup.

If Comeau continues to not help produce at all (he has zero points this year) then it’ll just be more of the same lack of production in Calgary.

Waiver claims: Rangers grab Jeff Woywitka from Montreal, Jets grab a Coyote

Jeff Woywitka

Marc Staal’s absence in New York is a major concern for the Rangers and with him out for an unknown amount of time dealing with post-concussion issues, they were determined to find help from somewhere. To the waiver wire GM Glen Sather went and he came away with Montreal defenseman and journeyman Jeff Woywitka.

Woywitka has spent time with the Blues and Stars and was with Montreal in training camp. The Habs put Woywitka on waivers to, likely, send him to the AHL. Instead, he’s potentially off to Europe to join the Rangers as they kick off their season tomorrow. Without Staal, the Rangers were looking at starting their season with any one of Tim Erixon, Brendan Bell, or Stu Bickel getting to start for them. Instead, one of those three will be sent down to Connecticut in the AHL. Whether it’s during or after the Europe trip remains to be seen.

source: Getty ImagesElsewhere, prepare to wrap your heads around how this sounds. The Winnipeg Jets claimed Phoenix Coyotes forward Brett MacLean off waivers to help give them another useful scoring forward. Yes, Jets taking Coyotes. Never mind the whole franchise name aspect of that, but look at it like having the city of Winnipeg continuing to harangue  the Coyotes for hockey stuff they enjoy.

MacLean was rumored to be unhappy with how things were going for him in Phoenix and coach Dave Tippett’s reliance on veteran players over younger guys is likely the source of that if true. MacLean should get enough of a shot to prove himself in Winnipeg as they could use all the scoring they can find.

Evgeni Nabokov is willing to attend Islanders training camp, sets ‘record straight’ about last season

Evgeni Nabokov

For at least one day in August, the New York Islanders are dominating hockey news. Of course, the biggest story is still unfolding as polls for the team’s new arena referendum are reportedly expected to close around 9 pm ET. (We will keep an eye on that situation for you, by the way.) Today’s news also featured some aftershocks from the team’s trade with the New Jersey Devils, as their regional rivals waived Trent Hunter, the player the Devils received in exchange for Brian Rolston’s bloated cap hit.

Those two bits weren’t the only interesting Islanders-related stories, though.

Earlier this summer, we shared word from Evgeni Nabokov’s agent that the goalie is willing to play for the New York Islanders, the team he spurned in January. While that statement seemed like a promising sign that Nabokov might be willing to play ball, it means a lot more to hear it from the man himself. Nabokov confirmed those thoughts by telling Newsday’s Katie Strang that he is willing to attend Islanders training camp (subscription required).

“Yes I do plan on attending,” Nabokov told Newsday. “Now I will have full preparation for the season.”

Of course, it might come down to whether or not the Islanders want Nabokov to be a part of their team (or more precisely, what they can get for him). Even at 36 years old and one shaky season removed from the NHL, Nabokov should carry at least some trade value for teams who might want some goalie insurance. It’s quite possible that he might benefit the Islanders more via trade than anything he could accomplish on their team. That’s especially true in this case, considering the possibility that their might be some awkward feelings on the Islanders’ side.

Nabokov didn’t just confirm that he’s willing to play for the team in that article. He also discussed that uncomfortable situation from last season, saying that it was a little more complicated than a simple rejection of the Islanders.

“I want to set the record straight,” Nabokov said from his home in Northern California. “A lot of people speculated that I didn’t want to go to the organization but that’s totally not true.”

“What made me make that decision is that I hadn’t skated for a month-and-a-half when they claimed me. They were out of the playoffs, but battling to get in and, as a goalie, I know the goalie position is important when fighting for position [in the standings],” Nabokov said. “I didn’t feel that I could help them to get to the playoffs. I needed three to four weeks to get ready and the season would’ve been over.”


“I was not feeling the strongest and Detroit was in a totally different position,” Nabokov said. “They were going to the playoffs and willing to wait. The Islanders needed help then.”

If you ask me, Nabokov still made a mistake when he decided not to use the Islanders as a glorified free agent audition. With Rick DiPietro in his perpetual injury cycle and Dwayne Roloson recently traded away, the Islanders had a gaping hole at net, so it seemed like the perfect time for Nabby to nab some starts. Then again, maybe Nabokov was just being self-aware rather than difficult. If there really was an understanding that the Red Wings would have allowed him to work back into his ideal shape, then perhaps it was a more complex decision than it seemed at the time.

That being said, by denying that opportunity, the aging netminder lost a valuable thing: time. There’s always the chance that he might follow in Tomas Vokoun’s footsteps by joining a contender for a season, but it’s just as likely that he will have to play for the Islanders or another underdog team. Hopefully he’s more fit for that type of challenge now than he was in January.

Monday Waiver Wire Wrap: Under the trade deadline radar moves

Alexander Semin, Rob Schremp

With the trade deadline (and, oddly enough, some big contract extensions) stealing all the headlines, it’s easy to forget that the NHL still had its typical noon deadline for waiver wire claims. Here’s a rundown of who was picked up and who cleared waivers.

Brett Carson was claimed by the Calgary Flames from the Carolina Hurricanes.

Curtis McElhinney is now in the Ottawa Senators system via the Tampa Bay Lightning. In a nod to Vesa Toskala last season, McElhinney went through the Lightning system without playing a game after being traded much like Toskala never played a game for the Anaheim Ducks in a similar situation.

Rob Schremp was claimed by the Atlanta Thrashers from the New York Islanders. This amuses me because his name sounds sort of like “shrimp” and Thrashers GM Rick Dudley is known for liking bigger players. Hard-hitting analysis, I know.

Now for the players who cleared waivers: First, let’s start with the goalies, both Ty Conklin (St. Louis) and Pascal Leclaire (Ottawa) cleared waivers.  Moving on, Nathan Lawson (Islanders), D.J. King (Washington), Tim Stapleton (Atlanta) and Jason Jaffray (Anaheim) were the skaters.

One surprise there is Conklin, who might be on a downward slope but is a cheap, experienced backup who could be an asset for a team like the Buffalo Sabres. Would you rather lean on Conkblock on occasion or roll the dice with hapless Sabres No.2 guy Patrick Lalime? Just saying.

Saturday’s Waiver Claims: Rivet, Sturm and Boynton scooped up

Los Angeles Kings v Phoenix Coyotes

There was a notable amount of activity on the waiver wire this afternoon. To get you up to speed, we will break it down by players who were claimed (this post) and then those who were placed on waivers (the next post).

Marco Sturm claimed by Washington Capitals: I must admit, my first reaction to this was: “Don’t the Capitals realize that Sturm is broken?” Yes, the Caps need a player like Sturm … if he could actually stay on the ice for an extended period of time. Sturm makes Ales Hemsky look like the Cal Ripken Jr. of hockey. The injury prone winger is in the final year of a contract that registers a $3.5 million cap hit, with a little under $810K remaining.

Columbus Blue Jackets pick up Craig Rivet: The Buffalo Sabres were forced to place Rivet on re-entry waivers (and therefore take on half of his salary), but they got rid of their captain-turned-stiff when the Blue Jackets made a claim. This is the second over-the-hill captain waiver addition made by Scott Howson & Co. this season, as he also claimed Ethan Moreau from the Edmonton Oilers. Rivet also has $3.5 million about $810K left on his deal, so both teams will take an approximate $405K hit from this move.

Philadelphia Flyers claim Nick Boynton: Finally, the Flyers made up for the loss of Oskars Bartulis by claiming Boynton from the Chicago Blackhawks. Boynton keeps bouncing around the league but is a cheap, veteran option at $500K for the year or about $116K for the rest of the season.