Pair of transactions to pass your way…
— In Vancouver, the club has taken the latest step in trying to resolve the Chris Higgins situation by placing the veteran forward on waivers. The decision comes after the club 1) announced its intention to try and trade the 32-year-old, but 2) was unable to find a suitor.
It seems highly unlikely anyone will claim Higgins, mostly because of his contract situation. He has this year and the next remaining on his four-year, $10 million deal with a $2.5M annual cap hit.
Should he clear, Vancouver could try to send Higgins to the AHL. But there are other options.
The club could “do right” by Higgins and buy him out, in order for him to find a new situation elsewhere. It could also try and work a trade after he clears, in which it would retain salary, or take on an equally onerous contract — or both.
— Columbus has waived defenseman Kevin Connauton who, ironically enough, began his NHL career in Vancouver.
Connauton, 25, is in the last of a three-year, $2.05M deal with a $683,333 cap hit. Though he did show well at times over his two seasons with the Blue Jackets, he’s been a healthy scratch in each of the last five games.
Prior to today’s move, the club placed d-man Andrew Bodnarchuk on waivers (he was claimed by the Avalanche).
Connauton could be claimed as well. A decent offensive defenseman — he had eight points in 27 games this year — he’s still relatively young and could be had on the cheap.