It was just two years ago that the Anaheim Ducks signed Adam Henrique to a five-year, $29.125 million contract extension.
Just this past season he was still their leading goal scorer and point producer.
Today he is on waivers.
On the surface there is a lot about this move that seems stunning, specifically the first two points mentioned above.
But it is also a pretty good sign the Ducks are not happy with the way their investment is turning out. Henrique has just three goals and an assist in 16 games this season, and while waivers might seem like a small sample size overreaction, there might be some deeper reason for concern.
The Ducks’ cap situation is not great for a team that’s been so far down the standings the past couple of years, and Henrique’s contract is a big factor in that cap crunch.
He is also 31 years old and still has three full seasons at $5.85 million per year remaining. If the Ducks feel that his production is already declining (and it might be!) and is only going to decline further (it probably will), it makes sense that they would to try and get out from under that as soon as possible. Given that context it seems unlikely that another team is going to put a claim in to take that entirety of that remaining contract.
If nothing else, it signals to every other team in the league that he could be available for a trade that includes retained salary or another undesirable contract going the other way.