A wave of NHL players hit the waiver wire with the 2021-22 season set to begin on Tuesday, Oct. 12. There were some interesting names, the most noteworthy including: Alex Barré-Boulet (Lightning), Travis Hamonic (Canucks), and Kyle Turris (Oilers).
Let’s run down the most interesting names, including Hamonic, and Turris. For a full list, check out this thread from Chris Johnston.
Barré-Boulet the standout on the NHL waiver wire
Plenty of teams did some juggling to get to the point where they can narrow down their final rosters. With that in mind, it’s crucial to weigh that with any desire for your team to add that mystical waiver wire steal.
Sometimes, the lack of such movement almost feels like an unspoken agreement. Practically speaking, adding an unknown quantity for an unknown boost just isn’t enough for most NHL teams.
That said, Barré-Boulet stands out as someone who could be worth ruffling a feather or two.
Despite already being 24, he doesn’t have a wealth of NHL experience. In the glances we’ve seen, there’s some reason to wonder if Barré-Boulet is the latest hidden Lightning gem.
Alex Barré-Boulet (reportedly on waivers) has looked strong defensively in his fifteen nhl games so far. pic.twitter.com/xGNKFu2Dem
— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) October 10, 2021
AHL successes don’t necessarily directly translate to NHL success. Still, when you’re considering investing in a player with limited top-level reps, production at other levels might move the needle.
In that regard, Barré-Boulet shows promise. He generated 12 points in 10 games last season. In 2019-20, he scored 56 points in 60 games, and Barré-Boulet managed 68 points in 74 games for the Syracuse Crunch in 2018-19. There’s also an impressive junior year: he generated 116 points in 65 QMJHL games back in 2017-18.
Boulet had above average underlying numbers in the pre-season, for whatever that’s worth. 3d best CF% and 4th best XGF% despite a ZS of 31%. https://t.co/JQBM4rasoE
— Kent Wilson (@Kent_Wilson) October 10, 2021
None of that makes Barré-Boulet a surefire difference-maker in the NHL.
Frankly, a team — especially a troubled one like the Sabres — might as well take a shot, though. If Barré-Boulet has some Jonathan Marchessault/Carter Verhaeghe in him, then you don’t just prosper for 2021-22.
Barré-Boulet is under contract at a mere $758,333 for the next three seasons. Most immediately, a bad team could benefit from Barré-Boulet. A contender might want to mull it over, too, though. If he’s in the realm of being the next small-ish Lightning forward who was sorely overlooked, then you’d get three dirt-cheap seasons out of him.
Why not give it a shot? Well, because most of the time in the NHL, teams just don’t work that way. Maybe someone will surprise us.
Hamonic, Turris, other noteworthy names on the NHL waiver wire
… Because the other choices are a bit less exciting. That said, you could also do worse than scooping up a Josh Leivo.
A lot of guys on waivers, so here are the ones that seem worthwhile from a numbers perspective off the top of my head:
Jacob MacDonald (COL)
Alex Barré-Boulet (TB)
Josh Leivo (CAR) https://t.co/vZPIFiaQ6l
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) October 10, 2021
For every intriguing AHL/NHL tweener, there are a few bummers.
- Look at how far Kyle Turris has fallen. After buying Turris out last year, the Predators deal with $2M per season in dead salary cap space through 2027-28. (Another reminder that a “proactive” extension can transform into a hasty mistake.)
The Oilers made a relatively low-risk gamble in signing Turris for two years at a $1.65M cap hit. They haven’t really enjoyed the reclamation project they hoped for, however.
Now, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Turris back with the Oilers, possibly soon.
A reminder that, in the case of Turris in particular, this doesn’t necessarily mean the veteran forward won’t be in the lineup Opening Night. Based on their preseason body of work, in fact, I expect Shore to centre the 4th line Wednesday, flanked by Turris & Perlini. https://t.co/IL0lpAkW2f
— Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) October 10, 2021
But the Turris signing hasn’t been a smash success for the Oilers.
- The Canucks placed defenseman Travis Hamonic on waivers. There were rumblings that Hamonic might sit out the 2021-22 season entirely. His NHL future seems unclear, but for now, waivers it is.
Believe #Canucks have placed Travis Hamonic on waivers.
If he clears he’ll represent a $1.875 million cap hit for Vancouver on opening day.
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) October 10, 2021
In other Canucks maneuverings, they worked out a trade with their frequent swapping partner, the Panthers. The Olli Juolevi era is over for Vancouver.
- Not too surprising, but the addition of Marc-Andre Fleury means that both Collin Delia and Malcolm Subban hit waivers.
- Andrej Sustr ranks as the other interesting Lightning player who hit the NHL waiver wire.
Again, you can check out the long NHL waiver list here. You can keep track of transactions here and here, while NBC Sports Edge is another great resource for signings, waiver shifts, and other NHL news.