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Capitals place Stanislav Galiev on waivers

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The Washington Capitals have shuffled their roster on Saturday and one of the moves was somewhat surprising.

The Caps waived forward Stanislav Galiev, who spent the entire 2015-16 season on their roster.

The 24-year-old spent most of last year as a healthy scratch because the team was worried that they wouldn’t be able to sneak him through waivers. That obviously aren’t as concerned about that anymore (or they just don’t care).

He had no goals and three assists in 24 games last year.

The Russian forward has one year remaining on his contract that will see him make $575,000 regardless of where he plays this season (NHL or AHL).

The emergence of Zach Sanford and the off-season acquisition of Brett Connolly definitely didn’t help Galiev’s chances of sticking with the team.

Washington also placed forwards Christian Thomas, Paul Carey and Brad Malone on waivers. Unlike Galiev, these three players are all on two-way contracts.

Claude Julien closes in on Bruins milestone after victory over Hurricanes

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Matt Beleskey scored goals in the first and third periods, leading the Boston Bruins to a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.

It was the 388th regular-season victory for Boston coach Claude Julien, who needs two wins to tie Art Ross as the Bruins’ career leader.

The Hurricanes lost in regulation for just the third time in their last 16 home games (10-3-3). But, Carolina has lost in regulation on back-to-back nights.

Patrice Bergeron scored for Boston in the first period, and Brad Marchand added an empty-net goal in the closing seconds. Tuukka Rask stopped 39 shots.

Noah Hanifin had Carolina’s lone goal.

Hurricanes center Brad Malone, who is currently on waivers, played in his first game since Jan. 24.

The Bruins led 2-0 after a first period in which the Hurricanes had 12 shots on goal to Boston’s 11.

Bergeron put the Bruins ahead at 10:26 of the first, taking Brett Connolly‘s pass low in the right circle and roofing the puck over Ward’s right shoulder.

Beleskey doubled the lead on the power play at 12:38, scoring on a rush by lining the puck over Ward’s glove from the left circle with Torey Krug on the helper.

Carolina outshot the visitors 10-6 during a second period played without a penalty.

Hanifin halved the lead at 3:00 of the third, lighting the lamp by ricocheting the puck off Rask’s skate. But Beleskey got his second goal of the night at 6:24, beating Ward from the low slot on an assist from Ryan Spooner.

NOTES: The Hurricanes host St. Louis on Sunday before playing their next two on the road. … Boston hosts Tampa Bay on Sunday in the opener of a four-game homestand. … Carolina D Justin Faulk (lower body) missed his second straight game, while C Andrej Nestrasil (back) C Jay McClement (upper body) and D Justin Faulk (lower body) were also out. … C Max Talbot, RW Tyler Randell and D Zach Trotman were all healthy scratches for the Bruins. … Boston D Dennis Seidenberg was a member of the Hurricanes’ 2006 Stanley Cup champions. … The teams’ other meetings this season are in Boston on March 10 and April 5.

Roundup: ‘Hawks waive Sekac, Leafs waive Cowen, Malone clears

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A few notable transactions to pass your way in advance of Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline…

— Chicago has waived Jiri Sekac, just one month after acquiring him from Anaheim in exchange for Ryan Garbutt. Sekac, 23, appeared in just six games for Chicago, registering one assist while averaging 10:04 TOI per night.

It’s worth noting Chicago is Sekac’s third team since breaking in with Montreal during the ’14-15 campaign. He’s currently in the last of a two-year, $2.7M deal with a $1.35 average annual cap hit.

— Toronto has waived Jared Cowen, just two weeks after acquiring him from Ottawa in the Dion Phaneuf trade. Cowen, who’s dealing with a hip injury, has yet to play for the Leafs and it’s widely assumed the club is looking to get out of his contract (a four-year, $12.4M pact with a $3.1M average annual cap hit, and one year remaining.)

— Carolina forward Brad Malone, put on waivers yesterday, has cleared.

Malone, 26, has five points through 37 games this year but has been a healthy scratch on numerous occasions. Prior to getting parked in the press box, he was best known as a physical, hard-hitting presence that drew the ire of Columbus captain Nick Foligno for a big hit back in early January.

Malone is in the second of a two-year deal worth $1.3 million. It carries an average annual cap hit of $650,000.

 

Roundup: ‘Canes waive Malone, Falk clears, Ducks claim Wagner

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Quick glance at Thursday’s waiver-related transactions:

— Carolina has placed gritty forward Brad Malone on waivers. Malone, 26, has five points through 37 games this year but has been a healthy scratch on numerous occasions recently. Prior to getting parked in the press box, he was best known as a physical, hard-hitting presence that drew the ire of Columbus captain Nick Foligno for a big hit back in early January.

Malone is in the second of a two-year deal worth $1.3 million. It carries an average annual cap hit of $650,000.

— Columbus d-man Justin Falk has cleared waivers. Not much to see here.

— The Ducks have claimed forward Chris Wagner off waivers, after losing him to Colorado via waivers earlier this season. Wagner, 24, had no points in 11 games with Anaheim prior to getting picked up, then scored four in 26 contests with the Avs.

Wagner is on a one-year, $600,000 deal that expires in July. The Ducks have since assigned him to their AHL affiliate in San Diego.

For Francis, trade deadline could be defining moment as ‘Canes GM

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In April, Ron Francis will celebrate the second anniversary of his hiring as Carolina’s general manager.

But prior to that, he’ll have experienced what’s easily his biggest task to date.

This year’s trade deadline is a crucial one for both Francis and the organization. Two faces of the franchise — Cam Ward and captain Eric Staal — are pending UFAs, as are a slew of potentially movable veterans: Kris Versteeg, John-Michael Liles, Riley Nash and Brad Malone, to name a few.

But it’s not as simple as Francis putting a “YARD SALE” sign on the lawn and waiting for buyers.

Heading into tonight’s game in Calgary, Carolina is right in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff chase, just three points back of Pittsburgh for the final wild card spot.

The ‘Canes also have an interesting month of February.

Starting Feb. 12, the club will play eight of 10 games at home, where the ‘Canes have been pretty good this season. They’re 12-9-5 at PNC and have won their last two home dates emphatically, 5-2 over Calgary and 5-0 over Chicago.

MORE: The Carolina Hurricanes are legitimately quite good

So Francis has a tough decision on his hands. Stick with the long-term vision, and recoup assets/draft picks by flipping UFAs by the deadline?

Or keep the group together, and make a playoff push?

Here’s a quick look at where things are at with some of the players mentioned above.

Staal/Ward: Both represented by agent Rick Curran, who told the Raleigh News & Observer this week there’s “nothing new to report” on extensions for both.

Of Ward and Staal, the latter is the hottest commodity in terms of trade potential, but he told the News & Observer Francis has yet to approach him about waiving his no-trade clause, nor has Francis asked for a list of potential trade partners.

Versteeg: An interesting commodity. While he’s not the player he once was, he’s still in the midst of a solid bounce-back campaign (31 points in 50 games) and has a wealth of playoff experience, with two Stanley Cups on his resume.

The real key, of course, is that Versteeg’s $4.4 million cap hit has been cut in half due to Chicago retaining salary from a previous trade.

It stands to figure several teams would be interested in a versatile forward that logs 16:30 TOI per night and can score at a reasonable clip — especially at a $2.2M hit.

Recently, Versteeg said he “would not be shocked” if he’s traded by the deadline.

Liles: His name was floated by the News & Observer earlier this week. The veteran defenseman has enjoyed a good season in Carolina — he’s been durable (averaging over 20 minutes while appearing in all 51 games) and his offense has increased lately, with four goals in his last 11 games.

Head coach Bill Peters was full of praise for the 35-year-old, calling Liles “a real good pro,” that’s been “excellent with our young guys.”

Liles is in the last of a four-year, $15.5 million deal with a $3.875M cap hit. It’s worth noting his salary is only $2.75M this season.

Related: ‘Canes compare Faulk to Duncan Keith, talk up Norris potential