Aaron Volpatti

Leafs claim Erixon, Ducks waive Bourque


With the 2015 trade deadline rapidly approaching, it’s no surprise that NHL teams are using waivers to open up space (and occasionally grab low-risk players). Let’s take a quick look at recent announcements in that regard.

Claimed: The Toronto Maple Leafs claimed defenseman Tim Erixon (pictured) off of waivers. The Calgary Flames grabbed Dave Schlemko.

A little more on Erixon:

Here’s some added perspective on why the Flames made their move:

Cleared: Philadelphia Flyers goalie Rob Zepp, Washington Capitals tough guy Aaron Volpatti and Brandon McMillan of the Vancouver Canucks all cleared waivers.

Waived: Anaheim Ducks forward Rene Bourque headlines the latest batch of players who’ve been waived. Also on the list: Craig Cunningham (Boston Bruins), Keith Aulie (Edmonton Oilers), Paul Carey (Colorado Avalanche) and Tye McGinn (San Jose Sharks).

HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman lays out a few roster details after the trade deadline:

Five on waivers as trade deadline looms


With the trade deadline just around the corner, Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Rob Zepp, Dallas Stars defenseman David Schlemko, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Tim Erixon, Vancouver Canucks forward Brandon McMillan, and Washington Capitals forward Aaron Volpatti have all been placed on waivers, per TVA Sports Renaud Lavoie.

This is one case where the teams that are putting players on waivers is as noteworthy as the players themselves as some of them might not end up in the minors. However, by going this route, teams are gaining some extra roster flexibility should it be needed before the 3:00 p.m. ET trade deadline.

Zepp, 33, has a 5-2-0 record, 2.89 GAA, and .888 save percentage in 10 games this season. He comes with a $600,000 annual cap hit at the NHL level and his presence on this list means that there’s a rental backup goaltender available outside of the trade market should any team be interested.

Schlemko, 27, has a goal and four points in 25 games this season with Arizona and Dallas. He’s already been claimed once this season back on Jan. 3, but the Stars have barely used him since that date.

Erixon, 24, has a goal and six points in 27 games this season. In addition to Chicago, he’s also played for the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers. He’s a former first round pick (24th overall, 2009) and was involved in the Jackets-Rangers Rick Nash trade back in 2012. It’s worth noting that Chicago added defenseman Kimmo Timonen on Friday.

McMillan, 24, has a goal and three points in 53 contests with Arizona and Vancouver in 2014-15. He’s a native of British Columbia and was claimed off of waivers by the Canucks on Feb. 12.

Volpatti, 29, has missed most of the season due to a neck injury. That being said, he’s been used sparingly since his return as he’s only played with Washington on Feb. 3 and Feb. 14 this season.

Trade: Capitals acquire Gleason from the Canes for Hillen and a pick


The Washington capitals have acquired defenseman Tim Gleason from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Jack Hillen and a 2015 fourth-round draft pick.

The pick the Caps are sending the Canes was originally acquired in a deal from Arizona.

Both players are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents after this season.

Gleason, 32, joins his third team in two seasons. He had seven points and a minus-18 rating while averaging 16:39 in ice time a night in 55 games this season with Carolina.

“Tim is a veteran, physical defenseman and we feel his experience, toughness and skill set further strengthens our blueline,” said Washington GM Brian MacLellan in a statement.

Hillen, 29, appeared in 35 games this season with the Caps registering five assists and a plus-1 rating while averaging 12:22 in time on ice.

“This gives us a chance to take a look at Jack for the remainder of the season and continue to accumulate assets for a deep draft this summer,” said Hurricanes’ GM Ron Francis.

In a separate transaction the Capitals placed forward Aaron Volpatti on waivers.

Capitals call up Burakovsky, Volpatti ends conditioning stint


The Washington Capitals announced that Andre Burakovsky and Aaron Volpatti have been recalled from AHL Hershey, per the Monumental Network.

Burakovsky, 19, is playing in his first season with the Capitals and has 13 points in 26 contests. He’s had trouble cracking the Capitals’ lineup lately though. Washington decided against loaning him to Team Sweden for the World Juniors, but the organization still felt he needed to get some playing time, so Burakovsky participated in two AHL contests during his brief minor-league tenure.

Volpatti was in the minors on a conditioning stint because he hasn’t played for Washington so far this season due to a neck injury. Although he took part in three AHL contests, now that his stint is over he will return to the long-term injured reserve list.

The 29-year-old forward had two goals and 49 penalty minutes in 41 games in 2013-14.

Caps put Erskine (neck surgery) on IR

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On Wednesday, Washington announced that veteran blueliner John Erskine has undergone corrective neck surgery and been placed on injured reserve.

Erskine, 34, hasn’t appeared in a game this season and recently underwent a procedure to repair a disc in his neck. The Caps said he’s scheduled to begin rehab over the next few weeks.

A big, physical defenseman that’s been with Washington for the last nine seasons, Erskine is in the last of a two-year, $3.925 million deal that carries an average annual cap hit of $1.96M. That’s important, because Washington is already operating very close to the salary cap ceiling with two players — Aaron Volpatti and Dmitry Orlov — on long-term injured reserve.

For now, Erskine is on regular IR but it’s possible he could be moved to LTIR at some point.