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  • Should the Wild claim anyone on waivers?


    A shortened NHL season amidst the COVID pandemic has brought along all sorts of wrinkles and changes to how the league typically operates. The largest change in terms of roster construction has been the addition of a “taxi squad” consisting of four to six players for each team. The taxi squad travels and practices with the team, but for the purposes of the salary cap are considered minor league players, akin to the “Black Aces” squads we see in the playoffs. Because of this, a player must pass through waivers to be assigned to the taxi squad and any team claiming a player cannot immediately assign them to the taxi squad.

    So welcome to the Wacky World of the Waiver Wire.

    We’re looking at over 100 players that have been posted on the NHL waiver wire today ahead of the deadline to finalize rosters, 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday. But do any of them make sense for the Wild?

    Here’s an (in)complete list of players on waivers, enjoy scrolling for a while:

    Boston Bruins

    Steven Kampfer, D

    Zachary Senyshyn, F

    Greg McKegg, F

    Paul Carey, F

    Anton Blidh, F

    Calgary Flames

    Oliver Kylington, D

    Derek Ryan, F

    Zac Rinaldo, F

    Carolina Hurricanes

    Joakim Ryan, F

    Dallas Stars

    Tanner Kero, F

    Detroit Red Wings

    Calvin Pickard, G

    Kevin Boyle, G

    Dylan McIlrath, D

    Brian Lashoff, D

    Joe Hicketts, D

    Dominic Turgeon, F

    Evgeny Scechnikov, F

    Turner Elson, F

    Kyle Criscuolo, F

    Riley Barber, F

    Edmonton Oilers

    Jujhar Khaira, F

    Anton Forsberg, G

    Montreal Canadiens

    Corey Perry, F

    Michael Frolik, F

    New York Islanders

    Andrew Ladd, F

    AJ Greer, F

    Tanner FritzF

    Austin Czarnik, F

    Cole Bardreau, F

    Parker Wotherspoon, D

    Thomas Hickey, D

    New York Rangers

    Keith Kinkaid, G

    Anthony Greco, F

    Gabriel Fontaine, F

    Brandon Crawley, D

    Jonny Brodzinski, F

    Colin Blackwell, F

    Anthony Bitetto, D

    Ottawa Senators

    Christian Jaros, D

    Micheal Haley, F

    Filip Chlapik, D

    Rudolfs Balcers, F

    Jean-Christophe Beaudin

    Logan Shaw, F

    Matthew Peca, F

    Philadelphia Flyers

    Samuel Morin, D

    Alex Lyon, G

    Tyler Wotherspoon, D

    Nate Prosser, D

    Derrick Pouliot, D

    Chris Bigras, D

    Andy Andreoff, F

    San Jose Sharks

    Trevor Carrick, D

    Nicolas Meloche, D

    Kurtis Gabriel, F

    Antti Suomela, F

    Fredrik Claesson, D

    St. Louis Blues

    Jacob De La Rose, F

    MacKenzie MacEachern, F

    Sam Anas, F

    Curtis McKenzie, F

    Nathan Walker, F

    Mitch Reinke, D

    Jake Walman, D

    Steve Santini, D

    Jon Gillies, G

    Tampa Bay Lightning

    Luke Schenn, D

    Tyler Johnson, F

    Spencer Martin, G

    Chris Gibson, G

    Luke Witkowski, F

    Daniel Walcott, D

    Ben Thomas, D

    Gemel Smith, F

    Andreas Borgman, D

    Toronto Maple Leafs

    Calle Rosen, D

    Martin Marincin, D

    Adam Brooks, F

    Travis Boyd, F

    Kenneth Agostino, F

    Vancouver Canucks

    Justin Bailey, F

    Sven Baertschi, F

    Guillaume Brisebois, D

    Loui Eriksson, F

    Tyler Graovac, F

    Ashton Sautner, D

    Washington Capitals

    Pheonix Copley, G

    Philippe Maillet, F

    Michael Sgarbossa, F

    Cameron Schilling, D

    Paul Ladue, F

    Lucas Johansen, D

    Shane Gersich, F

    Zach Fucale, G

    Daniel Carr, F

    Winnipeg Jets

    Mathieu Perreault, F

    CJ Suess, D

    Luca Sbisa, D

    Nelson Nogier, F

    Eric Comrie, G

    An absolute fire sale on a scale of which we’ve never seen. But let’s have a look at some of the more notable ones:

    D Oliver Kylington, Calgary Flames

    A Hockey Twitter favorite, Kylington was a 2nd round draft pick way back in the 2015 draft. at 60th overall, he was touted as being an intelligent two-way defender but has never truly lived up to that potential. He played 48 games for the Flames in the 2019-20 season, tallying two goals and five assists in his tenure.

    He also struggled on the defensive side too, posting a 48.11 CF% (Corsi For) per Natural Stat Trick, second worst for regulars on the team behind only Michael Stone. At only 23 years old, there may be some room to grow, but time is running out for a player that can’t even beat out Stone for a roster spot on the Flames blueline. His youth and pedigree are intriguing, but I’m not really sold on him being better than Greg Pateryn or Brad Hunt.

    D/LW Samuel Morin, Philadelphia Flyers

    Another defenseman — that also recently decided to try his hand as a winger — Morin doesn’t really have much of a resume to judge him by. Since 2017, Morin has played a total of 29 games between the AHL and the NHL. Once a promising piece on the Philly prospect pipeline, his career has been hampered by injuries, having gone through two ACL surgeries recently. But there is something to like about him.

    At 6-foot-7 and 203 lbs., his size is tantalizing and if he has managed to retain some of his plus-mobility he had pre-injury, there may be something there. Flyers management obviously thought that he was worth trying to keep, even going as far as trying him out on the wing in recent practices.

    He’s 25 and has had to spend a large amount of time rehabbing, but unlike Kylington, I can’t see how he isn’t better than at least Hunt. Who knows, if that doesn’t work out, maybe he’s another winger?

    F Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning

    By far the biggest name on the waiver list (unless you count two-time Stanley Cup Champion Andrew Ladd or Mr. Underrated Loui Eriksson), Johnson’s situation is interesting. The diminutive center is a few years removed from his 29 G/43 A/77 GP season in 2014-15, but has remained a valuable piece. One third of the once famous “Triplets Line” in Tampa, Johnson has been consistent in his production averaging around 20 goals and 50 points the last several years.

    This isn’t his first trip down the waiver wire and it largely has to do with Tampa’s own success, crop of exceptionally talented forwards and salary cap problems. The 30-year old is currently signed for another three years after this season and at a cap hit of $5,000,000. A little bit of an overpay, but Johnson’s production is impressive for a player that average 14:33 of ice time last season, with only 1:58 of powerplay time per game on Tampa’s second unit mostly.

    With the Wild’s current dearth of centers, and being poised to possibly back into a playoff spot, I really do believe he’d be a good pickup. The leadership he would bring to the table is a plus and he hasn’t really been given a fair shake in Tampa the last few years being stuck behind Stamkos/Point and sometimes even Anthony Cirelli or Yanni Gourde at times.

    Or maybe we should all just get comfortable with First Line Center Nick Bjugstad for the time being, it certainly has a ring to it.

    Is there someone else you think management should take a flyer on?

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