My friends, one thing we’ve been discussing about these parts is how many Calgary Flames defense men are in one-way deals. The Flames have 10 scammers on one-way deals, and each of them will require waivers to send to the Calgary Wranglers of the American Hockey League.
Before training camp opens and we’re all so pissed about losing players due to concessions, how likely is it that Flames will have a defender that another team is calling for?
Ten defenders in one direction
Here are the 10 defenders Flames signed one-way deals, along with their hat-tricks (via PuckPedia):
- Noah Hanifin – $4.95 million
- Rasmus Anderson – $4.55 million
- Chris Tanev – $4.5 million
- Nikita Zadorov – $3.75 million
- MacKenzie Weegar – $3.25 million
- Oliver Killington – $2.5 million
- Juuso Valimaki – $1.55 million
- Nicholas Milos – $950,000
- Conor Mackie – $912,500
- Dennis Gilbert – $762,500
Obviously the first six guys won’t be tossed for concessions because they are virtual team locks. But what about the other four?
Who claimed last year?
If you have a short memory, here’s roughly what happens before the season starts. We affectionately call it a “pre-season waiver”. Two or three days before the deadline for the regular season roster — last year was October 11, this year is October 10 — each team puts their expected final cuts on concessions.
The idea is this: everyone has made it to their final rosters, so no one has places to give to anyone who’s tempted to go down the exemption wire – a team that claims a player should keep them on their NHL roster (unless they’re the only ones the team has made a claim) So the only way they can keep the waiver claim on their roster at short notice is to give up an exempt player before the roster deadline. So every team has an incentive to hold on to qualifying cuts until the last minute.
Those who were claimed last year in October:
- Buffalo Called LW Alex Jonsson-Fjallby of Washington (October 4), but Washington claimed he returned a week later (October 11).
- San Jose LW student Jonah Gadjovich from Vancouver (October 7th).
- Seattle gets RW Alex Barre-Boulet from Tampa Bay (October 11), but Tampa Bay takes it back two weeks later (October 22)
- Montreal got Sea Adam Brooks from Toronto (October 11), but he kept navigating like a lousy penny — demanded by Vegas on November 17, then Toronto on February 16, then Winnipeg on February 18.
- Philadelphia C. Patrick Brown student from Vegas (October 11th).
- Philadelphia acquired C. Zack McQueen from Vancouver (October 14).
- Washington claimed that Seattle’s Dennis Chulovsky (October 14), retrieved Seattle (February 9).
- Buffalo claimed Christian Wollanin of Los Angeles (October 16), later recovered by Los Angeles (December 1).
In the entire National Hockey League, three players were claimed by other teams who stayed with them for the remainder of the season, while all canceled waivers and went to minors, were reclaimed by their original team, or wore off all season (Adam Brooks).
And note this: only two defenders were claimed on concessions, both of which were eventually redeemed by their original clubs.
Who can claim flame defenders?
Let’s operate assuming that Flames decide to part with Valimaki, Meloche, Mackey and Gilbert so they can increase their cover space this season. Which teams (a) have the maximum space to claim any of them and (b) do you think any of these players are an upgrade on the trick balls they already have?
A lot of teams will have space for cover, but it will take a good training camp from one of those four players to convince teams to give them a place on someone they already have within their organization.
In other words: Lots of teams will play their waiver games at the end of bootcamp. Lots of teams will try to infiltrate the scammers through the waiver wire. Traditionally, this approach has worked, so don’t expect Flames to necessarily lose someone to another team on the waiver wire – that is, unless one of the ceded players has an amazing training camp.