With each passing day, we get closer to the start of the
2016-17 NHL season and hockey games with actual value in the standings. We also
get closer to completed rosters, a fact which means the names on the waiver
wire get more interesting by the day.
LD Brandon Gormley. Gormley
was a first-round pick in 2010, billed as a smart two-way defenceman with good
mobility, decent size and skill with the puck. I liked him as
a stopgap gamble last season, but then he went to the minors and put up six
points and a minus-19 rating over 39 AHL games. That ugly half-season in the
American League is out of sync with the rest of his career, but he needs to
prove something down there before he gets another shot in the big leagues.
RW Alex Grenier. Grenier
is 6’5”, put up 48 points in 69 AHL games last year, and just turned 25.
Canucks Army has a
piece up on the decision to waive him, and I’d also recommend this summer’s
profile of the player.
G Mike McKenna. McKenna
is an exceptional AHL starter. He’s 33, but last season posted a 0.921 save percentage
for Florida’s farm team and has been a solid minor-league goalie for the last
half-decade. Unlike a lot of pigeon-holed No. 3 goalies, he’s actually been
given NHL minutes at points, though he hasn’t done much with them.
RD Brent Regner. Regner
found his wat into the majors with the Florida Panthers last season, appearing
in seven contests. His underlying
numbers in that span were nothing to write home about, although he’s still
a reasonable recall option on the right side at some point later this season.
RW Cole Schneider. The
26-year-old left-shooting right wing isn’t a player I’m overly familiar with,
but he combines a solid defensive reputation with average size and pretty
decent scoring numbers (56 points in 73 games) in the AHL. He found his way
into two NHL contests in Buffalo last season.
G Jeremy Smith. Smith
is a pretty interesting guy. He’s a Nashville-developed goalie who struggled
early in his career (0.899 SV% in the ECHL as a rookie pro) but has since
emerged as one of the best AHL’ers around. He’s only 27. Goaltending is a weird
position in that plenty of top AHL ‘tenders just never get a shot in the
majors; I’m hoping at some point Smith gets a run of games so we can see if his
strong minor-league performance translates to the show.
LD Ryan Stanton. Stanton,
a smart stay-at-home defenceman with mobility issues played two seasons with
the Canucks, but found his way to the minors last season and stayed their
pretty much all year. There’s a ton of stuff on this player at Canucks Army –
was full value early in his tenure in Vancouver and then
fell apart in his second season with the club.
RW Zack Stortini. Stortini
played 250-odd NHL games over the course of his career and compiled 725 penalty
minutes, but he’s settled neatly into the role of AHL depth forward. He’s
played just one major-league game in the last five seasons, though he has
pretty decent offensive ability for an enforcer.
LW Joe Whitney. Whitney
is a point-per-game AHL forward. He’s also 5’6” and 28 years old. I have a soft
spot for this player-type, because you just never know, but it’s hard to
imagine him getting claimed.
All things considered, yesterday’s waiver list was probably
a little more talented, though we should see progression in talent the rest of
the way. Schneider (or Smith, for a team with goalie needs) is probably the
most interesting guy waived today but again it is unlikely that any of these players
will be claimed.
Check out Renaud Lavoie’s feed for the full list of players waived today.
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