Highlights from the Waiver Wire, 10/7/16 Edition

81-Fedun-2

With each passing day, the NHL season looms ever closer, and with it the need for the league’s 30 member clubs to trim their rosters down to 23 names. Friday was, once again, a busy waiver day, with a few interesting options hitting the wire.

The full list, via our own General Fanager:

Here are the standouts:

  • RD Taylor Fedun. It seems that Fedun has been tagged as a minor-leaguer by NHL teams. He’s an extremely cerebral defenceman with offensive ability, but he’s a little bit undersized for the position and he isn’t overly fast, either.
  • LW Nathan Gerbe. He’s 5’5”, not an all-world offensive presence, and yet he’s played 394 career major-league games. He’s done it thanks to speed, smarts, and an intense two-way game. He’s a decent third-line scorer (29 points per 82 games played on his career), a penalty killer, and a guy who can play a complementary role on a skill line or a leading role on a defensive line. He’s 29 and coming off a tough year, though.
  • LW Tanner Glass. The much-maligned Glass plays a physical, defence-first style of hockey. He’ll turn 33 early this season and even in his prime was always a fringe NHL player. He’s made his way to 500 career games played the hard way, but this is the age where role players tend to fall out of the majors.
  • C Cal O’Reilly. The 30-year-old O’Reilly is a strong scoring option in the minors, and even at the major-league level can produce some offence (48 points in 133 career NHL games). He spent most of last season in the minors and while he’s a somewhat plausible No. 5 centre he’s probably a better fit as minor-league depth.
  • C Kevin Porter. Porter, a Hobey Baker winner way back when, found his way into 41 NHL games last year despite failing to score a single goal. If you guessed that’s because he has real defensive value, gold star for you! He averaged 1:51 per game on the penalty kill, own more than half his faceoffs and was used as a defensive zone specialist at five-on-five. Working against an NHL waiver claim is his size (5’11”, 191 pounds) and age (30).
  • LW Zac Rinaldo. Over a 275-game NHL career, Rinaldo has averaged eight points and 195 penalty minutes per 82 games played. This player-type is disappearing from the majors.
  • LD David Warsofsky. An undersized defenceman with a history of decent AHL scoring, Warsofsky split 22 games between Pittsburgh and New Jersey last season. He’s a competent enough fill-in player on the third line, but should clear waivers.
  • C Austin Watson. A first-round pick in the 2010 Draft, Watson made the Predators last season, playing 57 games for the club. The 6’4” forward can play any position but was mostly a winger on Paul Gaustad’s defensive zone specialty line. His scoring hasn’t developed as hoped but his WOWY’s show a player with real defensive ability to go along with his two-way reputation. He’s also a physical presence. There will be lesser players on NHL rosters come opening night.
  • RD Luke Witkowski. A physical stay-at-home type who has found his way into 20 games with Tampa Bay over the last couple of years, Witkowski is probably best-suited to a role as a minor-league veteran and occasional call-up than he is a full-time spot on an NHL roster.]
  • LD Tyler Wotherspoon. Wotherspoon, a disciplined, intelligent defensive defenceman, was always a longshot to make the Flames out of training camp. He got 11 games in the majors last season and looked like a plausible No. 6/7 option. He’s only 23 years of age and does have some ability to make a first pass, but most teams have a prospect like this on the roster bubble.
  • C Linden Vey. It’s only two years ago now that Vancouver paid a second-round pick for Vey’s rights. He had a tough 2015-16 season, as chronicled at Canucks Army, but even so he’s an interesting guy. He’s versatile, capable of playing any forward position, and had 15 points in 41 games while also seeing time on the penalty kill. As an end-of-roster piece, he really isn’t bad and his two-way contract is fairly reasonable.

Gerbe and Vey are both interesting in that they’re versatile players who can check off multiple boxes for their respective teams. Wotherspoon deserves a mention, too, given his age; in limited minutes he and Jakub Nakladal were a 51% Corsi pair a year ago and he’s certainly capable of being a seventh defenceman in the here-and-now.

Watson is the player I’d flag as most likely to be claimed, though. Big, physical, defensively-responsible forwards with first-round pedigree are always attractive, especially when they’re still under the age of 25. 

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  • ubermiguel

    I hope that local boy Fedun gets a few more NHL games in during his career. I will never forget that busted femur icing play, that was nasty. Still, he’s played a lot of pro games for an undrafted player, good on him.

  • OilersGM

    Zack Pochiro, WHO?
    Any GM in the league if you want a dollar on your cent call Chiarelli, who obviously has no clue of the currency exchange.
    Chiarelli you suck!!!

  • Joy S. Lee

    I hope the Oilers take a flyer on Austin Watson. Mind you, some guy I’ve never even heard of just joined our ECHL team in return for a former first overall pick. The guy in Calgary (Treliving) is more likely to recognize talent, so instead I’ll just give up any hope of Watson being here any time soon.

    • Captain Ron

      Yeah and Trump will be great for the Hispanics and Women if he gets elected President.

      Won’t be long before Russell is the newest whipping boy in town.

    • The Sultan

      Lol, first Hall for Larsson (not hating on Larsson, but no matter which way you slice it that was an unfair trade) and now Yakupov for basically nothing. To top it off you sign possession black-hole Kris Russell, who’s more known for blocking shots than he is at actually defending, to presumably play in the top 4. Good luck Oilers… you’re going to need it.

        • Kevin R

          Soooooo you are saying signing a bottom pairing defender to 3.1 Mill is good? If they signed him to 1.0 or 1.5 mill per, I would say that would have been a very frugal signing. You really should embrace the fact that you have GM that many Oil fans cringe when they hear trade rumours on one of your key players, kinda like we did with Feaster. He also is going to put the Oilers into Cap crisis year over year. Cap armageddon starts in 2 years when McDavid signs his 12.0 mill per $96 mill deal.

          • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

            Calgary has two bottom pairing guys that make 9 ml combined. Wideman and Engellend.

            Remember you have maybe the most expensive d in he league that has gotten you nowhere.
            Did you mean like how Calgary is in cap crap right now?

        • Me

          Better on D… well, until today, that may be, but at the expense of one of the top wingers in the league. Now pulling Russell on board? There’s an extent to how many people McD can drag behind him up and down the ice before he loses it.

          I honestly think the Oilers have gone backwards over the summer. Paid too much for too little Hall/Larsson. Lost Yak for nothing, now bringing Russell into the fold?

          I guess there’s always the NEXT high draft pick for Oiler nation to get excited about.

    • piscera.infada

      I’m generally not one to randomly hate. The truth is, Russell is a good guy, seems like a good teammate, and is fearless. He’s also not a very good NHL defenseman. He was played way over his head during his time in Calgary, he was then played even further over his head during his time in Dallas. The fact that there were rumours that the Flames wanted to bring him back scared me immensely, simply because there are better options present. As a person, Kris is a guy you root for. As an NHL hockey player though, he’s a constant source of “WTF” moments.

      He can be effective if used in the right role. I just don’t see that happening on a blueline with holes, or when he’s making $3.1 million. Maybe McLellan will use him correctly though. Remains to be seen.

    • Captain Ron

      So the highlights of his time with the Flames is 1:06 long.

      Lets see one of his gaffs it would be in the 5 minute range.

      Liked him as a person but no so much as a defencemen in the NHL.

  • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

    Yak should have fun trying not to listen to Hitchcock in St Louis. You think it’s gonna get easier for Yak if he doesn’t open his eyes and try to be a better ,more complete player.
    Flame fans keep harping about Chiarelli but all he is doing is fixing the mistakes that the former regime made.

    • freethe flames

      I don’t know if he has fixed the mistakes of the past but he has changed the culture of that team and that might be a good starting point. Yak may be able to hide a bit more in St L because of their veteran lineup. Russell will probably help the culture part of your team and should be a useful 5/6 defender there but if he is needed to play any further up the roster then he becomes a liability. Good luck to them both. As a Flames fan I am glad we did not Russell for $3.1 or acquire Yak as he does not fit our team style nor do we have the depth up front to hide him.

  • freethe flames

    I posted this one the Brouwer article but thought it could go here as well.

    Stockton Heat wins 3-2 in first exhibition game. Janko with the Hat Trick, Gilles with the win. Poirier, Kylington, and Frattin with Assists. Mangiapane/Janko/Frattin as a line. 3 stars Janko/Poirier/Gilles.

    I believe they have another exhibition game tonight.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Russell, Larsson, Klefbom, Sekara and Nurse. Oilers top three are clearly not as good as the Flames top three, but the Oilers bottom three are better than Wideman, Engelland and next man up.

    Sekara played very well at the WC and Nurse is an absolute stud, the new Chara.

    I have never been that impressed by Klefbom despite all the praise he gets from those who claim to know the game very well.

    Russell back to Calgary was never a good idea as he would have been here for just a year trying to boost his market value for next July, and with Kulak and Wortherspoon both as ready as they will ever be to crack the big club, their time is now.

    • Me

      Darnell Nurse: GP 71, G 3, A 7, -15, PIM 60.

      Chara: GP 1275, G 178 (triple the goals per game of Nurse), A 397 (again triple), +200, PIM 1720.

      The only comparable stat is penalty minutes.

      So if you mean he sits in the box like Chara, then yes, you’re right. Otherwise you’re dreaming. Nurse is fine, he’ll probably be an okay defenseman in the NHL, but I doubt he’ll ever be a real first pairing guy, he’ll certainly never be a star.

      • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

        He may never be a number 1 d man who knows but if he turns out to be nasty and mean like Jason smith was he will be loved in Edmonton. Every team would love that player.
        Don’t forget he has good skills a great shot and not many guys his size can skate like the wind.

      • BlueMoonNigel

        Consider Chara’s first two years in the NHL. In parts of 2 seasons with Isles he played 84 games and amassed 2 goals and 7 assists.

        1999-2000 was his first full season in the NHL and he played 65 games, scored 2 goals and added 9 assists. 57 PIM and a +/- of -27. He remarkably replicated these numbers in 2000-2001 except that his PIM went about by 100.

        Just on these stats alone the two seem very comparable. Obviously, Chara ratcheted up his game in the years ahead, and there is no reason to believe Nurse won’t do the same.

        • Sobueno

          There are at least a thousand reasons to believe Nurse won’t do the same – every single DMan with that same stat line that did NOT go on to become an NHL all-star. If you wanted to compare physical characteristics possibly there’s an argument there, but the stat line doesn’t help your case at all.

  • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

    Good post from another poster!

    Cowbell_Feva wrote:
    So the Oilers have much better defense, got rid of an overrated junior player that never was able to produce at an NHL level, added the prized free agent of the summer and the top college free agent, plus added size and skill with Maroon and Kassian and Puljujarvi, sprinkled in another Stanley Cup champ twice over in Versteeg, have one of the best (if not THE best) players on the planet as their top centerman in a gorgeous new rink, and there are still people on this site critical….wow.

    The old saying the proof is in the pudding. And I will puke if I read another advanced Stat trying to tell me this team is worse!

  • RKD

    Kris Russell overvalued himself, dude was looking for a long term deal with a big AAV hit. Not a chance, he played over his head 2 seasons ago when Gio went down and was brutal last season. He’s not going to make an impact on the Oilers, he’s at best a 5 or 6 d-man. Guess he didn’t want to wait for the Flames to sign Gaudreau. Rather have Nakladal back in the fold.