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

Updated: January 11, 2018 at 1:36 am by Jonathan Willis


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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