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Canadiens Could Use Waivers To Extend Slafkovsky’s Stay

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Montreal Canadiens

With 15 healthy forwards on the main roster, the Montreal Canadiens will need to decide what to do with Juraj Slafkovsky: send him to Laval or make room by waiving a veteran.

With the return of Joel Armia to the active roster on Saturday against the St. Louis Blues, the Canadiens now have 15 healthy forwards on their main roster. That’s simply too many forwards to carry, as the Canadiens have to contend with a 23-man roster limit.

With such a high number of forwards on their main roster, the club has been limited to just six defencemen for a few games now; the bare minimum needed to ice three defensive pairs.

And their crunch is about to get worse.

Joel Edmundson, who has been out with a back injury since training camp, is seemingly close to returning to the lineup. When he is added to the active roster, the Canadiens will have 24 players on their roster and will likely want to carry seven defencemen.

That will force Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes to make a choice: Send Juraj Slafkovsky to the Laval Rocket or waive a forward.

Sending Slafkovsky To Laval

Sending Slafkovsky to Laval would be the easy call to make, but his improvement over his last few games has been noticeable, and Martin St. Louis could feel he could be helpful to the team right now.

That being said, there have been various reports pointing to a stint in Laval being part of the plan for the youngster, and the logjam at forward could make the decision even easier for Hughes and co.

Slafkovsky has played six games so far, meaning that he has not year burned his entry-level contract, which only occurs after having played ten games in the NHL. If the Canadiens were to send him down to Laval for the season, they could theoretically slide his contract to next season in the unlikely event that he doesn’t get recalled by the Canadiens this season.

The main benefit to sending Slafkovsky to Laval would be to buy the Montreal Canadiens some time to sort out their main roster issues, likely as they get closer to the NHL Trade Deadline. Meanwhile, Slafkovsky would get top billing with the Laval Rocket, and would likely represent his country at the World Junior Championships during the holidays as well.

But what if the Canadiens aren’t done their evaluation?

Montreal Canadiens’ Plan For Juraj Slafkovsky

Waiving a Veteran, For Now

The Montreal Canadiens have a couple of high-priced veterans on one-year contracts that they could likely place on waivers without the fear of teams pouncing on them.

Evgenii Dadonov ($5M) and, to a lesser degree, Jonathan Drouin ($5.5M) could be placed on waivers to create a temporary extra roster space needed to include the returning Edmundson and continue Slafkovsky’s evaluation. The likelihood of either veteran being claimed on waivers is very low, given the lack of available cap space across the league and their high cap hits.

A player who has gone through waivers unclaimed does not have to be immediately assigned to that NHL team’s NHL affiliate. After a player has been waived, a team has ten games or 30 days to decide what to do with said player, but they can continue to practice with the team in the meantime.

This means that there shouldn’t be a fear of the veterans being assigned to the Laval Rocket, as it would be a roster formality for them. They would then be able to be recalled at will once the Canadiens have a better idea of what to do with Slafkovsky or come to terms on a trade.

Kent Hughes is working hard on solving his logjam at forward, and continued strong improvement from Juraj Slafkovsky could prompt him to bite the bullet and make a move without using waivers.

 

 

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Dave

Funny, you don’t mention Hoffman for waivers. He needs to be gone. And we will unlikely to lose him at that salary.

Best would be to trade dadnov or Hoffman with 50% retained for a 2nd round pick(more like a 3rd at least, I hope).

Darryl

They have to give a draft pick for anyone to take him. I see little chance of acquiring draft capital.

Brian Chandler

Place #27 on waivers nobody is touching that contract at US $5.5M.

habbernack

Do what they did To Carl Alzner. There’s only this season to deal with unlike Alzner who had about 5

habbernack

If HUGO did all the things you suggested they’d be back at square 1. WE have 4 rookie “D” making a little more than what Bear is making. So you would have added to the cap. Please explain you’re dissatisfaction with our rookie “D” that they should be replaced.

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