Several players were placed on waivers in the NHL on Sunday, including a few interesting names that could entice the Montreal Canadiens.
Craig Smith (Boston), Austin Czarnik (Detroit), and Jason Demers were made available on the waiver wire.
Danila Zhuravlyov (Colorado), and Nikita Soshnikov (NYI) found themselves on waivers as well, although they were placed on unconditional waivers with the ultimate goal of terminating their contracts.
Lukas Sedlak has cleared. His contract will be terminated.
On waivers today:
Zhuravlyov & Soshnikov are for contract termination.
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) December 18, 2022
Smith, 33, was placed on waivers following an underwhelming start of the season with the Boston Bruins. The forward has scored 192 goals and 210 assists in 806 NHL games.
He’s on the last year of a three-year contract, which always increases the odds of a waiver claim, but his contract also comes with a salary cap hit of $3.3 million, which reduces the chances he will land with a new NHL team.
Jason Demers, 34, is a right-handed defenceman with almost 700 games of experience under his belt. He’s scored 45 goals and 169 assists in his 699 NHL games.
Demers has not played in the NHL since 2020-21 when he played 41 games for the Arizona Coyotes. He spent last season playing a handful of games in the KHL for Ak Bars Kazan, where he earned one assist in five games.
He also featured on Team Canada’s Olympic squad, ending the tournament with two assists.
The Oilers signed Demers to a one-year, two-way contract following a reasonably successful trial with their AHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors, which led to nine points in 24 games.
Demers’ salary cap hit is the league minimum, $750,000.
Czarnik, 30, is a late-blooming forward, having only played 153 games in the NHL. He’s scored 17 goals and 31 assists in that time frame. In 11 games with the Red Wings this season, he has scored two goals as well as one assist.
He is signed to a two-year contract which comes with a $762,000 salary cap hit.
None of the players are particularly exciting, which is par for the course when it comes to free assets in the NHL, but they do represent the last chance for the Canadiens to put their hands on a new player before the NHL’s holiday freeze comes into play.
The roster freeze kicks in at 11:59 PM ET on Sunday and runs until the 27th of December.