As I had expected, the San Jose Sharks placed defenceman Kyle McLaren on waivers on Tuesday. The move put them beneath the NHL’s salary cap of $56.7 million, shaving $2.5 million from the Sharks team compensation total.
“Kyle has been a big part of our team over the last several years, but we are blessed with eight NHL defencemen on our roster and these are tough decisions that have to be made," said Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson, apparently unaware that only he thinks Alexei Semenov is an NHL defenceman. If someone does pick McLaren up, his salary is no longer the Sharks' concern.
Wednesday he cleared waivers, and the team has assigned him to Worcester of the AHL. He will still receive his full salary, but it will not count against the Sharks salary cap figure.
This situation is good for the Sharks, who obviously are not concerned with a budget this year despite claiming to have never turned a profit. It is always beneficial to have another experienced blueliner in case of injuries, at which point room can be made under the cap by putting someone on long-term injured reserve.
But Wilson made it clear Tuesday that is not his preference: “Kyle is an NHL defenceman,” he said. “He deserves to play in this league and we want to do the right thing for him and for us.” Thus, a trade is still a possibility.
In addition to the McLaren move, San Jose reassigned defenceman Mike Moore and forwards Mick Morris, Brad Staubitz, and Riley Armstrong to Worcester of the AHL.
Because Torrey Mitchell is on the injured reserve list, the Sharks have now met the league's 23-man roster limit, even if Jeff Friesen is given a contract. I would expect an announcement on a contract with him soon.
C: Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Marcel Goc, Jeremy Roenick
W: Ryan Clowe, Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo, Mike Grier, Lukas Kaspar, Devin Setoguchi, Jody Shelley, Tomas Plihal, and possibly Jeff Friesen
D: Rob Blake, Dan Boyle, Marc-Eduoard Vlasic, Brad Lukowich, Douglas Murray, Christian Ehrhoff, Alexei Semenov
G: Evgeni Nabokov, Brian Boucher
Much of this information was taken from the San Jose Sharks website: sjsharks.com