Of course, it would be a normal day in the National Hockey League if there weren't any waiver news to report. On Wednesday, two forwards hit the waiver wire and we have it all here to report and break it down to you.
The New York Rangers have placed veteran left winger Matt Beleskey on waivers today.
It has been quite a sad tale for the veteran forward. It all started when the Boston Bruins traded Milan Lucic back in 2015 and headed up signing Beleskey to a lucrative a five-year, $19 million contract to fill the void left by Lucic's move on the top-six forward group. At the time, the deal was considered to be one of the best from that summer as Beleskey had just come off a career year with the Anaheim Ducks that saw him play top minutes with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. That year, he scored a career-high 22 goals, while registering 32 points.
While Belesky met expectations in his first season in Boston, setting a new career-best in points with 37, it would never happen again after that. Coming into his second season with Boston, his offensive decline began. To make matters worse for him, he sustained a major injury on his right knee, and other youngsters broke into the lineup. It all led to Beleskey becoming expendable.
After being sent down the Bruins' farm club in Providence in December, and once February came around the corner, Beleskey was traded. He was part of the package sent to the New York Rangers in return for veteran top forward Rick Nash.
Before the start of the 2018-19 season, the poor guy got injured in the preseason calendar and was expected to miss two to four weeks due to a separated shoulder. Beleskey saw action in just 15 NHL games last season split between Boston and New York, instead spending the bulk of the year in the minors. Once again, youngsters such as Filip Chytil and Brett Howden stepped in for Beleskey, who is once again labeled expendable.
This past Monday, the status of Beleskey was updated to day to day. Maybe people expected him to return for Thursday night's action, however now, he is more likely to be heading back in the minor, if he clears waivers before tomorrow at noon. If Beleskey clears, and is assigned to the minors, he'll continue to count against the Rangers cap at a reduced cap hit of $875K. Bruins retained 50% of his salary in the trade that brought him to New York last season.
The Arizona Coyotes also placed one winger on waivers on Wednesday. The Western team has placed right winger Mario Kempe on the waiver wire.
Kempe was selected in the fifth round, 122nd overall, by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2007 NHL Entry draft. He took part in four games this season with the Coyotes as many forwards have been sidelined with injuries in the desert. In four contests, he however failed to record a goal or an assist.
The brother of Los Angeles Kings forward Adrian Kempe signed a one-year, two-way contract extension this past May in Arizona. Last season, he had two goals and four points in 18 games with the Coyotes. He also had 18 goals and 37 points in 47 games with the AHL’s Tuscon Roadrunners, where he will head back if he goes unclaimed.