The waiver wire has been relatively quiet over the weekend but on Sunday the Maple Leafs changed that a little when they were the only team to risk a player on waivers.
According to National Hockey League insider Pierre LeBrun, The Toronto Maple Leafs have placed veteran forward Travis Boyd on waivers in a move that I suspect could come back to haunt them. Now I don't want to be too critical of general manager Kyle Dubas here as I suspect that the decision was motivated purely by salary cap demands, however I would not be surprised to see Boyd claimed by a rival organization.
Boyd has made 20 appearances for the Leafs this season and although he is clearly a bottom 6 forward he has played well. During those 20 appearances he has collected 3 goals and 5 assists for a combined 8 points, just 2 penalty minutes, and currently boasts a plus minus rating of 1 on the season.
Boyd has quickly endeared himself to the Maple Leafs faithful as well by being a useful contributor on the 4th line as the team battled injuries, however he has found himself scratched and on the sidelines as of late and that has no doubt also played a role in today's move.
NHL insider Chris Johnston believes that the move was entirely designed to help the Leafs accrue additional cap space ahead of the NHL's trade deadline which is now just a few short weeks away.
The problem here for the Leafs is that other teams have also seen what a solid roleplayer Boyd can be in a bottom 6 type of situation and I now suspect that there is a good chance he will be claimed on waivers. Making this even more likely is the fact that Boyd is currently playing on a 1 year deal that comes with a cap hit of just $700,000, making his contract both ideal and extremely manageable for just about every team in the league.
Although we won't know for sure until noon tomorrow, I think fans should prepare themselves for the eventuality that he may be picked up. On the bright side here this move would appear to be designed to facilitate a trade come the deadline, so even if he is claimed this could be a positive in the long term for the Maple Leafs.