Teams in the National Hockey League have been taking risks on the waiver wire all season long and although we had a very quiet weekend when it comes to those waivers, things have returned to normal on Monday morning.
Two players will be hitting the waiver wire today with both the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Dallas Stars taking something of a risk with their decisions to waive Justin Dowling (Dallas) and Colton Sceviour (Pittsburgh). Now these players are not the kind of superstar names that you would expect to see teams clamoring to claim on waivers, but it is for this reason that I suspect they may be vulnerable.
Teams in the NHL have already largely demonstrated that they aren't willing to target a player with a big contract on waivers, primarily due to the cap constraints imposed as a result of the pandemic, but they have also shown a willingness to acquire depth on the waiver wire when it becomes available. Every team this season is carrying a taxi squad and as a result having serviceable depth on your roster is more important than it ever has been in the past, a role that both these players can fill.
In the case of Dowling, a 30 year old centerman out of Calgary Alberta, it's been a relatively active season for him in the NHL this time around with 11 appearances for the Stars in which he has collected 1 goal and 3 assists for 4 points on the season. He also has 4 penalty minutes to his name and currently sits with a plus minus rating of -2 over those 11 games. What will truly make him an attractive option to teams looking to add depth however is the fact that he currently earns the league minimum of $750,000.
Sceviour on the other hand earns considerably more with a cap hit of $1.2 million on a 3 year deal, but with him in the final year of his deal he remains a viable option. There have already been rumblings suggesting that the Penguins may have been looking to shop Sceviour, this after being relatively unhappy with his performance since acquiring him, and this would appear to solidify those rumors. The 31 year old centerman out of Red Deer, Alberta has made 16 appearances for the Penguins this season and has just 2 goals and no assists. On top of that he currently sits on a plus minus rating of -5 over those 16 games.
Don't be surprised if one of these guys is on a new team come tomorrow.