Feb 24, 2011, 4:55 PM EDT
During pre-trade deadline week, waiver wire moves can take on extra meaning at times. Not always, mind you, but sometimes they are a hint at a future move, evidence of the ripple effect of roster moves or just the typical sign of a player who has fallen out of favor with his franchise.
Two Southeast Division teams had players potentially go different ways on Thursday, as the Florida Panthers put winger Steve Bernier on waivers while the Tampa Bay Lightning called goalie Mike Smith back up on re-entry waivers.
Bernier connected to Keith Ballard trade: It’s hard to ignore the fact that the Panthers waived the two roster players Florida received in the Ballard trade: (current Calder Trophy dark horse) Michael Grabner and Bernier. Then again, as George Richards writes, many look at the move as a “salary dump.” By that logic, the Panthers still got what they really wanted: money and the 25th pick, which ended up being Quinton Howden.
Smith on re-entry waivers: While Bernier will be associated with the Ballard trade, Smith’s fate with the Lightning can be traced to two trades now. First, there’s that epic Brad Richards trade that brought Smith to Tampa Bay (speaking of salary dumps). Now there’s the Lightning moving Dan Ellis to Anaheim in exchange for Curtis McElhinney. We’ll see if anyone wants to take on half of what’s left of his $2.4 million salary to give Smith a shot, but my guess is that he’ll serve as a backup for Dwayne Roloson while McElhinney goes to the minors.
Anyway, those are today’s two notable waiver wire moves. We’ll keep you abreast as the league transactions heat up as Monday’s deadline approaches.
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal 43
- Subban not eager to discuss contract talks 33
- Leafs re-sign Reimer — two years, $4.6 million 21
- Gorges still can’t explain falling out of favor in Montreal 13
- Eller, Habs agree to four-year, $14 million contract 10
- Cory Sarich hospitalized following cycling accident, expects ‘full recovery’ 7
- Stamkos shrugs off talk of LeBron-like homecoming to Toronto in 2016 31
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain 45
- Rangers and Kreider avoid arbitration, agree on two-year deal 39
- Zuccarello takes Rangers’ one year, $3.5M deal 42
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 (69)
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation (61)
- Report: O’Reilly wants $6.7M deal, Avs counter at $5.5M (58)
- Return that toaster: Ovechkin-Kirilenko engagement broken off (54)
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain (45)