Michael Nylander on Waivers
Michael Nylander has been placed on waivers per Bob McKenzie via Twitter.
Nylander was loaned to American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins on Oct.21 after the Washington Capitals opted not to send the 37-year-old to their AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, because he'd have to be placed on waivers. The basis of the agreement was for Nylander to showcase his abilities in an attempt to garner interest from teams around the National Hockey League.
In 4 games with the Griffins, Nylander produced 1 goal and 5 powerplay assists (with 0 truculence points, however--a.k.a. PIM's). Not too shabby considering he's coming off a disappointing 33-point campaign.
The issue with Nylander is his $4,875 million dollar cap-hit. Although it's worth mentioning he's making $5.5M this season and only $3M in 2010-11. His no-movement-clause is not exactly comforting, though, considering there's a wealth of centers in the Leafs' prospect pool eager to crack the top-six for next season. That said, there's no denying that a player of Nylander's caliber, if healthy, would upgrade an inconsistent Leafs offence. Not only that, but if he were to join the Leafs, he would, in all likelihood, get paired with sniper Phil Kessel.
What's interesting is that most teams will likely wait until Nylander is placed on re-entry waivers---barring a team doesn't pick him up in a desperation move. This would mean the Leafs would only have to pay half of his salary, with the Capitals paying the other half.
With that said, should the Leafs consider acquiring Nylander? While he'd bolster the team's PP and add some depth upfront, the fact that he's signed for another two seasons is an issue, considering players like Tyler Bozak and Christian Hanson, both 23 years old, are waiting to make the jump to the big league.
What do you think? Should Brian Burke pounce on this opportunity?