Maybe it was the lack of cap space. Probably it was the lack of cap space.
Or it might just have been that the shelves were bare of any kind of talent that other teams saw as being helpful at some point.
Whatever the case, only one player, defenseman Ryan Stanton, changed hands when he was claimed by the Vancouver Canucks prior to today’s noon EDT waiver deadline.
So much for the fireworks.
Stanton, who was waived yesterday by the Chicago Blackhawks, is coming off a strong AHL season. He registered a career-high 22 assists and 25 points in 73 games with the Rockford IceHogs and posted a career-best plus-16 rating, but that wasn’t enough to beat Mike Kostka for a depth role with the Cup champs.
He goes to a Vancouver team where he’s equally unlikely to crack the top six, but could fit into the mix as the seventh man ahead of veteran Andrew Alberts and rookie Frankie Corrado. More likely, though, he’s headed back to the AHL with the Utica Comets.
At 22, Stanton was seen as a player who was both cheap enough, and had enough of an upside, to take a flyer on. Guys like Cory Emmerton, Adam Hall, Nick Johnson, John-Michael Liles and Philip Larsen either came with a contract that was too hefty or else they weren’t viewed as being good enough to knock an incumbent out of a roster spot.
Teams have to finalize their rosters by 5 pm today.