CRANBERRY, Pa. -- Teams around the league are beginning to put players on waivers for the purpose of assigning them to the AHL, and goaltenders are easily passing through so far.
This could be an indication that Tristan Jarry would also be able to clear waivers.
Leafs goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo passed through waivers this week. He's never played in the NHL before, so that one isn't much of a surprise.
The Golden Knights had two goaltenders pass through waivers -- Garret Sparks and Oskar Dansk. If a goaltender was going to get claimed off of waivers at this time of year, it would have been one of these two. Sparks is 26 and has 37 games of NHL experience, 20 of which came last year with the Maple Leafs, where he posted a 3.15 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage. He carries a cap hit of $750,000.
Dansk is 25 and has four games of NHL experience with the Golden Knights, where he posted a 1.78 goals-against average and .946 save percentage in 2017-18. He spent all of last season in the AHL, where he put up a 2.46 goals-against average and .913 save percentage in 40 games. His NHL cap hit is lower, at $675,000.
The Flyers passed Alex Lyon through waivers. He's 26 and has 13 games of NHL experience. He spent most of last season in the AHL, where he recorded a 2.74 goals-against average and .916 save percentage. His cap hit is $750,000.
On Sunday, the Predators also put Troy Grosenick on waivers, a 30-year old goaltender who played two NHL games for the Sharks in 2014-15. The Panthers waived Philippe Desrosiers, a 24-year old who has split his professional career thus far between the AHL and ECHL. The Sabres waived Andrew Hammond, a 31-year old with 56 games of NHL experience. His last NHL stint was for one game with the Avalanche in 2017-18. The Lightning waived Scott Wedgewood, a 27-year old with 24 games of NHL experience, including 20 games with the Coyotes in 2017-18. The Canucks waived Zane McIntyre, a 27-year-old who played eight games with the Bruins in 2016-17. The Flyers waived Jean-Francois Berube, a 28-year old who has 34 games of NHL experience, most recently 13 games with the Blackhawks in 2017-18.
We'll know if these players cleared on Monday at noon.
Some believe that Jarry's $675,000 cap hit would make him an attractive option for teams looking to shed salary in goaltending if he is placed on waivers. That just doesn't seem to be the case. If it were, one of the two goaltenders the Golden Knights passed through waivers likely would have been claimed. If all of the goaltenders in Sunday's group, some of which have NHL backup experience, can clear, then that would be further evidence that Jarry would be able to pass through waivers with no problem.
Even if Jarry does pass through waivers, I still believe that a trade is possible. Once Jarry clears, that could potentially increase his trade value, since the acquiring team would be able to assign him straight to their AHL affiliate without further waivers. That could make him an attractive option for teams without a third goaltender, or a team with a backup they aren't quite confident in yet.
If that's the case, I believe Dustin Tokarski, currently signed to an AHL deal with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, would be given an NHL contract and become the Penguins' new No. 3. From my conversation with him during camp (more on that soon), it sounds like he's under the impression that an NHL deal is a real possibility for him here, given that he turned down NHL contracts from other teams in order to sign with Wilkes-Barre.
Why wouldn't they just keep Jarry in Wilkes-Barre? I don't think there is a need, or even a space for him. Tokarski is more than capable of taking on a large role in the AHL, as he showed in last season's championship-winning performance with the Charlotte Checkers. He didn't sign here to be an AHL third goalie. Similarly, Emil Larmi didn't leave Finland after his own championship-winning performance to ride the bench or sit in the stands of an AHL arena, either. He needs to be playing. Tokarski and Larmi sharing the net in Wilkes-Barre would be the best case scenario.
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