A couple of surprising names hit waivers on Tuesday. The St. Louis Blues have waived veteran winger Scott Gomez and the Philadelphia Flyers waived 26-year-old center Sam Gagner, according to multiple sources.
Gagner getting waived may be a cap issue as much as it’s performance related. He may have run out of chances with the team about to get Mark Streit back and definitely not wanting to send Shayne Gostisbehere back to the AHL.
Gagner, who wasn’t bought out over the summer and was given a second chance instead, has failed to produce for Philadelphia. His $3.2 million cap hit is a high price to pay for a guy who has two goals and give points on the season.
He’s been out of the lineup since he was slew-footed on November 23, giving him a concussion. Though he did tell reporters early in December that he was ready to return to the lineup. That concussion, the cap hit and his lack of production (even if it was largely a lack of production in a time frame where there wasn’t much production in Philadelphia, period) almost ensure that he won’t be claimed.
Gomez has been a great story over the last couple seasons. He took a PTO with the New Jersey Devils last season and wound up producing very well for them, putting up seven goals and 34 points in 58 games.
This season, he took a PTO with St. Louis and managed to turn that into another one-year contract. He’s produced one goal and eight points in 21 games for the Blues.
His production hasn’t been great, but at $575,000 he’s very affordable. But the team finally getting healthy — Patrik Berglund being cleared for contact and Kyle Brodziak is ready to return — has likely made Gomez expendable in their eyes. His ice time has dropped below 10 minutes and he’s found himself a healthy scratch on multiple occasions.
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One last name on waivers today is St. Louis’s Justin Hodgman, who is on unconditional waivers. No report on what the situation is there, but unconditional waivers is usually the step before a mutually agreed upon contract termination.
The only name on waivers yesterday, defenseman David Rundblad, has cleared and is expected to be assigned to the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL.