As it becomes a bigger and bigger story that every Canadian team is outside the playoff picture, those teams continue to look for answers. For the Vancouver Canucks that involves placing Brandon Prust on waivers and for the Calgary Flames, Mason Raymond hits waivers.
The Canucks have been disappointed in Prust’s performance since coming over in a trade from the Montreal Canadiens in the summer. He was scratched in the team’s last three games before the All-Star break and has managed to produce just a goal and seven points in 35 games.
For the 30-year-old Raymond, it’s been a precipitous fall since his 19-goal, 45-point campaign with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2013-14 season. This season he’s posted just four goals and an assist in 29 games.
Raymond has regularly been scratched and when he has been in the lineup, his ice time has been dropping consistently. He’s averaging a career-low of 12:20 on ice and had his time drop below 10 minutes two games back.
Whether or not either may be claimed and get a fresh lease on the season remains to be seen. Prust has a very particular skill set that some teams value. Inside that skill set, it’s easy to swap out one under-performing enforcer for another in hopes that he’ll provide a little something extra on the team’s fourth line.
The risk isn’t too high for a team acquiring Prust as his $2.5 million contract is up at the end of the season.
For Raymond, there’s the chance that a GM sees a reclamation project. The Flames are building for the future and giving Raymond a chance to rediscover his scoring touch isn’t a top priority with lots of young talent coming up through the system and Raymond unlikely to be around when the project is really paying off.
However, he’s still more likely to become a buried salary than a reclamation project. Taking on a struggling winger who has another year on his contract at a $3.15 million AAV is a lot more risk than most GMs are likely to be in on.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.