Both players waived on Saturday have now been claimed on Sunday.
Granberg missed all of training camp and this season due to a torn Achilles tendon suffered during the offseason. The 2010 4th round pick was waived by the Leafs on Saturday because he is close to being ready to play and the team had hoped to send him to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL.
Granberg didn’t look to be a key piece of the rebuild, but at just 23, he has the potential to earn time in the NHL as he develops and it certainly hurts the teams defensive depth. He played seven games for the Leafs last year. At the AHL level he’s played 126 games, scoring three goals and 19 assists and was frequently a top pairing guy for the Marlies over the last two seasons.
He would seem like a player in line to get more ice time in the NHL this season, had he not been claimed, but the arrival of Scott Harrington and Frank Corrado made that situation considerably more murky. Adding to that murk is that he’s a big defensive defenseman and may have been more of a Randy Carlyle/Dave Nonis defenseman than a puck-mover that the new regime seems to be more interested in.
In the end, there wasn’t much the Maple Leafs could have done to avoid this situation this side of trading him and trading a top four AHL defenseman coming off an injury in November isn’t a deal a lot of other GMs are wasting draft picks on. The Leafs weren’t going to throw him onto the NHL roster right off the injury, even if they expected him to play more NHL time this season, which isn’t clear. The only way to get him down to the AHL was to waive him.
Though, they could have sent him on a conditioning stint, but that only lasts so long before they’d have to waive him in order to keep him in the AHL. The danger of going that route is that if he plays well in the AHL during the conditioning stint other teams will see him play and he could be more interesting as a claim off waivers than when he’s coming straight off an injury.
It seems he was plenty alluring already for the Nashville Predators, who have a pretty stacked blue line. It’s an interesting move for them, as they must plan on keeping him at the NHL level, otherwise they too would have to waive him. It’s not clear where the 6-foot-3 defender fits into a defensive group that already features Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Seth Jones and Barrett Jackman, as well as Victor Bartley and Anthony Bitteto.
That gives the team nine defensemen on the roster and likely means that they’ll need to make a move soon, sending Bartley or Bitteto back to the AHL.
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) November 22, 2015
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.