The Arizona Coyotes have placed both Klas Dahlbeck and Zbynek Michalek on waivers, according to a report by Arizona Sports’ Craig Morgan. Today was the last day NHL teams could place players on waivers ahead of the deadline to finalize their 23 man rosters.
The waiver moves today (Dahlbeck & Michalek) were made to create roster flexibility.— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) October 10, 2016
While placing a player on waivers gives the team the ability to assign the player to the AHL should they clear, the team is not obligated to. After a player clears waivers, he may be assigned to the AHL at any point within 30 days or 10 NHL games, whichever comes first.
Let’s take a look at the Coyotes’ defensive corps as it stands today.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Connor Murphy
Alex Goligoski - Luke Schenn
Jakob Chychrun - Zbynek Michalek
Klas Dahlbeck - Jamie McBain
Injured/Suspended: Kevin Connauton, Michael Stone, Jarred Tinordi
Even assuming Arizona opts to carry eight defensemen to start this season, the Coyotes have as many as eleven possible options on the blue-line. Placing Michalek and Dahlbeck on waivers gives the Coyotes the option to re-assign them once Stone, Tinordi, and Connauton are cleared to play.
It is also good news for Jakob Chychrun’s NHL chances. Arizona’s coaching staff has been bullish about Chychrun since rookie camp opened in early September. Today’s move makes it extremely likely that Chychrun will be on the Coyotes to start the season.
Chychrun can play up to nine NHL games before using up a year of his entry-level contract, which would be after Arizona’s November 1st game against the San Jose Sharks.
Michalek will likely clear waivers without difficulty, but Dahlbeck will be a closer case. He has only scored twice in 90 games with the Coyotes, and so is deployed in a shutdown role. But Dahlbeck is only 25, and there are plenty of teams that could be interested in a relatively young, cost-controlled third pairing defenseman.
Teams have 24 hours to claim players on waivers, which means we will have more certainty on Michalek and Dahlbeck by tomorrow afternoon.