In advance of Tuesday’s roster deadline, the Calgary Flames have placed defenseman Oliver Kylington and forwards Derek Ryan and Zac Rinaldo on waivers.
#Flames on waivers this morning:
All five players on waivers yesterday have cleared.
— Hailey Salvian (@hailey_salvian) January 11, 2021
Alright, let’s dive into this.
Kylington, 23, was the Flames’ second round pick (60th overall) in 2015. He’s waiver eligible for the first time this season, but he’s not going to be in the Flames starting six defensemen. Waiving him now seems like a precursor to putting him on the taxi squad, or at the very least allowing the Flames to shuttle him back and forth to the taxi squad for cap savings purposes on off days. (His full contract can be buried.)
Ryan, 34, is destined to be a complimentary piece for the Flames with Sam Bennett and Elias Lindholm lining up as centres in camp thus far. By waiving him, the Flames would gain the ability to send him to the taxi squad for off days. He has a $3.125 million cap hit, but $1.075 million ($9,267 per day) could be tucked away on the taxi squad and for a team with $223,000 in projected cap space, that’s huge.
For context, if he clears Ryan would be waiver exempt for 30 days on the NHL roster OR if he plays 10 games, whichever comes first. Even if he plays in the team’s first 10 games, spending the off days on the taxi squad would accumulate $130,000 in cap space for the Flames. That’s an incredible amount of flexibility created by waiving a player that most NHL clubs don’t have the cap or roster flexibility to claim.
Rinaldo, 30, is a tweener body on a two-way contract who always seemed destined to be a bubble player for the Flames. His entire contract can be buried, and he’ll probably be a full-time taxi squad member.
Long story short? All these moves are about cap space and creating flexibility. Without these moves, only Dillon Dube and Juuso Valimaki could be moved freely to and from the taxi squad without waivers. Waiving these three bodies, along with the players the team waived on Sunday, creates much more flexibility for the club moving forward.