As we hit the middle of the week, some waiver wire news regarding the Calgary Flames. Forward Derek Ryan, waived on Tuesday, cleared waivers on Wednesday.. Forward Dominik Simon was placed on waivers on Wednesday morning. Glenn Gawdin was also assigned to the AHL’s Stockton Heat on Tuesday.
Ryan, 34, is currently on the long-term injury reserve but seems likely to be activated this week. Since he cleared waivers, he can be freely moved between the active roster and the taxi squad (or AHL) until he’s (a) played 10 NHL games or (b) spent 30 days on the roster. He previously cleared waivers on Jan. 12 and the team basically spent the first two weeks of the season playing him in every game, then stashing him on the taxi squad to save cap space. $1.075 million of his $3.125 million cap hit can be buried on the taxi squad, which saves the team $9,267 of cap space for every day he’s on the taxi squad. He’s on a one-way deal, so he gets paid his NHL salary either way, but stashing cap space could allow the Flames to add at the trade deadline.
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Simon, 26, is on a one-way deal that pays him the NHL’s league minimum of $700,000 (and so his entire cap hit can be buried on the taxi squad while he gets paid his full NHL salary). He’s likely on the waiver wire for a similar reason as Ryan: cap and roster flexibility. Simon has zero points in nine games with the Flames this season, and has been a healthy scratch for their other 14 outings. He requires waivers to be moved to the taxi squad and considering how often he’s been a spectator, it makes some sense to not use up NHL cap space for games he’s not taking part in. His low cap hit may make him appealing to some teams looking for cheap depth, but he hasn’t been particularly great for the Flames this season.
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Gawdin, 23, is headed back to the AHL after playing his first five NHL games. He played on the fourth line in games that the Flames weren’t amazing in, but much like the club has done with Rasmus Andersson, Andrew Mangiapane and Dillon Dube, he got a chance to dip his toe in the NHL waters a bit and learn from the experience. With Connor Zary returning to junior in the very near future, Gawdin can step right into a top nine slot with Stockton and apply the lessons he learned in the NHL. With Ryan on an expiring contract, a centre slot is potentially opening up in Calgary for 2021-22 and Gawdin seems to be a prime internal candidate (along with Adam Ruzicka) for that role.