A lot of players were placed on waivers over the weekend, as teams continued to move pieces around in an effort to get to the NHL’s 23-man roster limit ahead of the league deadline. On Monday morning, Bob McKenzie reported that all these waived players had cleared. Except for one.
Ryan Stanton, a defenceman in the Chicago Blackhawks’ system on a two-way deal that pays $550k in the big show and $100k in the little show, did not make it through. He was claimed by the Vancouver Canucks. It is a mystery as to why.
Stanton, a left-side defenceman, went undrafted, then signed with the Chicago organization back in 2010 and has spent the past four years with their AHL affiliate, the Rockford Ice Hogs. He skated in one game for the Blackhawks last season. In other words, he’s a bubble player at best. Sure, he was named the Ice Hogs’ most improved player in 2010-11, which is promising, I guess, but it’s also incredibly odd, since he played just 4 games for them the season prior. How bad must he have been in those 4 games?
Everything about this claim is odd. The Canucks are trying to get down to the 23-man limit, and they just added a guy they can’t possibly be planning to keep. They already have seven defencemen on the roster (Hamhuis, Garrison, Edler, Bieksa, Tanev, Weber, and Alberts) and John Tortorella has said a few times that he only plans to carry seven, so having eight defencemen makes little sense. Unless they were truly unimpressed with either Alberts or Weber and think a guy with no NHL experience can do a better job, I guess.
It seems more likely that the Canucks want him to strengthen the Comets’ roster, where he’d be a valuable veteran presence, but if that’s the case, then they’re going to have to get him down there, which means putting him right back on waivers and hoping that Chicago doesn’t just claim him right back.
That’s one theory. Here’s another: Mike Gillis had a really busy weekend, as you know, acquiring centres Zac Dalpe and Jeremy Welsh late Saturday night then re-signing Jannik Hansen to a four-year contract extension early Sunday morning. It seems likely, then, that he didn’t get much sleep, and might be walking around in a bit of a haze right now. People do silly things when they’re tired.
This is probably how it happened. In a somnambulistic state, Gillis was scanning the waiver wire. He saw the name Ryan Stanton. That made him think of baseball star Giancarlo Stanton, which makes him think of actor Giancarlo Esposito, which made him think of hockey great Phil Esposito. Knowing the Canucks could use another impact centre, and too groggy to realize he was knee-deep in stream-of-consciousness dissociative word association (and that it’s not 1971), Gillis put in a claim on who he thought was Phil Esposito, then fell completely asleep, only to awaken now to the news that he actually claimed Ryan Stanton.
Makes sense to me, but I didn’t get much sleep last night either.Tags: Him?, Ryan Stanton