Glen Andresen, of Wild.com fame, is reporting on the team site that the Wild have placed Eric Nystrom on waivers. From The Lighthouse:
In somewhat of a surprise move, the Minnesota Wild has placed center Eric Nystrom on waivers. Nystrom has until Friday at 11:00 a.m. to clear, and if he does, he’ll be assigned to the Houston Aeros of the AHL.
Surprise move, all right. Andresen says that the strong showing from Brett Bulmer, the acquisition of Nick Johnson, and Matt Kassian returning soon all factored into the decision. The fact that a 19 year old, a guy with 10 career games, and an enforcer type beat out the guy with two years left at $1.4 million per year guaranteed money is certainly. somewhat surprising.
Nystrom did not have a great year last year, but certainly seemed dedicated and motivated for this season. This is an interesting move by the Wild, if they do in fact send him to Houston. This will be the first time the Wild (if I recall correctly) have sent a one-way contract to the AHL. Remember, they have to pay him the $1.4 million even in Houston.
Update: Players to play in Houston on One way deals: Darby Hendrickson, Andrei Nasarov, Jason Marshall, Jamie McLennan and Mattias Weinhandl. Thank you to Ryan Stanzel and Andrew Ferraro for the intel.
As HW's Bruce Ciskie noted on Twitter:
Per @capgeek, moving Nystrom out would give the #mnwild approx. $9M of cap room (a bit less, actually). It's not about the cap.
It is certainly a numbers game, but you would think the vet had the edge in the competition. Here's hoping Nystrom finds a taker. He deserves to be on an NHL squad.