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Let’s Talk Pickard And Waivers

George McPhee made waves this morning when he placed backup goalie Calvin Pickard on waivers, allowing all 30 other teams the chance to pick him with no compensation to the Golden Knights.

The waves really started yesterday when the Golden Knights claimed in Malcolm Subban off waivers creating a surplus in the net. Subban was described as “not quite ready to play at this level” but McPhee confirmed he would remain on the NHL roster heading into the regular season.

So let’s break this all down.

Nice mask. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

First off, Pickard is now on waivers for the next 24 hours. During that time every team has the opportunity to claim him. If one claim is made, Pickard will become a member of that NHL team. If more than one claim him, he will go to the team who finished worst in the standings last season (identical to the draft order). In the event that he is claimed, the team who makes the move will be in an identical situation to which the Golden Knights were just in with Fleury, Pickard, and Subban, and they would subsequently have to waive another goalie themselves.

Or, none of the 30 teams place a claim on Pickard and he clears waivers. Officially he is then re-assigned to the Chicago Wolves. The likelihood he plays in Chicago is low as the Golden Knights have multiple goalies there already and are clearly higher on Subban than they are Pickard. Instead, if he clears a he would probably be traded. Once Pickard clears, his trade value goes up to every team in the NHL as the risk of losing him on waivers is removed. Pickard’s new team would be able to immediately assign him to their own AHL team and plenty of time to figure out what they want to do with the two goalies currently on their roster.

But let’s get to the big question, why would McPhee do this?

Well, first off, something had to be done before tomorrow’s opener as the team’s top-line center, Vadim Shipavchyov, is technically not on the NHL roster. A spot had to be open somehow, this move does just that. Shipachyov is not at practice, but he will be added once Pickard is claimed or clears.

This necessary roster spot plus the Golden Knights surplus of goalies may have been the reason a trade of Pickard was hard to come by. Opposing GM’s understand the Golden Knights situation and knew something needed to be done. Plus, they all just submitted their rosters to the NHL and 24 of them either had a game last night or tonight. So, GMs would be much more likely to complete a trade for a player who has already cleared waivers, rather than one who needs to.

On it’s face, a trade of Subban for Pickard would not have looked that crazy, and in theory that’s what happened. But because it happened 24 hours apart, the Golden Knights appear to be wasting an asset by placing Pickard on waivers. At 9AM tomorrow we will know what happened with Pickard and the waiver process, but until then, this is the best we can do to explain the situation.

Man, this team is crazy.

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12 Comments

  1. Julian

    Terrible move.Makes zero sense.Hes much better that Subban and if Fluery gets hurts your telling me Subban is the answer now.

    • Brian M

      Agree. And even post Flower, I feel Pickard has more upside. I also guess this means Flower probably isn’t a one-and-done here.

  2. Cody

    Pickard has peaked. Subban has not. Slight difference!

    • Zx6man

      Peaked? Wtf kind of accessment is that? Seriously? Peaked…thats a good one

  3. PhiSig150

    It’s beginning to look a lot like Rasmus everywhere you go….

  4. Steve

    I get why McPhee claimed Subban off waivers based on him being young and having potential. I’m guessing McPhee tried to move Pickard but other teams were set in goal or didn’t want to give up players or assets for him. Now on to the defenseman I believe he waited too long on all these defenseman and now has more roster problems to deal with. If your another GM you won’t have to offer much or anything to pluck one of these players off the Knights. Their has been a lot of questionable roster moves so far in my opinion.

    • Bill Agnew

      Steve, in the NHL you usually have to wait to make the right move. A GM will offer more if he knows a rival GM is going to get an asset from Vegas for next to nothing.

      • Steve

        I have followed hockey for over 30 years and the longer GM McPhee waits to move players the less return he will receive at this point. Think about it. Every GM knows he has way too many defenseman and he had one extra goalie before this waiver of Calvin Pickard. Other teams GM’s know this and if your them why would you offer anything of value when you know they have to clear roster space. I’m thinking the most you will get in this situation is late round picks. And that’s like giving a roster player away for nothing.

  5. Stevie

    This whole thing is fluid, boys. None of these goaltenders will be here when the Knights are good. McPhee has nothing but time right now. He can absolutely wait for nuts hands against someone willing to make a bad gamble. By the way, word is that the next THREE drafts are deep. All McPhee did in Washington was put together All-Star teams. They under-achieved and he has some blame there. But a game of chess is not lost moving the first pawn and that is all that has happened here.

  6. Bent Hermit

    I don’t think Pickard was a #1 goalie yet. He has some bad habits. But I thought he would be a good #2. Flower has always been a great mentor for young goalies and would of been able help him become a #1 in a year or 2. It’s going to be a rough year for anybody that is the goalie for Vegas. Everything I have read about Subban points to that he has lost some of his confidence since being injured. Being a #2 on this team is not going to help his career. He needs to start in the ECHL and get some of his confidence back. Then start moving up the ranks.

  7. Ron Murphy

    It’s a business….ok, got that out of the way. But it sucks when a guy puts in so much time, does the “road show” to hype the team, engages fans to design his new mask, and then dumped. Didn’t play the greatest in preseason, but he was never the starter. Accepted being the backup for year 1 at least, but now, the ice has been pulled out from under him. Good guys might finish last just being a Golden Knight this year, but it won’t be Calvin. Class act for 3 months here and deserved better, which he still might get.

  8. Greg

    Big Mistake by VGK, they judged him when they had sub-par defensemen playing in front of him and that sounds oddly familiar, right AV’s!!!
    He’s still young and very talented, the Leafs got a good one. I’ve been watching him since he was 15 and has always been very solid in net. Not sure what to think of the VGK’s staff so far after some very questionable moves…???

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