Opening night rosters for the NHL are due to the league by 5pm tomorrow, which means today is the last day players can be placed on waivers and clear tomorrow afternoon in order to be moved off if necessary.
The Penguins however, didn’t use waivers to complete their necessary roster moves to start the season. Since neither Pierre-Olivier Joseph nor Chad Ruhwedel were waived, at least according to the official list from Chris Johnston below, Pittsburgh is still above the salary cap.
Here is today's full NHL waiver list. Too many names to type on (Canadian) Thanksgiving Sunday. pic.twitter.com/DeLBbfFlyL— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 9, 2022
In other news, defender Mark Friedman cleared waivers and can be assigned to Wilkes-Barre of the AHL. And forward Radim Zohorna passed through waivers successfully. Pittsburgh could have claimed him and sent him straight to the AHL, had they wanted — which apparently they didn’t.
With Drew O’Connor, Sam Poulin, Valtterri Puustinen, Drake Cagguila and Filip Hallander in the AHL, the Pens evidently didn’t see the benefit of taking back Zohorna and paying his one-way salary, even though it wouldn’t have counted against the cap. The Pens have several players (O’Connor, Dustin Tokarski, probably Friedman soon enough) in Wilkes-Barre who already make NHL level salaries to play in the AHL.
By tomorrow, the Pens will need to be under the upper limit of $82.5 million. Since they aren’t using waivers, this would mean that the team will have to either make a trade or assign Ty Smith (who doesn’t require waivers to go to the AHL) off their roster that gets submitted to the league tomorrow.
The announcement of the waiver list could have explained how the Pens were planning on getting under the salary cap and just how they will setup their starting lineup, but that was not the case. Pittsburgh has opted to not use the waiver wire to solve their defensive logjam and set their final lineup. Now all that awaits is the word of a trade or if Smith will be headed down to Wilkes-Barre.