Perry, Johnson among notable NHL players to clear waivers

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Corey Perry and Tyler Johnson each cleared waivers Tuesday. 

Players placed on waivers Monday had to be claimed by another team before noon ET and are ineligible to play Wednesday, when the 2020-21 NHL season gets underway.

Perry and Michael Frolik were waived by the Montreal Canadiens on Monday. Coach Claude Julien said he hoped the forwards would remain a part of their plans for this season.

“We got those guys because they give us depth,” Julien said. “They’re good players who can help us. For sure, when you can keep them, it’s a positive for our group.”

Perry agreed to a one-year, $750,000 contract with the Canadiens on Dec. 29. The 35-year-old scored 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) in 57 games to help the Dallas Stars reach the Stanley Cup Final last season, won the Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007, and was voted winner of the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP in 2010-11, when he led the NHL with 50 goals to also win the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy.

“[Perry] is a massive presence in the room,” Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot said. “He’s been a premier player for a long time in the NHL. Being able to watch someone who’s been that good for that long, it’s great to have him in the room. I’m sure all our forwards will say the same. Watch him go through his routine. He stands in front of the net after every practice, tipping pucks, which has kind of been his bread and butter in his career.

“Along with Michael Frolik, too … a guy who’s played a long time. You see how diligent he is in the gym, his routine on the ice. Two guys who were great veterans to bring into the room, still great players on the ice for us. They’re great pickups for us.”

Johnson, a forward, and defenseman Luke Schenn were waived by the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. Johnson is a four-time 20-goal scorer who’s played 534 regular-season NHL games, all for the Lightning. Schenn is entering his second season with Tampa Bay; he played 11 games in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs after playing 25 in the regular season.

Players who cleared waivers can remain on the NHL roster, be placed on the taxi squad or sent to the American Hockey League, which is scheduled to begin its season Feb. 5.

A taxi squad will have 4-6 players to help address roster issues caused by coronavirus issues. They will travel and practice with NHL teams during the season but be treated as minor league players under the NHL salary cap ($81.5 million). Players who require waivers to be assigned to the AHL must clear to become part of the taxi squad. Those claimed can’t be immediately assigned to the taxi squad of the team that made the successful claim.

“As with every decision we make regarding the operation of our team, we made this decision with the objective of increasing our odds of success,” Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois said. “Part of the ingredients necessary for success in the NHL is team depth. In order to have team depth, you need to properly manage your cap space.”

Here are some other notable waiver transactions:

Winnipeg Jets 

Mathieu Perreault cleared after he was waived by the Jets to be cap compliant, coach Paul Maurice said Monday. The forward is projected to skate on the fourth line. 

“I had a meeting with (Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff) and Paul yesterday, and they just kind of explained it to me, what the situation was,” Perreault said. “Obviously with what’s going on in the world, the cap around the League is kind of bringing that situation around every team. Once they explained it to me, I felt comfortable with it. I’m still part of this team and I understood that part of it and I’m hoping that I’m in the lineup for Game 1 (against the Calgary Flames on Thursday).”

Perreault, who turned 33 on Jan. 5, is in the final season of a four-year, $16.5 million contract extension he signed with Winnipeg on July 7, 2016. He has scored 324 points (130 goals, 194 assists) in 627 NHL games for the Washington Capitals, Ducks and Jets. 

Carolina Hurricanes

Anton Forsberg was claimed by the Hurricanes from the Edmonton Oilers.

The 28-year-old goalie played three games for Carolina last season and is 12-25-4 with a 3.22 goals-against average and .901 save percentage in 48 NHL games (42 starts) for the Blue Jackets, Chicago Blackhawks and Hurricanes.

Nashville Predators

Luca Sbisa was claimed by the Predators from the Jets.

The 30-year-old scored 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 44 games for the Jets last season. He was third among Winnipeg defensemen in blocked shots (71) and averaged 1:57 of shorthanded ice time, fifth among Jets skaters.

“As a group, we do continue to believe that depth is going to be important in this season,” Predators coach John Hynes said. “He’s a left-shot D. He’s a very good penalty killer. He can play the off side, he can play the right side and he’s also known as a tremendous character guy and a great teammate. Adding that type of player and person into our group makes us deeper.”

NHL.com columnist Dave Stubbs, staff writer Tim Campbell and independent correspondents Corey Long and Robby Stanley contributed to this report

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