January 09 2017 03:33PM
Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn - USA TODAY Sports
The Carolina Hurricanes are among the league's leaders in waiver wire activity. They've claimed three players already this season, including Ty Rattie most recently. Eventually, though, something has to give. In this case, that something is Andrej Nestrasil's spot with the club.
Waivers: ANDREJ NESTRASIL— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) January 9, 2017
Now that the Canucks have a claim to their credit in 2017, one can imagine a shifting landscape where they invest more in this asset free acquisition space. Especially if reports that they had interest in Matt Nieto when the former San Jose Sharks forward hit waivers are valid.
Believe #Canucks among many teams hoping Matt Nieto might fall to them on waivers. Instead, last-place COL claimed ex-Shark.— Iain MacIntyre (@imacVanSun) January 5, 2017
With that, let's dive into Nestrasil's bona fides and see if that's an option worth exploring.
To start, I find it wholly surprising that the Hurricanes would divest themselves of Nestrasil at this intersection. If my read on the Hurricanes' website is accurate, they've enough roster space to accommodate him. At least for the time being. Eddie Lack will eventually regain health and lose injured reserve status, at which point Carolina's at the over. Until then, they seem fine.
It's doubly interesting, because a team so heavily invested in analytics as the Hurricanes are usually don't part with a player that positively impacts shot attempt share at even strength while producing at the third highest rate by points per sixty. If Nestrasil's having a poor season, it's not translating on paper.
Since joining the Hurricanes in advance of the 2014-15 season, Nestrasil's prorated production levels out to roughly 33 points per 82 game season, too. His production is adequate for a cost-controlled middle six forward through virtually any lens.
For whatever reason, though, he's fallen out of favour and found himself adrift and available to whoever deems his addition a worthwhile venture.
The Canucks should be one such team. And whether one can reasonably quibble with Nestrasil's ceiling and upside based on his being a 25-year-old fringe NHL'er much of his career, the fact remains he's a significant upgrade on much of what the Canucks ice on a night-to-night basis.
This fact should be fresh in Canucks fans minds, given Jayson Megna played 15:30 in Saturday's loss to the Calgary Flames; not terribly far behind was Michael Chaput with 9:46.
and to think some of us thought sutter with the twins was bad, now i hope to see it again pic.twitter.com/LE1Ic06zYy— Jason Botchford (@botchford) January 8, 2017
|Player||Corsi For Percentage||Expected Goals For Percentage||Points per Sixty|
Making an addition of this sort requires likely more roster juggling than the Canucks are wont to take on at this exact moment. They still have to sort out their defence, so that they can ice an entire unit in time for tomorrow's game with Nashville. Part of that involves deciding whether to paper Brendan Gaunce to the Utica Comets or placing one of Chris Tanev or Ben Hutton on IR.
If they want to bring Nestrasil into the fold -- and really, they should -- they'd have to send one of Chaput, Megna or Skille down as well. I'm not convinced there's a real appetite for such a decision on Pat Quinn Way, especially if we take the coaches assessment of those players into consideration -- and we have every reason to do just that.
Still, I fancy Nestrasil's addition as worthwhile for a club trying to chart an unlikely path to the post-season. He represents value added to a roster that could clearly use just that, especially on the peripheries of their roster.
Nestrasil has one year left on his contract, valued at $912,500. At the expiration of that contract, Nestrasil will hit restricted free agency. If it doesn't work out, the Canucks can easily cut ties. If they reach that moment in-season, they can just as easily bury Nestrasil's contract in the AHL with little salary cap recourse -- though that's an unpalatable option, to be sure.