Montreal Canadiens: Did Corey Perry Need To Go On Waivers?

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 29: Corey Perry (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 29: Corey Perry (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens winger Corey Perry is on waivers.

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin added plenty of depth to his roster in the offseason.

This was always going to lead to some difficult roster decisions at some point, and that certainly was the case when Noah Juulsen was claimed on waivers by the Florida Panthers yesterday.

The same thing could happen again today as veteran wingers Michael Frolik and Corey Perry find themselves on waivers at the moment.

More from Editorials

Both players were part of a busy offseason for the Habs. They brought in plenty of size and depth by trading for Jake Allen, Joel Edmundson, and Josh Anderson as well as signing Tyler Toffoli, Frolik and Perry. They also talked Alexander Romanov into heading to Montreal from Russia, and he looks like a fearsome defender already and is just 20 years old.

This has brought the Habs a lot more depth and for the first time in years it puts them close to the salary cap. But with that comes a few difficult decisions, like the one to put Corey Perry on waivers yesterday.

But did the Canadiens need to put Perry on waivers?

If they just put Frolik on waivers today and not Perry, they would be $41,309 over the cap. Obviously that isn’t acceptable, so they would have to do something else to save a few dollars (in NHL terms, anyway). Instead of putting Perry on waivers, the Habs could have just put a player with a two-way contract on the taxi squad to begin the season.

The players on two-way deals that do not require waivers this season are Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Nick Suzuki, Jake Evans and Alexander Romanov. Obviously they don’t want Suzuki or Kotkaniemi missing the opening night game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but could they have done without Evans for a little while? And how long would they even need to send Evans down (or put him on the taxi squad) to save the $41,309?

Well, Evans salary is $750,000 and there are 116 days in this year’s regular season. The $41,309 that the team needs to save is 5.5% of Evans salary, so he would need to off the NHL roster for 5.5% of the season to save the team enough money to get cap compliant and have Evans rejoin the big club.

5.5% of the season is just seven days. So, instead of risking losing Perry for the whole season for nothing, the Habs could have put Evans on the taxi squad for seven days and then brought him back up. He would miss the opening night game against the Maple Leafs and two games in Edmonton agains the Oilers.

For this trio of games, the Habs would need to move Paul Byron to centre on the fourth line with Artturi Lehkonen and Perry as his wingers. The only extra skater in this case would be Victor Mete.


What if the Habs did the same thing with Romanov as well as Evans? Just put them both on the taxi squad until they saved $41,309. Both young players are still allowed to travel and practice with the team, they just aren’t eligible to play any games. How long would it take to save the cap space in this case?

Evans makes $750,000 this season and Romanov’s cap hit is $894,167. Combined, they earn $1,644,167 against the salary cap this season. The required cap savings of $41,309 is just 2.5% of their earnings. 2.5% of the season is three days!

If Evans and Romanov were placed on the taxi squad for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the Habs would be cap compliant before playing their second game of the season on Saturday night against the Edmonton Oilers.

Byron would have to centre the fourth line with Lehkonen and Perry and Mete would have to play on the third pairing with Brett Kulak for one game only and then the Habs could add Evans and Romanov back to the main roster and be cap compliant for their final 55 games of the 56 game season.

Of course, this would give them minimal cap space, but they could continue to shuffle players like Romanov, Evans, Kotkaniemi and Suzuki onto the taxi squad on off days to save a few dollars here and there. They still have to have a roster of 20 players, so they could only put two of the aforementioned young players on the taxi squad at the same time.

Mixing it up so that you don’t really anger one of your best young players would save the Habs about $14,000 on the cap per off day. By the trade deadline, this would allow them the flexibility to add a player with a cap hit of about $3 million.

Next. 9 players hit waiver wire. dark

Instead, they have chosen to put Perry on waivers. Let’s hope they don’t lose Perry for the whole season because they didn’t want to lose Evans and Romanov for one game.