Ah, trade deadline day. Prices rise, players seem suddenly hard to get. Cory Conacher was in that position one season ago, when the Tampa Bay Lightning sent him to the Ottawa Senators in return for Ben Bishop. Now, on a day filled with skyrocketing prices, the Senators offered a gift to the rest of the NHL, putting Conacher on waivers.
Conacher has suffered from a sophomore slump, recording four goals and 16 assists in 59 games with the Senators, just a year after a rookie season that saw him put up 29 points in 47 games with two teams. The Senators believed that Conacher didn’t possess the physical presence needed for a third-line role, and his production wasn’t worthy of a top-six position. The Sens also waived Joe Corvo on Tuesday.
The Jets could acquire Conacher for a third-line role on their club, which has been more consistent than that of the Senators. Adding him to the roster would allow the Jets to part with Devin Setoguchi, who has been rumored to be returning to the San Jose Sharks.
As per waiver rules, the Jets would have the 10th crack at picking up Conacher, as they are placed 19th league-wide (Senators are 21st). Notables that would pick up Conacher before the Jets are the Nashville Predators, Edmonton Oilers, and Buffalo Sabres, who could all do with a youthful, depth centre.
Conacher was undrafted, and thus at age 24, is still under an entry-level contract. He will become a RFA this season, meaning the Jets have more flexibility in the off-season, and have Conacher slightly protected and if they want to offer him a future contract.
If Conacher makes his way down the waiver wire to the Jets’ position, which is unlikely, it should be a slam-dunk for Jets GM Kevin Chevaldayoff. Chevy has a history of waiver-wire pickups, and Conacher’s youth and contract can work well for a playoff push in 2014, and still be a part of a build for the future.
Although he will likely be picked up before the Jets have the chance, Conacher’s availability will make the waiver wire yet another thing to keep your eyes on tomorrow during deadline day.
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