(HockeySTL) -- In a bit of a surprising move, the Blues have placed forward Chris Porter on waivers, according to multiple sources, including TSN.
Porter, 29, only recently made his return to the AHL’s Chicago Wolves after assisting the Blues for a few games. Porter was not required to clear waivers to be sent back down, because he played fewer than ten games with the Blues. Porter would also be exempt from waivers if the Blues chose to recall him.
This means that the only reason the Blues would be placing Porter on waivers would be to see if another team has interest in claiming the forward.
The Blues like Porter, but are positioned very close to the NHL’s salary cap ceiling. The team was already sitting very close to the ceiling a week ago, but have moved even closer after being forced to add a player this week.
The Blues’ were in a tough spot when they learned on Monday that defenseman Jordan Leopold would be sidelined for two months with a hand injury. The club’s lack of defensive depth forced GM Doug Armstrong to sign unrestricted free agent defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo to a one-year, $550,000 contract. After the signing, the Blues are left with just under $400,000 in cap space remaining, which leaves them with little room to maneuver if necessary and in need of more cap space.
Porter inked to a two-year contract extension this past offseason. The Blues were expecting Porter to be a member of their NHL roster this season, but decided to sign Brenden Morrow late in the preseason to round out their roster. Because of the Blues’ offseason expectations surrounding Porter, the team gave the forward a one-way contract, worth $1.35 million. With Porter playing all but two games in the AHL this season, the Blues likely see his contract as an unnecessary cost.
Porter was called up when both Magnus Paajarvi and Morrow were placed on injured reserves. With Paajarvi’s return not too far away, the Blues have enough NHL depth without Porter.
The Blues have not officially commented on the decision to place Porter on waivers and are not expected to unless Porter is claimed by a team.
Teams have 24 hours to put in a claim on Porter, so the result of the placement should be known by Saturday evening. If Porter goes unclaimed, he will remain in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves.