The Carolina Hurricanes announced at 12 p.m. ET today that they have claimed Andreas Nodl off waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers. Paul Holmgren said yesterday that placing Nodl on waivers was to "gauge interest" in him around the league.
Well, there's your interest.
The Flyers just lost a player for absolutely nothing, and it's kind of hard to understand why. Sure, Nodl hadn't been playing all that great or all that much lately, and a lot of that probably had to do with his role being overshadowed by guys like Harry Zolnierczyk, Sean Couturier and Zac Rinaldo. And sure, they do pick up $845,000 in cap space with the claim.
In the long run, Nodl wasn't really a huge piece on this team. He was last year, when he played a huge defensive role alongside Mike Richards, but things have changed this year. Peter Laviolette is spreading around tough defensive minutes, thus marginalizing the need for a guy like Nodl.
He's not the difference between a Stanley Cup and a not-Stanley Cup. But he was still a piece on the team that had value, and that's why this is so strange. It's something the Flyers tend to do quite a bit, this whole minimizing the impact of their depth thing.
Consider the way the waiver system works. The lower you are in the NHL standings, the higher chance you have of picking up a player on waivers. It's based on the percentage of possible points you have, and the lower you are, the higher you are on the list. Only the Islanders, Anaheim and Columbus have a lower points percentage than the Hurricanes, which means Nodl didn't fall very far on the list.
This is why you don't "gauge interest" in a player by placing them on waivers. He very obviously could have been had via trade -- even if just for a pick or something -- if Holmgren and Co. just did his homework on this. If it's cap space you want, get a pick for him. Something is better than nothing.
Instead, he's gone for nothing, and a little piece of the Flyers' forward depth is gone with it. It's not an Earth shattering tragedy or anything, especially because Nodl is a good dude who can play but just fell out of favor here, and hopefully he'll get a great chance in Carolina. But it's still one of those moves that makes you scratch your head.