There was undoubtedly a lot of excitement about the bonus round in the Waiver Draft this year and rightly so... there were quite a few injured players in the pool coming into this week and through the week as well. There were a number of pool teams cursing the fact that some guys were taking their sweet time in the compulsory rounds of the Waiver Draft, fearing that there wasn't enough time to get the bonus round done or that their anxiousness of hoping that a certain player would be left behind, would still be there and the waiting was killing them!
So, once Dale B. got his pick in yesterday morning, the blog post review was done, the flood gates were opened via text and e-mail and the first picks came rushing out.
One of those teams pounding at the door for the bonus round was Dale C., as he was absolutely dying to pick up Patrik Berglund of the Blues, who had just recently come back from an off-season shoulder injury and has immediately made an impact, scoring 2 goals in his first three games of the season. Dale had just recently lost Evgenii Dadonov to a 6-week injury last week, so the move was necessary to stay competitive in the second segment of the season.
Ryan wasn't very far behind in the bonus round, getting excited about his hometown team's emerging forward in Mark Jankowski, who got a late start to his season, lighting up the AHL before getting a full-time call-up a few weeks ago. Jankowski has been decent in his start, picking up 7 points in his first 18 games this year, so he'll be looked upon to do more. Ryan parted ways with Washington Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky, who has been on the IR since the end of October with a broken thumb and some reports are suggesting that he won't be ready until Christmas, so this could be a good move.
Cam has been sitting on Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter for far too long, not that it was his fault, but with Carter not having played since the middle of October with an ankle injury, a move needed to be done, especially with the expectation that he would be out until February now. Recently dropped forward, Paul Byron, who was highlighted in yesterday's post, scored a hat-trick on Saturday night and became a prime target for Cam's team, so he was snapped up right away.
Neil got in on the act nice and early as well on Sunday morning, making a full Dallas Stars swap, knocking out injured forward Martin Hanzal, who has had a very tumultuous start to the regular season with injuries, filling in his spot with Mattias Janmark, who was flying under a lot of radars out there, thanks to a long-term injury last season, which forced him to miss the entire 2017 season. Janmark has 13 points in 26 games already this year, which should make him into a good fit on Neil's team, especially since he is getting some quality minutes in the team's top six.
The duo of Brenda & Seward were fairly busy getting rid of some duds in this early part of the season and they were able to find one more in the bonus round, dropping Edmonton defenseman Adam Larsson and they picked up the recently dropped Jeff Petry from the Canadiens. Larsson hasn't been nearly as effective as his counterpart in the trade that went over to New Jersey before last season and the fact that he was injured was a blessing in disguise for the duo, as they were able to find someone who was doing a bit better and has been healthy to start the year. One team's drop is another team's treasure.
An executive decision was made, given some circumstances, which allowed Steve to move Calvin Pickard off of his roster and allow him to pick up Aaron Dell of the Sharks. Pickard isn't injured, rather he was sent to the minors after being dealt away from the Vegas Golden Knights before the season had started, shocking just about everyone. The move was allowed only after the six teams that have injured goalies passed on the bonus round, which they did, and because Steve is still rather new to the pool. The move won't have any effect on the mini-games and Dell, being a backup in San Jose at the time of the move, likely won't affect the overall standings too greatly. If Pickard is to find his way back to the NHL in a large capacity this season, he will be available in the next Waiver Draft to anyone who needs to swap a goalie.
As much as this pool is about winning some money at the end of the year, it also is about having a little bit of fun throughout the NHL season and if these pools aren't fun for everyone, everyone isn't going to come back.