The Calgary Flames have announced that goaltender Joey MacDonald has been placed on waivers on Saturday, which means that he won't be able to clear until Monday at Noon ET, but it has opened up the doors to much speculation. The coaching staff has said that they intend to call up goaltender Reto Berra from the AHL for the team's game, Sunday in Chicago. Update: the new CBA says that the waiver period for players placed on the wire on Saturday only needs 24 hours.
With the Flames dropping their last two games and going 4-6-0 in their last 10 games, they have hit the panic button a little. MacDonald has 3 wins this season, which is the majority of the team's 5 wins, good enough for 6 points and 235th in pool scoring, going into Saturday. MacDonald was a huge reason why they got off to a surprising start, but his demotion is suggesting that management believes that the Flames should be able to keep up that pace.
For a team in a rebuilding phase, they will give a prospect a chance to get some NHL minutes in Berra, but in doing so, they stand to possibly lose a veteran goalie, albeit a career back-up, to the waiver wire.
I can't see many teams going after MacDonald in a waiver claim sense, since the teams that need goaltending are struggling with their number one and since MacDonald is a career back-up with little number one experience, it seems like a bit of a long shot that he'll go.
Nevertheless, the team's patience will hurt Grant S., who also rode MacDonald to some early season success. Grant has fallen out of the money in recent weeks, but the early wins from MacDonald were a big part of him being up near the top in the early weeks. Grant now sits in 6th place, already 10 points out of the prizing positions, so he'll hope for a quick recall or a claim to a team in desperate need of a goalie that can play right now.