Canucks’ Prust, Flames’ Raymond placed on waivers

Vancouver Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins comments on the concerns of losing but picking up points and why Brandon Prust was in the lineup.

Two struggling Western Canadian teams placed a veteran forward on waivers Tuesday.

The Vancouver CanucksBrandon Prust and Calgary FlamesMason Raymond both hit the wire and are able to be claimed by an opposing club until 12 p.m. ET Wednesday.

The 31-year-old Prust has had difficulty finding a niche with the Canucks since being traded from Montreal in exchange for Zack Kassian in July. (Vancouver also nabbed a fifth-round pick in the deal.)

“We acquired him for Zack, who had issues, and when we acquired Prust it was with good intentions, but the league changes,” Canucks GM Jim Benning told The Province. “For the record, he never asked to be traded.”

Benning said that he and Prust’s agent, Claude Lemieux, decided to start searching for a trade partner heading into the all-star break, but there were no takers.

Through 35 games this season, Prust has one goal, six assists and 59 penalty minutes. The tough guy’s contract, which expires this summer, carries a $2-million salary cap hit.

After a resurgent 2013-14 season in Toronto, Raymond has been unable to replicate that production in Calgary, where he signed as a free agent in the summer of 2014. The Alberta native has just four goals and one assist in 29 games with the Flames this season. He is under contract through 2016-17 at a cap hit of $3.15 million.

Raymond’s demotion could open a roster spot for winger Michael Ferland.

In other waiver wire news, Pittsburgh Penguins winger Tom Sestito cleared waivers Tuesday.