Waiver watch: Prust, Raymond clear; Oilers’ Gazdic hits wire

Canucks GM Jim Benning joined Jeff Marek, Jim Shannon and Damien Cox to talk about the state of the Canucks, how they’re scouting, and how they plan to draft.

Two players from Canadian teams cleared waivers Wednesday as two others hit the wire.

The Edmonton Oilers forward Luke Gazdic was placed on waivers, as was Winnipeg Jets forward Matt Halischuk.

Gazdic has one goal and 22 penalty minutes in 28 contests with the Oilers this season, while Halischuk has failed to register a point in 13 games with Winnipeg.

The Vancouver CanucksBrandon Prust and Calgary FlamesMason Raymond both cleared waivers, as no team opted to take a chance on the under-performing wingers.

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 to AHL Stockton opened a spot for defenceman Jakub Nakladal, who was recalled.

A 28-year-old native of Pardubice, Czech Republic, Nakladal leads all Stockton Heat defencemen in assists (12) and has added a pair of goals in 35 games.

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