Waiver Watch: Maple Leafs’ Cowen, Blackhawks’ Sekac now available

Jared Cowen may not be long for the Maple Leafs. After coming over in the Dion Phaneuf trade, the young defenceman may yet be moved again thanks to his very cap-friendly salary situation that makes him a good trade target.

A pair of interesting pre-trade-deadline waiver moves were made Friday.

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Jared Cowen and Chicago Blackhawks forward Jiri Sekac are now available for pickup until 12 p.m. ET Saturday.

Cowen, the 25-year-old acquired on Feb. 9 in part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster, fell out of favour in Ottawa. He has yet to see game action in Toronto.

Still dealing with hip issues, Cowen was removed off injured reserve Friday and promptly placed on the wire.

Cowen has registered four assists in 37 games this season and has recorded 15 goals and 46 points in 249 career games with the Senators.

Carrying a $3.1-million cap hit through 2016-17, Cowen is a potential buyout candidate this summer. His contract is unique. If a team were to buy it out, the club would receive a salary cap credit of $650,000 for 2016-17 because Cowen is under 26 years old.

This could make Cowen a tempting pickup for a cap-strapped club such as the Blackhawks.

Chicago will clear some space, however, by waiving Sekac. The 23-year-old right wing is with his third franchise in two seasons and has just one assist in six games with the ‘Hawks.

The Blackhawks, believed to be looking to add a defenceman by Monday’s trade deadline, will free up $213,844.09 in cap space if Sekac clears and drops to the AHL.

The Maple Leafs also loaned forwards Richard Clune and defenceman Viktor Loov to the AHL Marlies. Trade subject P.A. Parenteau caused a stir when he left Friday’s practice early with with the club categorized as “soreness,” but he will travel with the team to Montreal.

In other waiver news, Carolina Hurricanes forward Brad Malone cleared Friday.

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