NHL roster roundup: Draisaitl sent down; Sharks name captain

Leon Draisaitl's demotion surprised some, but for Peter Chiarelli and the Edmonton Oilers, it wasn't about his play, it was about the team's 'big picture' for the player.

Watch the waiver wire Tuesday, NHL fans.

With final 23-man rosters due — and due under the salary cap — Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET, Monday represents every club’s final chance to place a player on waivers for the purpose of clearing him off the books.

According to General Fanager, six teams — the Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks — were still over the ceiling as of Monday morning.

Here, in brief, is a rundown of the notable moves made Monday as teams adjust their rosters ahead of Wednesday’s opening night.

The San Jose Sharks named Joe Pavelski their new captain. Joe Thornton and Logan Couture will serve as alternates. San Jose had gone without a captain for the duration of 2014-15 and failed to make the playoffs. (In September, Pavelski explained why he wanted the role.)

The Edmonton Oilers sent much-discussed prospect Leon Draisaitl down to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. The big German played in 37 NHL games last season, scoring twice and adding seven assists. He also put up an impressive 53 points (19 goals, 34 assists) in 32 games with the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets.

Third-string goalie Ben Scrivens and defenceman Nikita Nikitin, who were placed on waivers Sunday, cleared Monday and will also head to the AHL. Nikitin has one year left at a salary cap hit of $4.5 million, while Scrivens has one year remaining at $2.3 million.

Both Jordan Eberle and Dillon Simpson are currently injured and not on the Oilers’ active roster, which is now final.

Scottie Upshall secures another shot. The forward, an unrestricted free agent, signed a one-year, two-way contract with the St. Louis Blues, winning the job through tryout. Upshall’s new contract pays him a modest $700,000 at the NHL level and $200,000 in the AHL, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.

The Calgary Flames placed forward Mason Raymond and Paul Byron on waivers, and the Boston Bruins waived veteran Max Talbot.

Dustin Tokarski has been placed on waivers by the Montreal Canadiens. The backup goaltender ($562,500 cap hit) played 17 games for the Habs last season, posting a 6-6-4 record with a .910 save percentage. Mike Condon, 25, out-played Tokarski and won the job of supporting Carey Price, for now.

Montreal also waived defenceman Mark Barberio, formerly of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Lawson Crouse, the top winger to go in the 2015 draft, has been returned to Kingston Frontenacs by the Florida Panthers. This could open the door for veteran Martin Havlat, who joined the club on a PTO.

Andrew Ference lives. Despite much speculation that the Edmonton Oilers captain might not make the cut this season, Sportsnet’s John Shannon reports that the aging defenceman will be on the opening-night roster.

Andrew MacDonald placed on waivers: Still owed $25.75 million by the Philadelphia Flyers over the next five years, the once-coveted defenceman (and analytics whipping boy) appears bound for the American Hockey League. A minus-5 in 2014-15, MacDonald has contributed 16 points in 77 total games with Philly.

Curtis Glencross was released by his second PTO Monday. The veteran forward, cut by the Maple Leafs earlier this month, failed to hang on to a job in Colorado as well.

The Vancouver Canucks placed forward Linden Vey and defenceman Frank Corrado on waivers as they make space for young players like Jake Virtanen, Jared McCann and Ben Hutton, all of whom looked good in camp. the plan is to send Vey, Corrado and Alex Biega to AHL Utica.

Toronto Maple Leafs veteran defenceman Stephane Robidas, 38, was not at practice. After failing to impress at training camp, Robidas looks to have failed to make the Maple Leafs roster. He is still due $5 million over the next two years. For now he’ll be placed on injured reserve, but Robidas’ future (waivers? retirement? LTI?) is now in doubt.

Worth noting: The Detroit Red Wings have decided to keep 19-year-old prospect Dylan Larkin on the opening-night roster.

“We just felt, I specifically really felt, he makes us better,” coach Jeff Blashill told the Detroit Free Press. “And to an exponential amount that we felt it was important he started on the team. We just felt he has earned the spot.”

Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel will have company. While Arizona’s Dylan Strome and Toronto’s Mitch Marner were returned to their junior clubs, another member of the 2015 draft class is making the immediate jump to the bigs. Fifth-overall pick Noah Hanifin will start the season the Carolina Hurricanes blue line.

The Washington Capitals released veteran centre Derek Roy from his professional tryout. Roy, 32, has 524 points in 738 NHL games.

After 633 NHL games, Mike Weaver calls it a career at age 37. The defenceman put up four assists in 31 games with Montreal last season.

Other players on the waiver wire Monday: Jeremy Smith (Boston), Garrett Wilson (Florida), Dylan Olsen (Florida), Vincent Loverde (L.A.), Jamie McBain (L.A.), Jean -Francois Berube (L.A.), Jamie Devane (Nashville), Louis LeBlanc (New York Islanders), Tim Erixon (Pittsburgh), Jonathan Audy-Marchessault (Tampa Bay), Mike Angelidis (Tampa Bay), Matt Frattin (Toronto), Sam Carrick (Toronto), Byron Frose (Toronto), Andrew Campbell (Toronto), T.J. Brennan (Toronto), Justin Peters (Washington), Aaron Ness (Washington), Ryan Stanton (Washington), Jay Harrison (Winnipeg)

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