With Shea Weber set to come off injured reserve on Tuesday, the Habs needed to free up a roster spot. Karl Alzner is the casualty as the team has placed him on waivers.
The 30-year-old is in the second season of a five-year, $23.125 million contract and it’s safe to say he hasn’t come remotely close to living up to it. He has been scratched 16 times already this season and has played a limited role when he has been in the lineup. In eight games, he has a single assist while averaging just 17:36 per night in ice time. Accordingly, there isn’t much risk of him being claimed and he’s expected to be sent to Laval on Tuesday when he clears.
Montreal could have chosen to avoid the waiver route and send down one of Brett Kulak (who was only recalled last week) or Victor Mete (who has regressed from last season and has seen his ice time drop considerably). However, both of them appear to be ahead of Mike Reilly and Xavier Ouellet on the depth chart right now so they’ve opted to keep them up and in the lineup for the time being at least.
With Weber at practice, the back end lined up as follows:
Schlemko – Weber
Kulak – Petry
Benn – Mete
Ouellet – Reilly
The Habs also had both Paul Byron and Nikita Scherbak take part in practice, suggesting both are nearing a return. As a result, there may be some more waiver activity in Montreal within the next few days.