Thursday, February 24, 2011
Senators claim Marek Svatos
By Pierre LeBrun
The Ottawa Senators were the only team to go shopping on the waiver list Thursday, claiming winger Marek Svatos from the Nashville Predators.
Other players on the list -- Nikolay Zherdev, Craig Rivet, Jeremy Colliton and Ales Kotalik -- all cleared waivers Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Lightning put goalie Mike Smith on re-entry waivers, while the Florida Panthers placed winger Steve Bernier on waivers.
The Senators are Svatos' third team in two months. He signed with the St. Louis Blues earlier this season but needed to clear NHL waivers because he began the season overseas. He was promptly claimed off waivers by the rival Predators, who dumped him Wednesday because they had too many bodies up front.
Svatos is making $800,000 this season and will be an unrestricted free agent July 1.
There was hope in Philadelphia that winger Zherdev, 26, would be claimed by another team. He's earning $2 million this season and will be an unrestricted free agent July 1.
The Sabres put Rivet, their veteran defenseman and captain, on waivers, hoping they could help him find a new home. Rivet, who has played in only 23 games this season, is earning $3.5 million and also will be an unrestricted free agent.
Kotalik cleared re-entry waivers, meaning the Calgary Flames couldn't get rid of him even when they were willing to eat half his contract. He has another year left on his deal next season at $3 million.
Tampa Bay was trying to recall Smith after trading Dan Ellis to Anaheim earlier Thursday. Smith will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and if a team claims him before noon ET Friday, it will get him for half of his salary.
The NHL's trade deadline is 3 p.m. ET Monday.
Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com.