After Craig Conroy cleared waivers yesterday morning, Flames GM Jay Feaster continues to test the waters today, placing the much maligned Ales Kotalik on the waiver wire, as per TSN's Bob McKenzie.
Acquired in a deal with the New York Rangers last winter, the 32-year old Kotalik cleared waivers in the summer and it appeared that the team might buy him out or loan him to a European club, but nothing came of it. The Czech forward has been a healthy scratch for the past three contests and has scored just three times in 20 games in 2010-11, due to collect $3M this season and next. If Kotalik were to clear waivers and be sent down to AHL Abbotsford, he would continue to earn the same salary, but if he were to be claimed on waivers in the next 24 hours, his contract would no longer be on the Flames' books. If Kotalik were to be claimed on re-entry waivers after being sent to Abbotsford, Calgary would be responsible for half of his remaining salary over the course of the rest of this season and next.
Feaster stated that he put Conroy on waivers with the intent of clearing a roster spot for the impending return of Steve Staios (groan) or the possibility of bringing up a player from the Heat for a "tryout" of sorts. I doubt the motivation for doing the same with Kotalik is any different. While it's unlikely that he'll be claimed, this move fits the mold of expunging some of the older, declining players from the team, which is a step in the right direction for the time being, to some degree.