Head coach Alain Vigneault confirmed after practice that Peter Schaefer has been placed on waivers today. The 33 year-old joined the team in September on a professional tryout contract.
“Peter is a veteran player who came to camp without a contract,” Vigneault said of Schafer who has played 572 NHLgames over nine seasons. “And he played well enough to deserve an opportunity. I’m hoping someone else will give him an opportunity to play, but for the balance and the look we’re trying to create on our team, we just felt it was better for us to go in another direction right now.”
In 16 games this season Schaefer has recorded two points (1-1-2), and has a record of -3.
“[Playing here] gave him the opportunity to show his potential and his skill set to the other 29 teams,” said Vigneault. “and there might be somebody there that has room for him.”
Despite speculation earlier in the day, Coach V declined to comment on who would be replacing Schaefer.
“We can’t really say, we’re still in the process of deciding. With Peter on waivers we still have 23 players. ”
“It’s not about youth or experience, it’s just looking for a different type of balance, and we’ll see what we decide in the next little while.”
BALLAD’S BACK (AGAIN)
Keith Ballard returned for only one game against the Penguins before sitting out the last two games with the flu.
“It was tough sitting out, with the four days and then coming back and getting sick,” Ballard said as linemate Kevin Bieksa jokingly heckled the D-man for faking sick. “It’s been an up and down start to the year.”
Ballard has been taking his time off the ice in stride, using it to his benefit.
“I’ve had a chance to get a lot of work on the ice, a lot of extra stuff, like conditioning footwork.”
Alex Burrows is expected to return to the first line with Henrik and Daniel Sedin against the Colorado Avalanche and hopes to rediscover the success he had with the Twins from last season.
“He needs to relax a little bit, just make the plays and do the little things good. It’s not easy when you come back and things aren’t going your way, and you start pressing things. You have to get back to basics and go from there.”
Mikael Samuelsson was skating on the third line with Raffi Torres and Manny Malhotra, while Jannik Hansen made an appearance on the fourth with Tanner Glass and Joel Perrault.
The team is hopeful that line changes will improve the efficiency of the team’s lack luster five on five play.
“It’s going to change something,” said Mason Raymond, who has gone without a goal in four games. “We need to create more five on five, and we’ll see how it goes, we have to do the work on the ice.”
“Our power play is playing good,” Henrik. “Our PK is good, the five on five play hasn’t been there like it can, because we have a good team here.”
Coach Vigneault’s hoping for better results as chemistry builds within the team.
“I’d like our whole team to get together,” he said. “Dan [Hamhuis] was out for quite some time, and Keith [Ballard] was out, and they’re new guys in the environment. I’m hoping to put together a couple of games together where guys start to feel more comfortable with themselves.”