Defenseman Sheldon Souray
and goaltender Martin Gerber
both cleared waivers on Friday, one day after being placed there by the Edmonton Oilers
NHL teams had until noon ET on Friday to put in a claim for either player -- but none did. That means the Oilers are free to send them to their AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City, and they did just that with a disappointed Gerber, who signed a two-way contract with Edmonton during the summer after spending last season playing in Russia.
"I really wanted to be a part of this group because it's a really exciting group," Gerber told the Oilers' website. "It's going to be a lot of fun in this room and as a player you want to be a part of something like this."
The Oilers still have three goaltenders -- Nikolai Khabibulin
, Jeff Deslauriers
and Devan Dubnyk
Though the 36-year-old goaltender had to clear waivers to be assigned to Oklahoma City, he will not be subject to waivers if he is called back up -- and GM Steve Tambellini said it's not impossible Gerber could be back with the Oilers at some point.
"We have no real choice," Tambellini told the Oilers' site. "Martin has come in, he's a professional guy, he played very well, but he only played 30 games last year in the KHL plus some time at the World Championships (for Switzerland). He needs to get back into the pro mode of playing many games in a week and many games in a month. That's not saying that he can't get games during the NHL regular season, because I believe he can from a talent standpoint."
Souray was told by the team not to report to training camp. He has two seasons remaining on a contract that reportedly carries a cap hit of $5.4 million annually.
The 34-year-old has been working out on his own while the Oilers try to find somewhere else for him to play. Tambellini said Souray will wind up playing somewhere, though he didn't venture a guess as to where.
"I think the player has to play, there's no question about that," Tambellini said. "You could have him take a roster spot and not play him, but that's not what we want to do. We want to see if we can make a trade happen, something that can help the Oilers. We aren't going to do something that doesn't help us either financially or in a player acquisition way. If not, then we'll have to assign him into the minors."