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Report: Cheechoo, Kotalik waived

by Dan Rosen
The NHL's waiver wire heated up Monday with TSN reporting that several players were put on waivers by their respective teams with the intention of being bought out of they go unclaimed.

Ottawa is giving up on eight-year veteran Jonathan Cheechoo, who scored 56 goals with San Jose in 2005-06 but dipped to only 5 goals and 9 assists in 61 games this past season. Cheechoo is reportedly owed $3.5 million next season, the final year of a five-year contract he signed with San Jose in 2006.

Similarly, Calgary has put Ales Kotalik and the remainder of his contract (two years for a reported $6 million) on the waiver wire. The Coyotes have waived Petteri Nokelainen and Jim Vandermeer, while Florida continued to revamp its roster by putting Ville Koistinen on waivers.

If these players go unclaimed they would likely be bought out of their current contracts and will become unrestricted free agents at noon ET on Thursday.

Cheechoo was initially waived in February after the Senators acquired Matt Cullen from Carolina. He cleared and was sent to Binghamton of the American Hockey League. He was recalled in the playoffs and played one game against Pittsburgh.

Kotalik had 27 points in 71 games combined between the New York Rangers and Flames. One report said his buyout will cost the Flames $1 million on the salary cap per season over the next four seasons.

Nokelainen had 5 goals and 8 assists in 67 games combined between Anaheim and Phoenix this season. He scored only 1 goal and added an assist in 17 games with the Coyotes. Vandermeer had 12 points in 62 games with Phoenix.

Koistinen played in only 17 games with Florida.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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