The Leafs have placed Mike Amadio on waivers. This probably isn’t bothering you. He was at best adequate in the preseason, and the three games he played in this year are generally met with “really, Amadio played in three games?” That meaning he wasn’t particularly noticeable.
Amadio (TOR) on waivers
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 29, 2021
Now for what that means. With Ilya Mikheyev on LTIR, there isn’t any cap relief that can come from sending Amadio down. The Leafs do have an approximate buffer of around $850k to use on a player recall, provided they simply choose to keep Michael Hutchinson up with the Leafs after Petr Mrazek is activated, effectively ending the emergency recall of Hutchinson. Personally I can’t think of any reason why they’d keep Hutchinson around, but stranger decisions have been made.
Once Amadio clears (and I assume he will), the Leafs could simply choose to keep him around, but he’s likely bound for assignment with the Marlies. Giving them some flexibility on who to recall. The obvious name at this point would be Kirill Semyonov who has done well in the AHL, and doesn’t require waivers this year and can freely be sent up and down on the whims of Kyle Dubas.
The Semyonov option opens the door for the Leafs to make waivers claims if they like, swap in other AHLers if preferred, and at the very least allow Semyonov to draw a NHL paycheque rather than an AHL one. Semyonov also is a better fit for the load management approach that the Leafs have floated around players like Simmonds and Spezza, although at the present taking either of those players out of the lineup doesn’t seem ideal as they have been strong effort players, and the Leafs need that right now.
No matter what the Leafs have planned the one thing that does seem certain is that there really isn’t much point to keeping Amadio around. He’s better served as a veteran on the Marlies. While it seems unlikely that Amadio will be claimed, this is the NHL and questionable depth talent seems like the favourite target for NHL GMs when it comes to waivers. I guess we’ll have our answer on what becomes of Amadio and what the next steps are for the Leafs lineup tomorrow at 2pm.