Report: Leafs place Aubé-Kubel on waivers
Photo credit:© Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
By Nick Richard1 year ago
James Mirtle of The Athletic reported on Friday afternoon that the Leafs have placed forward Nicolas Aubé-Kubel on waivers. Aubé-Kubel, 26, has played six games for the Leafs so far this season and registered zero points in limited minutes.
The Leafs targeted Aubé-Kubel early in the offseason, signing him to a one-year, $1 million deal shortly after free agency opened. He appeared primed for a consistent role on the Leafs’ fourth line, but the signing of Zach Aston-Reese and the emergence of players such as Denis Malgin, Nick Robertson, and Pontus Holmberg in the preseason created a log jam.
The addition of Aston-Reese, in particular, rendered Aubé-Kubel somewhat redundant on the fourth line. Not only is he signed for a cheaper cap hit, but he has also taken better advantage of his opportunities to this point in the season and scored his first goal as a Leaf in Wednesday’s victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.
If Aubé-Kubel clears waivers, he will likely be assigned to the Marlies to await his next opportunity with the Leafs. There is a good chance, however, that a team with more jobs up for grabs in their bottom-six takes a swing on a physical player who scored 11 goals in 67 regular season games before suiting up in 14 postseason contests for the Stanley Cup winning Colorado Avalanche last season.
With the Leafs at the league limit of 50 standard player contracts, the club may be hoping he does get claimed in order to create some additional flexibility. Chris Johnston of TSN reported that the Leafs attempted to trade Aubé-Kubel before placing him on waivers, so it appears the team is ready to cut bait and move on from the player they made a priority on day one of free agency.
(Statistics from EliteProspects.com)
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