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Stewart clears waivers

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Tags: Canes Now

Canes forward Anthony Stewart has cleared waivers and will remain with the team, general manager Jim Rutherford said today.

The Canes on Monday placed Stewart on waivers. NHL teams had until noon today to claim him.

Stewart was signed to a free-agent contract in July by Carolina after the Winnipeg Jets did not make him a qualifying offer. The two-year deal pays him $800,000 this season and $1 million next season.

In 50 games for the Canes, mostly as a fourth-liner, Stewart has six goals and seven assist. Stewart's plus-4 rating is the best on the team.

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I really though someone would pick him up. I would have liked to see him take advantage of this opportunity with the Canes. He obviously doesn't fit the plans here. 

Nor elsewhere

The team claiming him off waives would need to keep him on their NHL roster. Therefore some of this is due to those  teams currently  in  a playoff postion carefully assessing needs, Cap space, etc. heading into the playoffs. If they are going to add players it is likely a key guy for a deep run. But there are several teams out of the playoffs who you would think could use a player like Stewart on their roster for the rest of the season.  The fact none bit  speaks volumes about how the rest of the league views Stewart. Maybe this is the wake up call he needs that his time in the NHL may be short if he doesn't make some changes to his game.

Arriving to camp with a new team out of shape is a huge red flag.  He will have a  whole summer to correct that.  Adding some snarl to his game is essential.  With his size that is expected. He has been noticeable in how docile he is at times. In a couple of recent games during scrums he just kind of glided over as the last one to engage. Not what you want from your biggest guy on the ice at the time.  And not if you are going to play for an ex pro like Muller who values toughness.

Stewart and a Physical Edge to His Game

   I think Stewart has plenty of potential, but for the reasons described by sittler27, he doesn't seem to fit with the Hurricanes future plans.  In order to turn that situation around, Stewart has to add a noticeable physical edge to his game.  Based on comments I've seen and heard, I suspect he also needs to upgrade his conditioning commitment.  Maybe the waiver will be the wake up call Stewart needs.

+1 for Sittler27. Wouldn't

+1 for Sittler27. Wouldn't surprise me, however, if Stewart is packaged in a trade. 

Good point

Often putting a guy on waivers starts the phones ringing. Another GM might indicate they have interest but would prefer a trade to send some salary back to the Canes.  Or there may be an indication that if he were sent down to Charlotte and then put on re-entry waivers they would talke him at half his salary.  It could also factor into Ruutu trade (assuming he doesn't resign), where it makes the sending of a prospect and high draft pick(s) more palatable if additional assets are involved.

It is interesting how the rumors churn. A week ago the writers in TO were all saying how despearate the Leafs were to make a trade. Now they are saying the team might stand pat.  My guess is that when all the cheering is done the trades will resemble little of what the current prognosticators threw out there.  I still have a lot of friends in the business and have learned that even what the so-called insiders throw out there is sometimes way  off..... even to the point where they will put a name out there just to watch the fun or consciously be trying to put up a smoke screen while a totally different deal is in the works.  

Rumors so far

The rumors being thrown around are nothing ,but to grab attention to the "insiders" columns ,or blogs just to attract fans to there newspaper's/website's ,and blogs which I refer to as "blogwood" are just to stoke the flames of the blogosphere ,and really are nothing ,but logical hypothetical rumors that anybody can create to there own liking especially Garrioch ,and Watter's who have had virtually every UFA this season linked to one team ,or another especially the Leafs who are now considering not making any moves which is another rumor stacked onto the pile of "blogwood" ,so i guess we'll know when a trade actually happens ,because the "insiders" have sure whiffed on there scenarios so far.

Bob McKenzie

Never listen Watters or Garrioch or Eklund.  Best two, in my opinion, that publish are Spector ( Lyle Richardson) and Bob Mckenzie.  But I was referring to comments actually thrown out there by scouts, development coaches, asst. coaches, asst. GMs, local broadcasters, PR guys, etc.  In some years  when they say anything at all it has usually been pretty close to accurate.  This year it seems guys are just whispering stuff to rattle chains.

Waivers and Some Excellent Hockey Players

I recall that Jussi Jokinen was put on waivers.  Grabner was also put on waivers.  If ever Anthony Stewart needed a wake up call that he needed to step up his game it came yesterday.  Who knows?  Muller has a sense of what he wants in players; and as the Kaberle trade and Anthony Stewart waiver demonstrates,  Jim Rutherford is not dithering rather than acting.  

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About the blogger

A Raleigh native, Chip has worked at the N&O since 1979 and is the Canes beat writer. He can be reached at You can follow him on Twitter at @ice_chip.