As first reported by Elliotte Friedman and later confirmed by the team, Teddy Purcell has been placed on waivers. With Andy Andreoff (thumb surgery) on the verge of a return and the 23-man roster full, the Kings would need to make a corresponding move in order to activate him, and this appears to be the first step in doing so.
A team executive did not immediately return an email asking about the decision to waive Purcell, but his primary stats (two assists and a 12:54 time on ice average in 12 games) and possession rates (team-worst 44.0% CF%; -12.1% CF%RelTM) provide some context. I asked hockey operations earlier this week if the team had considered putting Purcell on a conditioning assignment to the AHL – such a transaction would not have opened up a roster spot – and was told that wasn’t being considered. Behind the scenes, Kings coaches and hockey operations had been disappointed by the forward’s start to the season, which had been impacted by a minor injury suffered late in training camp according to Darryl Sutter.
Though Purcell was signed to a one-year, $1.6-million contract as a low-risk, potentially medium-reward player who had totaled 43 points a season ago as part of an average of 39.7 points over a three-season stretch, his style of play did not seem to be a glove-like fit with this Kings team. While Los Angeles is a team that could benefit from the type of skill and playmaking ability that Purcell can provide and was looking to off-set some production lost by Milan Lucic’s departure, Purcell, for the lack of a better outlook, just didn’t seem like the type of player who would thrive under such tight checking, north-south style.
It’s still possible Purcell, who was not on the ice with the team on Saturday but still had a stall erected at Toyota Sports Center, could be an option at a later point if he isn’t claimed. The team will learn in advance of the 9:00 hour tomorrow morning whether he has been claimed on waivers. Should he be claimed, the team that claims him would assume the remainder of his cap hit. Should Purcell pass through waivers, and should the Kings decide to assign him to AHL-Ontario, they would save $950,000 against the salary cap.
In 571 career games with the Kings, Lightning, Oilers and Panthers, Purcell, 31, has totaled 101 goals and 307 points.
More to come on Saturday, Insiders.
-advanced stats via Puckalytics