In one of the more bizarre cases of player management in recent memory, Marko Dano has been claimed off waivers by the Colorado Avalanche.
Marko Dano claimed by COL on waivers.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 15, 2018
The confirmation of the transaction comes a day after the Winnipeg Jets put the forward on waivers in an ill-fated effort to send him down to the Manitoba Moose, after the return of Nic Petan meant something had to give on the 23-man roster.
The move is extremely curious when one notes the Jets had other options that would have prevented an asset leaving for no return. Brendan Lemieux, who has not played this year, does not require waivers to be sent down. Neither does Kristian Vesalainen, who is averaging a whopping 6:50 of ice time each game, instead of getting good minutes in the AHL or Europe.
Dano, 23, joins an Avalanche team sitting 3-1-1 on the season, sporting an impressive first line but things fall off pretty rapidly after that. Dano, he of 45 points in 130 NHL games during his career, should get the opportunity to play depth minutes for the Avs, rather than languishing in the press box as he did last season.
Dano was originally acquired via a February 25, 2016 trade that saw a first round pick and a conditional third round pick (the condition was that Chicago win the Stanley Cup that year, which didn’t happen) accompany him to Winnipeg in exchange for the Blackhawks getting Andrew Ladd, Matt Fraser and Jay Harrison. Dano played 82 games as a Jet, divided over three seasons, tallying 10 goals and 12 assists in that time.
"The Winnipeg Jets come first so we would keep the guys that we had next in line for a game." -Paul Maurice on Marko Dano.— Murat Ates (@WPGMurat) October 15, 2018
"Marko Dano has been an outstanding professional... We want to give him an opportunity to play."
Said that applies to the NHL if claimed or AHL if not.
While the sentiment behind Paul Maurice’s words are nice, I just don’t buy them. The Jets had the ability to insert Dano into the lineup at numerous times, and opted not to. But it is true, you don’t play when you’re in the press box. Ask Brendan Lemieux.
At the end of the day, this is a move that the Jets did not need to make, and in doing so they give away an asset for nothing to a division rival.
Blue skies and tailwinds, Marko.