The Chicago Blackhawks placed forwards Mark McNeill and Brandon Mashinter on waivers Monday, reports The Athletic’s Scott Powers. McNeill is a former first-round pick and the player far more likely to be lost for nothing.
The other 29 NHL teams will have 24 hours to decide whether to make claims on either player. If multiple teams place claims on one player, he will be awarded to the team with the worse 2015-16 record. If there are no claims placed, then McNeill and Mashinter will be assigned to AHL Rockford to open the season.
McNeill, 23, was picked by the Blackhawks with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft. He was a slow developer, and spent the past couple years in a prominent role with the IceHogs. However, he’s been regularly passed over on the depth chart, with this being the latest missed opportunity for him to make the NHL roster.
There were trade rumors involving McNeill over the summer, although this should be a real test of his value. It’ll be fair to wonder why the Hawks didn’t just trade McNeill for scraps if he gets claimed off waivers. On the flip side, if McNeill clears, that’ll go a long way toward showing how far his value has dipped around the league.
Mashinter, 28, has routinely been deployed in a bottom-six role for Chicago. He scored four goals in 41 games, and also had four goals in 12 games with Rockford. Chicago signed him to a one-year contract extension in June, and he’ll provide depth barring the unlikely chance he’s claimed.