The Chicago Blackhawks have waived Jiri Sekac, reports Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman. The other 29 NHL teams will now have 24 hours in order to decide whether to claim the forward. If Sekac clears waivers, he'll be eligible for reassignment to the AHL.
The move helps to make room for Andrew Ladd, who was acquired by the Blackhawks on Thursday from the Winnipeg Jets. The Hawks weren't over the roster limit, but Sekac likely would've benched anyway and this move will free up over $200,000 of cap space before the Feb. 29 trade deadline, per Cap Friendly.
Sekac, 23, was acquired by the Hawks in January as part of a trade sending Ryan Garbutt to the Anaheim Ducks. The forward appeared in six games with Chicago and recorded his first point in a Hawks uniform on Thursday by assisting on Brent Seabrook's goal in a 3-1 loss to the Nashville Predators. He had a plus-7.3 percent Corsi relative in roughly 10 minutes of ice time per game.
A speedy player who has shown some ability to play the possession game, Sekac has still struggled to find his place in the NHL. Originally a member of the Montreal Canadiens as a rookie last season, he was traded to the Ducks in Feb. 2015, then lasted less than a year with that franchise before being dealt to the Hawks. His stint with Chicago could last just a few weeks if he's ultimately claimed.
Sekac has a $925,000 cap hit for this season. He's set to become a restricted free agent this summer.