A pair of veteran players were claimed from the waiver wire today. The New York Rangers claimed defenseman, Roman Hamrlik from the Washington Capitals and the New Jersey Devils were awarded forward, Tom Kostopoulos from the Pittsburgh Penguins according to Elliotte Friemdan of CBCSports via Twitter.
Hamrlik, 38, was seen as veteran presence who has endured top four minutes during the playoffs and is a solid defender for any playoff bound team. He has the experience in the post season and as Bob McKenzie of TSN first eluded to yesterday, it’s not surprising that Hamrlik was claimed.
Used sparingly in Washington this season, Hamrlik has only suited up in four games meaning he’ll be healthy and rested when he enters the Rangers lineup.
The addition of Hamrlik comes at a good time for the Rangers thanks to an errant shot that struck d-man Marc Staal in the eye during last night’s win over the Philadelphia Flyers. It is not yet clear how long Staal will be out, but the reaction on Twitter is that it could be an extended period of time, hence the Hamrlik claim.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com tweets that the Rangers had internally discussed picking up Hamrlik before the Staal injury and now the blue-liner is brought in at a crucial time.
In the four games this season with the Caps, Hamrlik registered just one assist and was a minus-1.
The New Jersey Devils meanwhile have claimed Tom Kostopoulos from the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 34-year old has yet to suit up in the NHL this season, having played 17 games for AHL, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. During that span he’s registered 3 goals and 7 points.
This claim is a peculiar one given that the Penguins just signed Kostopoulos to a NHL contract but he had to clear waivers in order to play for Pittsburgh. The Devils evidently swooped in and snagged him, out from under the Penguins. Some call it dirty pool, others call it the art of business in the National Hockey League.
Kostopoulos last played in the NHL for the Calgary Flames during the 2011-12 season where he scored 4 goals and added 8 assists in 81 games. The Mississauga, Ontario native has played for six different NHL clubs throughout his career including a stint with the Penguins with whom he was drafted by in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.