|Flames winger Niklas Hagman was placed on waivers Monday. (QMI Agency/Lyle Aspinall)
CALGARY - Proof it’s back to reality for the Calgary Flames one day after the Heritage Classic came with a sledgehammer Monday morning.
Winger Niklas Hagman was placed on waivers, available to the 29 other teams until 10 a.m. Calgary time on Tuesday.
Hagman didn’t speak to the media after the club’s off-ice workout, saying he’ll talk about it when the waiver process concludes, but his teammates were doing their best to support him.
“It’s tough to see a teammate and a guy in the league for a long time go through this,” said Brendan Morrison. “You try to support him as much as you can. A lot of guys have gone through it — I got waived a couple of years ago by Anaheim — and as a player I don’t know if there’s a worse feeling. It’s embarrassing, to be honest with you, so we’ll support him as much as you can.
“It doesn’t mean the end of him in Calgary. There are times when guys go on waivers, get sent down, get called up and become a key part of the team.”
Hagman was acquired in the Dion Phaneuf trade last season, and expected to provide scoring depth.
It hasn’t happened.
The winger who has surpassed 20 goals in three straight seasons, has just nine goals in 57 games this season. He’s been a healthy scratch four times.
Hagman has one more season on his contract worth US$3 million.
If he’s claimed, it would help the Flames with their salary cap situation moving forward.
If he’s not nabbed by another team, the Flames could send him to the minors, but he could also remain with the NHL squad and remain in his same role with the hopes of regaining his scoring touch.