It was looking like more and more like an inevitable parting and on Wednesday it was made official by the New York Islanders when they just placed veteran forward Jan Kovar on unconditional waivers. According to many NHL insiders, including Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, the 28-year-old player was placed on unconditional waivers in order for the Isles to terminate his contract.
The KHL veteran did not report to Bridgeport after the Islanders cut him during training camp and assigned him to their American Hockey League . Earlier this week he was reportedly “figuring out” his next move, but it seems like the Islanders have made the decision for him and his next move in his hockey career with not take place in New York.
Kovar barely saw any action during exhibition games and the preseason schedule, didn't make the roster, and previously said he would take some time getting used to North American ice. However, it now seems like his time is up, especially seeing that he would have gotten the time to adjust in the AHL, but broke the rules and refused to report to the farm club.
Kovar agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal with the Islanders this summer — apparently selecting the Islanders over different other offers from a few NHL teams. When he was sent down to the AHL, Kovar did not need to clear waivers, however, he pulled a sneaky move himself.
Assuming he goes unclaimed before tomorrow at noon, many expect Kovar to find work with a team back in Europe.
Two other players hit the waiver wire on Wednesday, as the Pittsburgh Penguins waived 28-year-old centre Derek Grant. Back in July, the Pens had signed Grant to a one-year contract. Before the deal was sealed, Grant had played 55 games last season with the Anaheim Ducks scoring a career-high 12 goals and 24 points. In 152 career games, Grant has 12 goals, 19 assists and 31 points. He has not suited up for Pittsburgh this season.
The other player that was placed on waivers today is veteran defenseman Matt Toarmina, who was pushed on the wire by the Calgary Flames. The defender spent all of last season with the Laval Rocket in the AHL, with whom he posted four goals and 52 points in 63 games.