The Dallas Stars took a possible first step on Wednesday toward clearing their logjam between the pipes by placing goalie Alex Auld on waivers.
With Auld and Marty Turco already tending goal, the Stars acquired Kari Lehtonen from the Atlanta Thrashers in a trade on Feb. 9. When the deal was made, there was speculation that the Stars might try to move the veteran Turco prior to the Mar. 3 trade deadline and keep Auld as the back-up.
NHL clubs have until noon et on Thursday to claim Auld. Otherwise, the Stars can choose to keep him on their roster or send him to the minors. If he is sent to the minors, he could be placed on re-entry waivers by the team at a later date.
Both Auld, 29, and Turco, 34, are eligible to become unrestricted free agents on July 1. Turco is earning $5.4 million this season, while Auld is making $1 million.
Lehtonen, 26, is earning $3 million this year and becomes a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
While trades are still not permitted until Sunday during the NHL's Olympic break, roster moves are allowed now that NHL teams are practicing again.