Montreal Canadiens defenceman Karl Alzner cleared waivers on Tuesday and has been assigned to the AHL’s Laval Rocket.
The 30-year-old was waived Monday to clear a spot on the 23-man roster for team captain Shea Weber, who will make his season debut Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Alzner, who is in the second season of a five-year, $23.125 million contract, carries the third largest cap hit ($4.625 million) among Canadiens defencemen and the sixth-highest salary on the team.
He has an assist and a plus-2 rating in eight games this season, while often serving as a healthy scratch.
Canadiens head coach Claude Julien said Monday he hoped Alzner would clear waivers and said the move was made because the team feared that a defenceman with a lower salary would be claimed.
“His future’s not gone with us,” Julien said of Alzner. “It was more a question of who could we not lose. Right now, there are a lot of teams that are really struggling on the back end with injuries and stuff like that.
“We got some guys that are cap friendly that would be easily picked up had they been put on waivers. We were protecting ourselves because we want to keep our depth and Karl was the guy, because of his contract, we felt would be the least [likely] to be picked up right now of the guys [to] put on waivers. We hope to keep him.”
The fifth-overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, Alzner had a 622 regular-season game ironman streak that came to an end when he was scratched for the Canadiens season opener in October. He last appeared in an AHL game during the 2009-10 season.