On Monday, the New York Islanders placed the depth forward Austin Czarnik on the waiver wire and the Seattle Kraken swooped in and claimed him. So instead of heading to the AHL, Czarnik will stay in the NHL and join the league's newest team.
There were only about 10 teams that could have put a claim on Czarnik (with a combination of roster space and cap space), Seattle was one of those teams.
In Seattle, Czarnik will likely get the chance at a more consistent role in the show than the one he got with the Islanders.
New York Islanders: Austin Czarnik claimed by Seattle
In eleven games with the Islanders, this season Czarnik had five points (two goals and three helpers). When called upon, Czarnik was a capable bottom-six player who provided energy and some depth scoring.
But he was an extra on this roster. Probably a 14th forward after Bellows. His chance to get regular playing time was slim with the team back to full health. The Islanders had a full-23 man roster with Czarnik on IR, with him coming off IR there was no room for him on the roster.
There's a point to be made that Johnston and his $1 million contract for the next four years should have been waived instead. But clearly, the Islanders like him more than Czarnik now that everyone is healthy.
The extras on this team are clearly Bellows, Johnston, Aho. And you can't say that Czarnik should be in the lineup (full-time) over anyone else.
Now, I wouldn't be surprised to see Salo back for the game in Vancouver. What happens when Kyle Palmieri is activated off the non-roster (parental) on Friday will be interesting. With Palmieri back, the Isles will be at 23 players. There won't be room for Salo anymore.