Huge move this evening, as the Anaheim Ducks have acquired speedy defenseman Kyle Cumiskey from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defender Jake Newton and a seventh-round pick.
Oh wait, did I say huge? I meant the other thing. Extremely minor.
For some, it's a wonder Cumiskey even lasted this long in the Avalanche organization. Drafted in 2005, his road to full-time NHL duty has been plagued by spotty play and injuries. He finally made the team in 2009-10, playing 63 games and tallying 20 points, one of which was this pretty overtime winner:
Unfortunately, Cumiskey's sophomore season saw another series of setbacks, as the Abbotsford, British Columbia native (that's my hometown!) missed all but 18 games of the 2010-11 season with concussion troubles, and was passed by a number of prospects on the Avalanche depth chart.
An RFA heading into last summer, many wondered if the Avalanche would qualify him. They did, but their disinterest in Cumiskey showed when he remained unsigned well into September, and their disinterest showed even further when they waived him Friday to close out their training camp. From Adrian Dater:
In trimming its roster to 23 active players, the Avalanche this morning placed defenseman Kyle Cumiskey on waivers.
If no NHL puts in a claim on him, Cumiskey will be sent to Lake Erie of the American Hockey League.
A pulled groin muscle prevented Cumiskey from taking part in any preseason games for the Avs. That essentially ruined his chances of making the team, as he entered training camp on the bubble anyway.
This is a shrewd, low-risk move for Anaheim, who are thin on the backend and could really use Cumiskey's speed. And, even though, Cumiskey cleared waivers this morning, he isn't eligible for re-entry waivers because the AHL salary on his two-way contract is only $105,00 (thanks Jason), meaning the Ducks don't have to worry about an opportunistic team claiming him for half his salary.
Jake Newton, on the other hand, has yet to play a game in the NHL. Undrafted, he played one standout year at Northeastern University (in which he was second in scoring among collegiate freshman defensemen) before the Ducks signed the defenseman at the end of the in May of 2010.
Newton played 48 games last year for Anaheim's AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. A native of San Jacinto, CA, only 60 miles east of Anaheim, one assumes he's probably a little disappointed he won't get to break into the NHL with the Ducks.