Marek Svatos, seen here with the Nashville Predators, was picked up off waivers by the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.
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Svatos was recently plucked from the KHL by the St. Louis Blues, who lost him via waivers to the Predators. The Preds put him on waivers on Wednesday afternoon, so the Sens picked him up.
His cap hit is just $800k (pro-rated, too), and Svatos will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and at first glance, this seems like a short-term depth move to allow Ottawa to send some players back to Binghamton of the AHL as that team continues to fight for a playoff spot. (In what was probably a related move, Jim O`Brien was sent back to Bingo this morning, along with Andre Benoit). It was also likely a move to fill out the roster as, just minutes after claiming Svatos, the Senators traded Alex Kovalev to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Still, with 20 games left in the season, Svatos does have the opportunity to prove he can compete with other NHLers and work towards getting himself a contract in the league next season--if not with the Senators, then with some other team. Ottawa would have had a pretty early claim on him, so it's possible other teams were interested in picking him up, too.
One factor in the pick-up of Svatos as opposed to some of the other players available, most notably Nikolay Zherdev, is likely the familiarity of Cory Clouston and Svatos stemming back from their days together in Kootenay of the WHL.
With three points in just nine games so far, Svatos may prove to be someone the Senators choose to look at re-signing moving forward. He could also be someone they'll try to trade at the deadline, but it seems unlikely that will happen. We'll see how he performs in a Sens uniform.