This year, any of the teams in the NHL can have Legace without having to give up a player or prospect.
Legace was placed on waivers by the Blues on Friday, just two days after his 36th birthday. Legaceâ€™s third season with The Note was filled with sub-par performances. In his most recent outing â€” on Monday in Detroit against his former team â€” Legace let in a couple questionable goals before being pulled for Chris Mason. Three of the eight shots he faced found the back of the net before the Blues came back to salvage a point in a shootout loss against the powerhouse Red Wings.
Legace was obviously disappointed to hear the news he was put on waivers. Legace told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “It’s extremely tough. You play your heart out for a team, and the minute you hit a little bit of a rough patch, they dump on you.â€
The line on Legace this season: a serviceable 13-9-2 win-loss record, but a shoddy .885 save percentage and a 3.18 goals against average.
Chris Holt has been recalled from Peoria of the American Hockey League to backup Mason in the meantime. If none of the other teams in the league claims Legace, Blues president John Davidson said Legace will be sent down to Peoria so he can get more work.
The Blues had to make a move. Although Mason hasnâ€™t put up big numbers (7-14-3, .915 save percentage, 2.60 GAA), he has been the hotter goaltender of late â€“ he shut out Philadelphia last week at home and has turned back 131 of the last 136 shots he has faced.
Legace could resurface with the Blues if Mason struggles or gets injured. The Blues sent Legace to Peoria to help keep him sharp instead of just pouting on the bench.
Davidson told the Post-Dispatch, â€œIf he goes and plays well, we have to re-visit the whole situation. Manny may think the book’s closed and, well, that’s his business.â€
Legaceâ€™s struggles put the Blues in a tough spot. They canâ€™t keep putting Legace on the ice with his continued struggles, but sending him to Peoria takes away valuable playing time from prospect Ben Bishop.
With the salary cap in place, teams might not have the room to fit in a goaltender who has a cap number of $2.15 million, so Legace could be ‘Playing in Peoria’ for a while unless he catches fire. The Blues would prefer to see another team take Legace off their hands or to see him regain his ‘A’ game to aid them in their bid for a playoff berth.