Still over the salary cap and unable to find relief through a trade, the Ducks put Mathieu Schneider on waivers Tuesday and hoped a team that needs a veteran defenseman can shoulder his hefty $5.75-million salary this season.
The waiver period expires today at 9 a.m. Pacific time. If no one claims him, the Ducks will face difficult decisions involving the cap crunch that has led them to delay re-signing unrestricted free-agent winger Teemu Selanne.
General Manager Brian Burke, reached via e-mail at the Board of Governors' meeting in Toronto, declined to comment on his plans.
The Ducks had discussed Schneider with the Kings and a few other teams but couldn't find a fit. The Ducks are about $3 million over the $56.7-million limit; the Kings' payroll is slightly more than $38 million, below the $40.7-million floor.
The Ducks can't trade Schneider before waivers expire. They can't buy out his contract if he clears waivers because the deadline for buyouts has passed.
Assigning him to the minor leagues wouldn't delete him from the payroll. He could stay with the Ducks and force them to make another salary-cutting move, but that might be awkward for both sides.
The Ducks signed Schneider to a two-year contract in July 2007 as insurance after Scott Niedermayer hinted he would retire after the team's Stanley Cup triumph. Niedermayer decided to return in mid-December, but the Ducks first had to carve out cap space for him. To do that, they traded center Andy McDonald to St. Louis, and they missed McDonald during their first-round playoff loss to the Dallas Stars.
Individual game tickets for Kings home games will go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. through LAKings.com, TicketMaster and www.ticketmaster.com, and by phone at (213) 365-3600. Prices range from $29.50 to $127. The box office at Staples Center will not be open Saturday.