The Toronto Maple Leafs have placed centre Peter Holland on waivers.
The restricted free agent was due to have his arbitration hearing on Monday.
Holland, in 166 games as a Leaf scored 25 goals and had 62 points in parts of 3 seasons with the club.
A local product, there was some hope, after being selected in the 1st round, 15th overall, in the 2009 draft by the Anaheim Ducks, that he would develop into perhaps a number 2 centre, but his career as a Leaf may be over.
There is the notion that, like Jordan Schroeder in Minnesota, the team is using this tactic to convince the player to sign a two-way contract rather than be awarded the 1 year arbitration deal.
But, it seems more likely Holland is finished in the Leaf organization.
The team, with Auston Matthews and the returning Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri at centre, does not appear to have any room to play Holland, who isn’t really suited as a 4th line defensive specialist role.
With players like Byron Froese and Brooks Laich better suited as 4th line centres, and prospects Fredrik Gauthier, Brendan Leipsic, Zach Hyman, Mitch Marner and William Nylander all capable of playing centre, there did not seem to be any room for Holland.
His days appeared numbered as he didn’t have a very strong year last year despite getting plenty of opportunity to establish himself in a bigger role.
The Leafs will likely hope that he is claimed off waivers or perhaps a trade can be worked out. Also an option is buying out the arbitration award. The award cannot be rejected as it won’t be a high enough dollar amount for that option.
If a trade happens, its almost certain the Leafs will not receive back what they gave up for Holland which was prospect Jesse Blacker, a 2nd round pick and a 7th round pick.
All in all, if Holland is gone, its not a big loss to the organization as there are simply other and better players ready to take over.
Hopefully for Holland he can catch on to another NHL team, but it appears time may be running out for the 25 year old.