On NHL waivers today: Nick Shore (TOR).— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 3, 2019
Today the Maple Leafs have placed Nick Shore on waivers. As detailed here:
Preview: Will Mitch Marner play in this back-to-back?
This is a necessary move to create LTIR space for Mitch Marner’s return.
Shore has played in 21 games in total, has the worst Adjusted Corsi % on the team at 44% while playing in some of the heaviest defensive zone usage in the NHL. His on-ice Expected Goals % is 34%, however, illustrating that that usage hasn’t actually worked well, and was one of the least effective aspects of Mike Babcock’s system and usage. The only player whose on-ice Expected Goals Against is worse than Shore’s is Martin Marincin.
Shore has played in one game for Sheldon Keefe, in his hometown of Denver. Shore, 27, was signed in the summer at a low salary of $750,000 after spending a year putting up uninspiring points in the KHL. For most of his career, he played on the Corsi-Kings and his stats always looked promising, but he’s never been a scoring forward. In tough usage on the Leafs, he didn’t live up to that history. He never played in easier enough usage, so we have no idea how much that was a factor in his performance.
He occasionally seemed to be a basic, dull centre, very capable of winning faceoffs, but that’s all he brought to the team, something Frederik Gauthier was already bringing. With Alexander Kerfoot back, once Marner is on the roster, it’s likely Jason Spezza will play the centre/winger role with Gauthier on the fourth line.
If Shore clears waivers, he will join the Marlies, presumably. He has not played in the AHL since 2013-2014, his rookie pro season. Once Marner is activated and the other roster cuts are made, none of the summertime depth signings will still be on the Leafs except Spezza.