Detroit Red Wings goaltender Curtis Joseph was not claimed by any of the NHL’s other twenty-nine teams in the league’s annual waiver draft Friday afternoon. As a result, the Red Wings will start the 2003-04 season with three goaltenders on their roster.
Detroit has been trying to trade Joseph, who was signed in July of 2002 to replace retiring netminder Dominik Hasek, since Hasek announced his return to the NHL this summer.
Efforts to deal Joseph to Boston were thwarted when he underwent surgery to remove bone chips from his ankle. The Bruins later signed Felix Potvin to fill their net.
Joseph wasn’t expected to be claimed in the Waiver Draft as his $8 million per season contract is too expensive for most teams to handle right now. Only the Colorado Avalanche have a glaring need for a starting goaltender at this time and they’re determined to give David Aebischer a shot as the starter, replacing the retired Patrick Roy.
Joseph and Hasek will share the net with Manny Legace, regarded by many as the league’s best backup goalie.
In all, twenty players changed teams as a result of the Waiver Draft. The New York Rangers were the most active team, losing Ronald Petrovicky (Atlanta), Jeff Heerema (St. Louis) and Shawn Heins (Atlanta) but picking up Joel Bouchard (Buffalo), Sheldon Keefe (Tampa Bay) and Mike Siklenka (Philadelphia).
Toronto forward Travis Green was selected by Columbus, only to be traded to Boston later in the day. The same happened to Florida goalie Jani Hurme, who was claimed by Carolina and then traded to Atlanta.
Carolina made one other goaltending move Friday, signing former Los Angeles King Jamie Storr as a free agent.