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Cap issue addressed by waiving McLaren
Veteran defenseman can still land in Worcester
10/7/08 - By Mike Lee

The Kyle McLaren era has most likely come to an end in San Jose. The hard hitting defenseman was placed on waivers by the Sharks on Tuesday, bringing some closure to the long anticipated separation. The Sharks are over the NHL salary cap, and a glut of talent on the blueline made McLaren's and his $2.5 million salary expendable.

The 12-year NHL veteran spent 5 season in San Jose where he recorded only 83 points in 302 games for the Sharks, but his hits were the thing that made him a fan favorite. Known for bone-crushing checks, McLaren's strong suit also played a part in his demise as a Shark.

After appearing in a career high 77 games for San Jose in 2005-06, his playing time started to diminish because of frequent trips to the injured list. A chronic knee injury resulted in surgery last January, which resulted in a 10 game absence, then a recurring issue forced him to miss another 6 games toward the end of the regular season.

McLaren would see action in only 5 of San Jose's 13 playoff games. He missed the entire series against Dallas because the knee wasn't cooperating during the Sharks win over Calgary in the conference quarterfinals.

"Kyle has been a tremendous professional through this," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said. "We're trying to do what's right for him, so we'll see what the next few days brings."

Should McLaren clear waivers, the Sharks could assign him to Worcester, their AHL affiliate. Should McLaren reject the assignment, San Jose could release him outright. San Jose would still be obligated to pay his salary, but in either case, they would be relieved of the cap hit.

Two of McLaren's more memorable moments as a Shark came at the expense of opponents.

His hit on Petr Cajanek in Game 2 of the Sharks Western Conference quarter final game against the St Louis Blues in April of 2004 came before a national television audience. Already known as a big hitter, the play showcased the Sharks defensive weapon.

His hip check on Trevor Letowski of the Columbus Blue Jackets in January of 2005 may go down as his biggest masterpiece. While Letowski carried the puck into the Sharks zone along the left wing boards at HP Pavilion, McLaren fooled Letwoski into believing that the deenseman's attention was focused away from the puck by pretending to direct traffic with his hand. After Letowski dished the puck with his head down, McLaren shifted his weight and closed on the Columbus forward in the blink of an eye. The open ice hit, sent Letowski flying through the air, then crashing into the corner boards.

The lighter side of the defenseman came out in a segment of San Jose's "Shark Byte" television show. In the segment, McLaren demonstrates the art of hitting on Sharks television color analyst Drew Remenda. McLaren pounded Remenda with a variety of hits, including a smothering shot against the glass. Remenda looked like a rag doll during the segment.

Morris & Moore Sent to Worcester

The Sharks also announced on Tuesday that they had sent right winger Mike Morris and defenseman Mike Moore to Worcester.


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