The Dennis Cholowski experiment is over in D.C., as the Seattle Kraken re-claimed Dennis Cholowski off of waivers from the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.
Washington had originally picked Cholowski up off waivers from Seattle back on Oct. 14 to add more blue line depth and pick up another puck-moving blueliner. However, he didn’t end up lacing ’em up for Washington on a nightly basis and spent most of his time as a healthy scratch.
Head coach Peter Laviolette found chemistry with his top-6 blueliners, and with them healthy to start the first part of the 2021-22 campaign, there was no need for Cholowski to draw in. There would have potentially been a chance for Cholowski to see more ice time and get another chance after the holiday break and COVID-19 pause, as the Capitals saw a number of blueliners enter protocol. However, No. 38 was on that list as well.
When injuries and COVID-19 did create space for him to draw in, the 2016 first-rounder struggled. He dished just one assist and a +/- rating of minus-4 through seven outings, along with nine blocks, three hits and four giveaways. He also skated just 13:35 minutes per game when he was in the lineup.
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Ultimately, Washington made the right decision to waive Cholowski after a few months. While he did add depth, the team has veterans Matt Irwin and Michal Kempny and having Cholowski see games rather than just practice will help his development, as the 23-year-old still has ways to go. If he cleared, he would have been able to report to Hershey and bolster the Bears’ blue line, and now that he’s back in Seattle, he can report directly to Charlotte to start seeing ice time and getting in the swing of real-time action.
Plus, it allows the Capitals to clear some cap space. Cholowski had a hit of $900K.
Meanwhile, in D.C., Irwin is on the roster as the extra blueliner. Kempny is still technically on COVID-19 protocol and is not listed on the roster, but is up and practicing with the team.