Breaking News: Tampa Bay Lightning Confirm The Signing Of Another Top Star

Gaunce and Usau Waived: Roster Shake-ups for Blue Jackets and Lightning

In a flurry of roster moves, the Columbus Blue Jackets have placed forward Brendan Gaunce on waivers, while Iyla Usau of the Tampa Bay Lightning has cleared unconditional waivers.

Gaunce, who has oscillated between the Blue Jackets and their AHL affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters, this season, recorded two goals and two assists in 24 NHL games. Despite battling a medical condition late in the season, he netted 19 goals and 39 points in 46 AHL games.

If he clears waivers, Gaunce could suit up for the Monsters in their Eastern Conference Final against the Hershey Bears.

Meanwhile, Usau, a 22-year-old Belarussian center, and the Lightning have mutually agreed to terminate his contract. Usau, who signed with Tampa Bay in March 2022 and has played for their AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, is rumored to be eyeing a return to the KHL with Dinamo Minsk. Over two AHL seasons, Usau tallied 11 goals and 30 points, including seven goals and fourteen points in 42 games this season.

The forward Brendan Gaunce of the Columbus Blue Jackets was placed on waivers on Sunday.Iyla Usau, a forward with the Tampa Bay Lightning, also cleared unconditional waivers.

The 30-year-old allegedly had a medical condition that he was treating close to the conclusion of the 2023–24 regular season. Between the Blue Jackets and their American Hockey League club, the Cleveland Monsters, Gaunce had been up and down.

He joined the team for the majority of the season’s last month after playing a few games in Columbus around the start of the new year. The Sudbury, Ontario native recorded two goals and two assists in 24 games.

Gaunce has 19 goals and 39 points in 46 games for the Monsters. He may rejoin Cleveland for their Eastern Conference Final game against the Hershey Bears, the reigning Calder Cup winners, if he clears waivers on Monday.

Gaunce has totaled 13 goals and 28 points in 177 NHL games, including time spent with the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins.

Usau signed an entry-level contract in March 2022 and has been employed by Lightning since then. The Belarussian center, who has spent the last two seasons with Tampa Bay’s major affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, has not, however, participated in NHL play.

On Saturday, rumors circulated that Usau and the Lightning had reached a mutual agreement to end their contracts.According to James Mirtle of The Athletic on Sunday, Usau might join the Continental Hockey League once more. From 2020 until 2022, the 22-year-old was a player for Dinamo Minsk, his hometown team.

Usau scored seven goals and fourteen points in 42 games with the Crunch this season. He participated in four playoff games in 2023 and earned 11 goals and 30 points in the AHL over the previous two seasons.

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