The Coyotes lost some depth at the center position Tuesday when rookie Joel Perrault was claimed off the waiver wire by the St. Louis Blues.
Perrault, 23, had an impressive training camp and was the No. 2 center on opening night but has struggled during the regular season. He was a scratch in three of the Coyotes’ 12 games and had only one goal and one assist.
“I thought Joel played really well at the beginning,” coach Wayne Gretzky said. “The last couple games, he wasn’t quite the same, but that’s sort of what young guys go through."
Phoenix was attempting to reassign Perrault to San Antonio of the American Hockey League, but because he has four years of professional experience, he had to clear waivers first.
It may not be a permanent loss for Phoenix, though.
St. Louis put in its claim after center Jay McClement injured his foot in Monday night’s game against Anaheim. Once the Blues are healthy, there’s a good chance they will opt to send Perrault down, meaning he will once again be available on the waiver wire.
“If they don’t keep him up, don’t be surprised if we get him back,” Gretzky said.
“We like him a lot. Right now he’s a little in between. We know he can help San Antonio.”
LOOSE PUCK: Forward Owen Nolan came off the ice early from Tuesday’s practice because of a minor groin injury but is not expected to miss any games.