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Devils waive Boucher, one day after claiming him (and a month after waiving him the first time)

Chicago Blackhawks v New Jersey Devils

Chicago Blackhawks v New Jersey Devils

NHLI via Getty Images

At first glance, it looks like the Devils are playing a cruel prank on Reid Boucher.

But rest assured, it’s not nefarious.

On Tuesday, the Devils placed Boucher on waivers, just 24 hours after claiming him from Nashville -- and roughly one month after waiving him the first time (which is how he ended up with the Predators).

For the explanation, here’s

The Devils reclaimed the 23-year-old forward in hopes of sending him to Albany to get more playing time, but they were not the only team to claim Boucher on Monday. Had the Devils been the lone NHL team to claim him, he would have been eligible to go directly to the AHL.

But since another team put a claim in, Boucher needed to be added to the NHL roster, per CBA rules. The Devils put Boucher back on waivers Tuesday in another attempt to get him to Albany.

If he clears on Wednesday, Boucher will be be sent down. If another team claims Boucher, he’ll be out of New Jersey once again.

Boucher started the year in New Jersey and appeared in nine games, going goalless with a pair of assists.

He then scored one goal in three games with the Preds, notching five points in five games for their minor-league affiliate in Milwaukee.

That’s sort of been the story of Boucher’s professional career -- a really good point producer at the American League level, but one that’s bounced in and out of NHL lineups.

That said, it’s not entirely surprising New Jersey wanted to get Boucher back in the fold -- or that another team was interested in his services. He’s a guy, after all, that scored 62 goals in 68 games in his final year of junior, and did some good things for the Devils, including a ’15-16 campaign in which he scored 19 points in 39 games.