Hawthorn gamble and cut Chad Wingard

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Hawthorn have gambled and delisted injured forward Chad Wingard with the hope that he will not be taken by another club and they can still add him to their rookie list.

The former All-Australian is recovering from an Achilles injury suffered in round 22 this year that will sideline him for a significant part of next season.

Hawthorn are at risk of losing the player to another club if Wingard agrees to move as a delisted free agent. Even if he has an agreement with Hawthorn that he will not move as a delisted free agent, Wingard still has to go through both the national and rookie drafts.

Hawthorn’s Chad Wingard celebrates a goal. Credit: Getty Images

The 30-year-old ruptured his Achilles tendon and will miss a significant chunk of next season.

The Hawks are prepared to take the risk of losing Wingard as they now open up an extra list spot for the national draft and remove some money from the salary cap.

Chad Wingard is helped from the field in Launceston.Credit: Getty Images

The Hawks only re-signed Wingard on a new one-year deal in September, soon after he suffered his Achilles injury.

If another club selected Wingard as a de-listed free agent the Hawks would be required to pay any balance of the terms he was paid by another club and his contracted amount with Hawthorn for next year. That is, if Wingard received a base senior list contract next year, or a rookie contract from another club next year, Hawthorn would have to pay any difference between that contract and what he was due to have been paid next year by the Hawks.

Two list managers, who declined to be named in order to speak freely about an opposition club, said Hawthorn had taken a calculated risk knowing all clubs, but particularly those who consider themselves in contention in the next two years, would look seriously at Wingard as a goal kicking talent when fit and one who could be secured without a trade.

Wingard has played 218 games over the last 12 years.

Hawthorn also delisted Cooper Stephens just one year after trading for him from Geelong as part of a three-way exchange that saw Tom Mitchell traded to Collingwood where he was part of this year’s premiership team.

Stephens, a former first round pick (selection 16 in the 2019 draft), did not play a game for the Hawks this year. He played seven games for Geelong all in 2022. The Hawks have also promised to rookie list him.

Cooper Stephens was de-listed by Hawthorn a year after being traded from Geelong. The Hawks have promised to rookie list him. Credit: Getty Images

The moves came as the Gold Coast also delisted key forward Sam Day with an undertaking to re-draft him, most likely in the pre-season draft.

Daniel McKenzie of the SaintsCredit: Getty

The 31-year-old Day, who was pick three in the 2010 draft played just three games this year and has played only 12 games over the last three years.

St Kilda also delisted 27-year-old Daniel McKenzie who did not play a game this year after being plagued by calf problems. McKenzie consulted specialists in Germany late in the year for treatment on the problem.

McKenzie has played 73 games for the Saints and the club has held out the possibility of re-selecting him in the supplementary selection period early next year.

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