You just described Hal Gill. It took him a while to establish himself in the league as a 6/7 and eventually he moved up to top-4 minutes, in the Regehr shutdown mold. Complete organizational win if he can follow this development path.
This move seems like refinancing your mortgage at 3%, it's a no-brainer. Minimal risk, and a solid potential reward.
Hal Gill was my thought as a comparable also. Took him a long time to develop into a consistent player due to his size.
It's not all that easy to be 6'6+ in the NHL. You don't realize it when you're in the stands, but the ice surface just isn't that big. Especially with 9 other big dudes on skates running around. Guys who by definition can't navigate in a phone booth (and let's face it, a guy who goes 6'8 255 can't jump around like Gerbe or Ennis) take more time to get used to NHL ice, where the speed is higher and the players are bigger. It took Hal Gill YEARS to develop into a solid stay-at-home guy.
If Finley can follow the same trajectory..... hell, if he can be a consistent 5/6 guy, I'd be all over that.
He signed his first NHL deal on 4/2/09 and his singing age was calculated as 22, making him exempt for three seasons or 70 NHL games.
He has played two seasons and zero NHL games, so he has one year or 70 NHL games left until he is subject to waivers.
As for re-entry, I doubt that he's making more than $105,000 at the AHL level since it's a two-way, so it's likely that he's not subject to re-entry waivers.
We don't have the numbers yet, but I'd say ~$60,000 is likely.
Thanks for the info jfb this question I was wondering when I first seen this thread.