Tag: waiver wire


NHL under ‘roster freeze’ until Dec. 27


The holiday season brings one bummer for imaginative fans: their hypothetical trade ideas cannot (even potentially) become a reality until midnight on Dec. 27. The NHL is currently in a “roster freeze” period which means that teams aren’t allowed to make trades or waiver moves during this time.

It’s a nice thing that fringe players cannot utter the Step Brothers line: “You know what I got for Christmas? A crushed soul.”

Those worried about injuries can relax, though, as teams are allowed to recall minor league players on an “emergency basis.”

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner for the reminder.)

Blair Betts won’t kill penalties for the Habs after all

Philadelphia Flyers v Florida Panthers

The Montreal Canadiens made a solid grab when they claimed penalty killing forward Blair Betts off of waivers. The Habs can cross him off their depth charts, however, as he was returned to the Philadelphia Flyers after failing a physical.

It’s unclear if Betts is still dealing with shoulder issues that have been a problem for some time. Betts said that it’s a lower-body injury instead, but whatever the ailment might be, he’s not going to suit up with the Canadiens.

In a way, this might be a blessing in disguise for Philly, even if it’s initially embarrassing.

Despite killing nine of the first 10 penalties they’ve faced, the Flyers could probably use more forward options when shorthanded. Betts will likely need to clear re-entry waivers (things get a little fuzzy with injury issues like these) to join Philadelphia again, but a reasonably healthy Betts could be a nice defensive asset. Even if they’re obviously not that fond of him in the first place. CSNPhilly.com’s Sarah Baicker expands on the roster size issues this could cause.

Update: Here’s NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s explanation for the decision.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman rendered the decision after reviewing submissions from both Clubs.  By-Law 11.8 (a) states: “The Member Club acquiring a player by waiver claim shall take an assignment of the player’s contract. Nevertheless, if the Commissioner determines that a player acquired by waiver claim is not physically fit at the time the claim is made, the Member Club making the claim may refuse to take an assignment of such player’s contract and the request for waivers shall be cancelled.”

In reaching his decision, Commissioner Bettman stated: “While it is clear that both clubs have acted in good faith in this unique situation (i.e. a waiver claim), I am not prepared to dispute the conclusion of the Montreal Club doctors that Mr. Betts was physically unfit to play at the time of the claim. Therefore, it is my decision that, per League By-Laws, the appropriate resolution to this matter is to restore the parties to the
position they were in prior to the waiver claim on Oct. 5.”

Evgeni Nabokov represents Team Russia, discusses next season

Evgeni Nabokov

Sure, the allure of being close to home couldn’t hurt, but Evgeni Nabokov decided to go to the KHL to get the kind of contract offer he couldn’t receive in the NHL. Ultimately, that didn’t work out, but he was lucky enough to get a chance to go back to the world’s greatest hockey league. He got even luckier when the Detroit Red Wings showed interest in signing him.

Unfortunately, his luck slowed down with the waivers process, as New York Islanders GM Garth Snow scooped him up. Nabokov wanted to have his return his way, so he opted not to play with the Islanders.

The biggest downside to Nabby’s decision not to play is that the Islanders still hold his rights, meaning that they can decide whether or not he’s allowed to play in the NHL next season. Actually, if the KHL and NHL do indeed play nice going forward, he won’t be able to play overseas without the Isles’ consent, either.

Who knows if the Islanders will let bygones be bygones when it comes to the KHL (somewhat likely) or NHL (less likely), but it seems like they are looking the other way as Nabokov gets some reps with Team Russia. Dmitry Chesnokov caught up with Nabokov for a brief Puck Daddy story that touched on how he feels about his future.

The rules of international hockey state that a player participating in international events should furnish an insurance policy to cover his existing club contract. For example, in 2008 the Russian Hockey Federation paid a reported premium of $700 thousand for a two week tournament to insure Alex Ovechkin’s(notes) $124 million contract.

It is unclear whether this was done in Nabokov’s case. And does Nabokov even have a permission to play for the National Team while his NHL club is still playing in the regular season?

“The Islanders are aware of everything. I told them that I was going to play for the national team. No one stood on my way. And the [Russian Hockey Federation] will take care of all the formalities,” Nabokov told Lysenkov today. “I didn’t personally call [the Islanders].”

Nabokov added: “I don’t want to elaborate on this topic at this time. The process with the Islanders is ongoing. My words may be misunderstood, people will reach conclusions…”

Forgive me if I’m reaching incorrect conclusions about Snow, but it makes sense for the Islanders to let him go on this one. Nabokov might give some indication that he can still play at an elite level – a season off can be a problem for the low margin of error goalie position – while not hurting the Islanders by playing for another NHL team.

That’s the biggest problem with the Isles just giving Nabokov a free pass next year. If they let him go to another team, he could win games against New York while they gain nothing but embarrassment and/or frustration in the process (this would ring especially true in the East).

Overall, the waiver wire process makes this all a bit complicated. It’ll be fascinating to see if the Islanders let him play in another league, decide to be amazingly charitable by letting him join another NHL team or Nabokov has a change of heart and plays for the Islanders. There might also be some other possibilities we haven’t even considered.

It’s an interesting dilemma that is far from settled at this point. Right now, it’s mostly speculation – even, admittedly, on Nabokov’s end – but we’ll update you the next time something interesting trickles through.

Monday Waiver Wire Wrap: Under the trade deadline radar moves

Alexander Semin, Rob Schremp

With the trade deadline (and, oddly enough, some big contract extensions) stealing all the headlines, it’s easy to forget that the NHL still had its typical noon deadline for waiver wire claims. Here’s a rundown of who was picked up and who cleared waivers.

Brett Carson was claimed by the Calgary Flames from the Carolina Hurricanes.

Curtis McElhinney is now in the Ottawa Senators system via the Tampa Bay Lightning. In a nod to Vesa Toskala last season, McElhinney went through the Lightning system without playing a game after being traded much like Toskala never played a game for the Anaheim Ducks in a similar situation.

Rob Schremp was claimed by the Atlanta Thrashers from the New York Islanders. This amuses me because his name sounds sort of like “shrimp” and Thrashers GM Rick Dudley is known for liking bigger players. Hard-hitting analysis, I know.

Now for the players who cleared waivers: First, let’s start with the goalies, both Ty Conklin (St. Louis) and Pascal Leclaire (Ottawa) cleared waivers.  Moving on, Nathan Lawson (Islanders), D.J. King (Washington), Tim Stapleton (Atlanta) and Jason Jaffray (Anaheim) were the skaters.

One surprise there is Conklin, who might be on a downward slope but is a cheap, experienced backup who could be an asset for a team like the Buffalo Sabres. Would you rather lean on Conkblock on occasion or roll the dice with hapless Sabres No.2 guy Patrick Lalime? Just saying.

Waiver Wire Wrap: Saturday’s remaining moves

Mike Cvik, Mike Commodore

For the players who were claimed today, click here.

First, let’s get to the players who were placed on waivers: Goalies highlighted the list, as Ty Conklin (St. Louis), Curtis McElhinney (Tampa Bay) and Pascal Leclaire (Ottawa) were placed on waivers. Other players who were waived include New York Islanders Nathan Lawson and Rob Schremp, Washington Capitals enforcer D.J. King, Brett Carson (Carolina), Tim Stapleton (Atlanta) and Jason Jaffray (Anaheim). (According to two Tweets by Bob McKenzie.)

Notes: It’s not surprising to see the goalie moves, except Conklin. It wouldn’t be shocking if someone picked up the sturdy backup without having to move an asset. Is this a reaction to big Ben Bishop’s shutout?

Next, here is a look at the players who cleared waivers: Kris Newbury (Rangers), Todd Ford (Washington) and Wade Belak (Nashville) cleared regular waivers while estranged Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Mike Commodore cleared re-entry waivers. (Also according to Bob McKenzie.)

Notes: It was a reasonable gamble for Columbus to place Commodore on re-entry waivers, but no one took the bait. So now what?