NHL Players

What Does It Mean When An NHL Player Is Put On Waivers?

By Dipak BK / 9 November 2023 02:43 AM

Source : facebook

When an NHL player is put on Waivers, it means that teams have 24 hours to claim the player before he is potentially sent to the minor leagues.

Waivers in the NHL is a procedure in which the team must make a player available to be claimed by other teams for 24 hours before they can place him in the AHL.  Players are placed on waivers primarily for reasons like injuries, salary cap constraints, or the need to create roster space.

Players struggling with their performance in the NHL who require more experience in the minors to develop before getting NHL-ready are one of the types placed on waivers.

It means the player did not perform as expected and is willing to carry the risk of other teams claiming them to assign the player to their AHL affiliates.

Those placed on Waivers can be withdrawn by the team but they must do so before they are claimed by another team and the player is obligated to play for the team that claimed him.

If no team clears the player then they can be sent to their AHL affiliate as they have "cleared the waivers".

NHL Waivers Explained

Waivers in the NHL is a process in which a team makes the player's rights and contracts available for the remaining teams before releasing the player or assigning them to the AHL.

The concept of Waivers dates back to 1955. They had the Intra-League Draft, similar to the Expansion draft used by the Vegas Golden Knights and the Seattle Kraken when they entered the league.

This would be later changed to the "waiver draft," which was in practice until the 2004-05 lockout. 

Waivers allow teams to place Players on their Minor League affiliates where they can develop their skills. Teams also use it if they need to create roster space or if they need to deal with Salary Cap issues. 

Source : facebook

A player must pass through waivers(unless exempt) before getting assigned to the AHL from the NHL, and interested teams have 24 hours to claim him.

If no team does so, it is referred to as "clearing the waivers," and the team can place him in their minor league affiliates within 30 days.

Teams claiming a player off of waivers do not have to pay fees, but they must assume the player's existing contract. Once the player gets claimed off of waivers by another team, then the player must report to the team and begin playing.

Teams that want to terminate a player's contract do so by placing him on unconditional waivers. Other teams have chances to buy out the player's contract, which can only be done during a two-week window in June.

The waiver eligibility is different for skaters and goalies, and the factors determining a player's waiver status are years in the league, his age, first NHL contract, and the number of games played after signing said contract.

The conditions for the players to be exempt from the waivers according to the CBA can be seen in the figure below.

Source : nhlpa

NHL Waiver Rules

The Waivers are a way of ensuring balance in the league by making sure, no teams are just hoarding skilled players by sending them to the AHL. We have provided some rules surrounding waivers below that make understanding the whole thing a bit easier. 

  • Once a player is placed on waivers, other teams have 24 hours to claim him.
  • The team has the opportunity to remove a player from waivers before another team claims them.
  • Teams can assign the players they put on waivers to the AHL only once they "clear the waivers."
  • The team can choose not to place the player in the AHL.
  • There is no waiver fee for teams, however, the claiming team must assume the player's contract.
  • The player placed on a waiver cannot be refused to do so and is obligated to report to the team if claimed.
  • If a player is claimed off of Waivers, then the team that claimed him must offer the player to the team they claimed him from before they can be traded to other teams.
  • If a player is claimed by more than one team, then the team with the worst record gets the waiver priority
  • The player's waiver status bears no correlation to their contract type (one-way or two-way)
  • Players on entry-level contracts can be placed on waivers(unless exempt)
  • Players on waivers are counted against the team's salary cap until they are either claimed by another team or assigned to the AHL

Why Is Jack Campbell On Waivers?

Jack Campbell has been placed on waivers for assignment according to the Oilers. The goalie has had a record of 1-4-0 so far. 

The Oilers posted a tweet on 8th November 2023 addressing the reason for Campbell's placement on waivers. They had signed him on a 5-year, $25 million contract last year as an unrestricted free agent. 

The 31-year-old goalie had a GAA of 4.50 and a save percentage of 0.873 in five games. His current record in five games is the third-worst GAA and the fifth-worst save percentage this season among the goalies to play a minimum of five games.

In his first season with the Oilers, he had posted a record of 21-9-4 with a GAA of 3.41 and a save percentage of 0.88. His performance is certainly no help for the Oilers after getting a 2-9-1 start to the 2023/24 season. 

The Oilers are currently in seventh place in the Pacific Division with 5 points and the only team behind them is the San Jose Sharks(1-11-1) with one point. The Sharks won their first match of the season against the Flyers after an 11-game losing streak start to the season, conceding 20 goals in two games before getting their first win.

Source : reddit

The Port Huron, Michigan native began his NHL career with the Dallas Stars, playing only one game for them, spending his time with the Stars organization on their AHL affiliate, Texas Stars. He won the Calder Cup with the Texas Stars in 2014

He was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in 2016, where he spent his time jumping back and forth between the Kings and their AHL affiliate, Ontario Reign.

On 5th February 2020, the Kings traded him to the Toronto Maple Leafs, whom he was with for three seasons before signing on with the Oilers. In his last season with the Leafs, he finished the regular season 31-9-6 with a 2.46 GAA and a save percentage of 0.914. 

Campbell might join the Oiler's AHL affiliate team, the Bakersfield Condors in case the other teams didn't sign him.

Stuart Skinner is the goalie listed on their current roster but his record is somewhat similar to Campbell's as he is currently at 1-4-1 with a 3.99 GAA and a save percentage of 0.856. This leads most to the conclusion that the Oilers need a goalie who can perform consistently and better. 

Other NHL Players On Waivers 2023-24

Alex Nylander, Joona Koppanen, and Andreas Johnsson were placed on waivers by the Penguins before the start of this season. They were assigned to their AHL affiliate. 

Ross Johnston of the New York Islanders was claimed off waivers by the  Anaheim Ducks on October 10, 2023. The Islanders signed Johnston on March 31, 2015, where recorded 24 points in 134 games before being placed on waivers.

Source : nhl

Liam Foudy was waived by the Colombus Blue Jackets on 21st October 2023 and claimed by the Nashville Predators. Foudy had been drafted by the Jackets in 2018 as the 18th overall pick and signed a 3-year contract with them in July. 

A complete list of the players placed on waivers and those who cleared waivers can be found here and given here is the list of players claimed by teams other than the ones mentioned above.

  • September 29, 2023: Blue Jackets claim Spencer Martin  after being waived by the Canucks
  • September 30, 2023: Ty Emberson, claimed by the Sharks  after being waived by the Rangers
  • October 1, 2023: Lassi Thompson, claimed by the Ducks after being waived by the senators
  • October 2, 2023: 
    • Samuel Fagemo, was claimed by the Predators after being waived by the Kings
    • Jansen Harkins,  claimed by the Penguins after being waived by the Jets 
  • October 7, 2023: Grigori Denisenko,  claimed by the VGK after being waived by the Panthers
  • October 9, 2023:
    • A.J. Greer,  claimed by the Flames after being waived by the Bruins
    • John Ludvig,  claimed by the Penguins after being waived by the Panthers
    • Ivan Prosvetov,  claimed by the Avalanche after being waived by the Coyotes
    • Lassi Thomson,  claimed by the Senators, after being waived by the Ducks

Grigori Denisenko

Denisenko was the Panthers' first-round pick(15th overall) in the 2018 Draft. He was assigned to the Panthers' AHL affiliate Charlotte Checkers where in 2022/23 he got 6 points in 56 games. 

He has had some difficulty breaking through for the Panthers being a top teenage prospect in the league. But he has excellent vision and skill which could prove quite useful for the VGK if they can help his growth. 

Lassi Thomson

Thompson was a first-round(19th overall) pick of the Senators in the 2019 draft. He is one the best AHL defensemen but has yet to make a successful breakthrough to the NHL. 

The Finnish Skater represented Finland on two separate occasions winning the gold with his team at the IIHF Under 18 World Championships and finishing fourth at the World Junior Championships.

Ivan Prosvetov

Prosvetov was selected by the Arizona Coyotes in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft as the 114th overall pick. The Coyotes assigned him to their AHL affiliates, the Tuscon Roadrunners where he went 3-1-0 with a 1.98 GAA and a save percentage of 0.944 in his first 4 games.

He made 23 saves in 53:38 minutes in his NHL debut on March 31, 2021, for the Coyotes, stepping in for Adin Hill who had conceded four goals. The Coyotes lost the game 9- 3 to the Avalance, the team that would claim him off of waivers in 2023.

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