Could Calgary Have Lost Ryan O'Reilly to Waivers?

Doug Pensinger

No. Edit: Yes.

Sportsnet's Chris Johnson reported today:

In a bizarre twist to an already unusual story, Sportsnet.ca has discovered that the Flames were not only in danger of losing 2013 first- and third-round draft picks as compensation if the Avs hadn't matched the O'Reilly contract, but they also would likely have had to surrender the player before ever getting him in uniform.

That's because O'Reilly would have needed to clear waivers before joining the team's roster.

I saw this tweet come across my timeline:

And decided to investigate. I found the NHL's 25 page CBA information document on the NHLPA's website, available here, and scrolled down to:

All Players on a Club's Reserve List and Restricted Free Agent List will be exempt from the application of CBA 13.23 Waivers in the case of a mid-season signing.

For further clarity, if Club A trades such a Player to Club B and Club B signs the Player to an SPC, such Player will be exempt from the application of CBA 13.23.

Some people believe that an offer sheet isn't a trade so this isn't exactly right so there's some ambiguity here.

Note: I removed a tweet from here because after researching I don't think it's credible.

It's weird to have defended a bad NHL GM for once, but it seems like Jay Feaster didn't botch this.

Update 11:14AM:

Uh, ouch.

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