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Nick Robertson leaves his regular season debut

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“Knee” is all we know.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

Nick Robertson has left the Maple Leafs game vs the Ottawa Senators with an injury. He did not return after the first period ended. The game was Robertson’s regular season debut after playing four playoff games in the summer.

The play was a hit by Drake Batherson along the boards. Nick Robertson played 2:19 with no special teams minutes.

When we have an update, we’ll let you know.

Update: Let’s talk emergency rules in the CBA. No wait ... come back....

Okay, there are a couple of different things in the CBA that are called “emergencies” and the yget conflated and confused. To make matters worse we now have a CBA, a MOU from the summer that overrides it, and a set of new changes released for this season only in December that also overrides and augments it.

The Problem

The only time a team can send an injured player to the minors (AHL or Taxi Squad) is if he was on recall from there, and is a player subject to regular waivers. Nick Robertson is the first thing, but not the second.

The Leafs have room on the roster for 21 players only, and currently have Robertson, three goalies and 17 other skaters.

IR does not remove a player from the salary cap, so doesn’t help.

LTIR requires the player to miss 10 NHL games and 24 calendar days of playing time, and in advance of clarity on his medical status, it’s impossible to know if that even applies.

There is no way short of waiving Aaron Dell today, for the Leafs to add a skater to this roster under ordinary circumstance.

The Solution

This is a “Roster Emergency” and I’ll spare you the CBA paragraph as it is one of the most convoluted to read. The concept is that: “the Club played its previous game with fewer than 18 and 2 (a “Roster Emergency”)...” then they can call up a player whose cap hit is the current league minimum plus $100,000, or $800,000.

This amount has been changed for this season only to $1 million, which is what Chris Johnston is referring to here:

Johnston is showing confidence here, likely earned by information received, that playing part of a game a man short fulfills that clause noted above in the roster emergency rules. As he says, all of the rest of the squadies earn less than $1 million. Note that if Robertson was hurt today in practice, the Leafs would have to play on Monday a man down.

The roster emergency recalled player must be removed from the roster as soon as the emergency is over, and there is no limit on how often a team can do this. I just want to emphasize here that this is not new, not related to having a Taxi Squad, and has always been in the CBA. It’s a rarely used concept, but it has happened a few times in recent memory. Most teams don’t dawdle along in this sort of cap bind, so it’s rare.

If Robertson qualifies for LTIR, the Leafs may simply choose to use that, but it will stop the banking of the current cap space which would not be ideal, but would allow the recall of Pierre Engvall subject to quarantine rules. His cap hit is over a million, so he can’t be an emergency recall.

Why the Dell Gambit?

Why not just waive Dell!! This is getting stupid.

As reported on HNIC by Elliott Friedman last night, the Edmonton Oilers are in a goalie bind. Mike Smith is out for weeks, they have Mikko Koskinen and Stuart Skinner and no one else they can put on the active roster. They have a waiver claim in on Troy Grosenick, but because he was in the USA, he can’t join the team for 14 days.

They need a third goalie, and they are about to go on the road. To Toronto. The team is looking for an amateur goalie on site in Winnipeg and Toronto, where they travel to, and they need that player to be in quarantine or to not require further quarantine. They play at home on Monday and can find someone local to stick in as an EBUG.

Obviously, if the Leafs waived Aaron Dell, the Oilers would claim him and pick him up when they arrive on Wednesday. Assuming someone else doesn’t grab him first. Until the Oilers are sorted, Dell will stay on the Leafs roster or he’s gone.

Update, to the update:

So the official position of PPP on this is: who the hell knows?