Cap Friendly, purveyor of all sorts of useful information, posted some dates to remember just as I was about to count up the days to figure the start of the waiver period.
Beginning today at 12:00 noon, teams can begin placing players on waivers. While October 1 is correctly listed as the last day to put a player on waivers and have them clear before the final 23-man cap-compliant roster is due on October 2, the league always allows some last-minute decisions. Players might get waived on October 2 itself.
Waivers are not a wave goodbye. The point is not to dispose of someone to another team, and the vast majority of waived players are never claimed.
All players not waiver exempt must be placed on waivers to be sent to the AHL. For a look at Leafs players and their waiver status, you can always check on Cap Friendly, or take a look at this article:
Sometimes players are put on waivers because a team wants to trade them. This doesn’t mean they want the player taken, but by having them clear first, their trade value rises, since the acquiring team can send them directly to the AHL. This applies to AHLers or bubble players, not the top-line players.
It’s likely that, across the league, a few players will be claimed during training camp, but the total number should be in the dozen or so area.
Players on waivers are announced at noon every day, and teams have 24 hours to register a claim. The team with the highest priority wins the claim.
From now until November 1, the priority for claiming players off waivers is the reverse of last year’s final standings:
- NY Rangers
- NY Islanders
- St. Louis
- New Jersey
- Los Angeles
- San Jose
- Tampa Bay
The Leafs are not in the claiming business anymore. Even if that amazing fourth-line centre that some team inexplicably doesn’t want is put on waivers, the Leafs have to hope 24 other teams are not interested. In other words, the players the Leafs can successfully claim are not players the Leafs want.
The Leafs are very likely looking to move out some excess depth players during training camp. Wanting to and doing are two separate things, but they have an excess of defenders of the seventh D and lower sort, and one look at the Ottawa Senators should tell you they’d be dumb not to grab one if he hits waivers. There are also teams we can count on not to be dumb who might be in the market and have a high priority claim.
Chicago is interesting. They have a questionable starting goalie, Cam Ward, and Anton Forsberg. Maybe they’d like some more insurance? Teams with lower priority are more likely to be in the market for goalies as well.
The Leafs also have too many wingers of the seventh, eighth and lower sort. They are going to be waving some of them because they won’t all fit in the pressbox.
Last Day of Training Camp
By 5:00 p.m. New York time on October 2, every team in the NHL has to have a roster of no more than 23 players (not including those on LTIR or Injured Reserve). That roster has to fit under the cap. The Leafs can do whatever they like with whatever group of players they currently have under contract and fit under the cap. They don’t need to place Nathan Horton on LTIR to do it, he can just be left on IR. (LTIR exempts a player from the salary cap after a fashion, IR just exempts them from the 23-man roster count.)
If William Nylander has not been signed by opening day, the Leafs will still have lots of room for him. This might be the last time we ever say, “Yeah, salary cap, who cares.”
Who are you worried about losing? Is it going to be a goalie or a defenceman? Is it going to be someone who spent last season in the press box?