The NHL calendar has almost wound down, and the only thing left is to sign those RFAs. Players had until 5 pm yesterday to elect arbitration. The list is here:

17 players elect salary arbitration

Today is the teams’ turn to decide if they want to take any of the remaining RFAs with arbitration rights to this formally negotiated settlement of their contract.

If a team has a player, either team or player elected, going to arbitration, they have a second buyout window after either the last arbitration award or the settlement. The MOU signed last summer changed the rules on arbitration, and once the hearing begins, the parties may not settle. They must go through the whole process to the award.

The Maple Leafs have two RFAs unsigned, both with arbitration rights, neither of whom elected arbitration: Denis Malgin and Joey Duszak.

Mennell is likely to play in the AHL, but is not waivers exempt. There was a very silly reply guy fight on Twitter with Cap Friendly over this, but to clarify for you, way, way, way back in the pre-2013 CBA, one-way vs two-way contracts affected waiver status. That hasn’t been the case now for 8 years. Mennell is not waiver exempt because of his number of years in pro hockey.

Hundreds of players clear waivers every year. Here’s the math: Every NHL team has 50 SPC slots, so there can be 1,600 signed NHL players for this season. Some teams don’t use all their slots, some of those players are loaned to junior hockey or to Europe, and many are on ELCs and the player is exempt. Cap Friendly currently shows 477 players on ELCs.

Even allowing for all of that, teams only can have 23 players at most on the NHL roster and that’s 736 players if every team ran a full slate. That’s still around 200 or so players needing waivers or five or six per team.

There are usually only a small handful of claims in a season that aren’t goalies. This is one of many things everyone should relax over. A player “lost” on waivers, is a player your team didn’t want to play.

In other news:

The Tweet with over 250 RTs:

And now the rest of the story with 70 RTs:

The NHL is investigating Evander Kane over things posted on social media:

Please do not repost anything that is a discussion of a minor child as it relates to this situation. Nothing the NHL is doing has anything to do with this child.

This special episode of 31 Thoughts is really interesting, just from the point of view of making medical decisions, and understanding the future Eichel is contemplating. There doesn’t seem to be any easy or straightforward solution here, and I’m not even remotely surprised no trade has happened yet.

31 Thoughts: The Podcast | Podcasts -
Dr. Chad Prusmack is a neurosurgeon based in Colorado who has provided Jack Eichel with a recommendation to correct a herniated disc in his neck by proceeding with artificial disc replacement surgery. Jeff and Elliotte chat with Dr. Prusmack about the procedure, the recovery and the risk associated with the surgery, and why this surgery would be more beneficial long-term rather than an anterior cervical discectomy with fusion (ACDF).

Okay, that’s it for this holiday Monday, and the real question we want an answer to is are the Leafs done?

Maybe. I think there’s space for more AHL-focused signings over and above the two RFAs, and the Eichel situation might trigger a cascade of deals involving centres, but for right now... maybe.

If you missed it, Back to Excited was somewhat optimistic, and you should listen:

Back to Excited Episode 150: Leafs free agency review

Happy Monday, everyone.