Being an NHL player comes with its own set of challenges and responsibilities, including being placed on waivers. Waivers are a mechanism used by the league to give teams the opportunity to claim players who have been placed on waivers by other teams.
But what happens when a player is placed on waivers? How long do they stay there? These are common questions that many fans and followers of the sport may have, and for good reason. Understanding how long NHL players stay on waivers is crucial to understanding team strategies and decisions.
“Throughout the years, waivers have been an important aspect of NHL trades and acquisitions. Knowing the ins and outs of this process can be the difference between losing or gaining a valuable member of your team.”- Anonymous
In this article, we will explore the nuances of how long NHL players stay on waivers, the reasons why it matters, and what it means for teams and players alike. So whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply curious about the world of hockey, read on to learn more about one of the most interesting aspects of the sport: waivers.
Understanding Waivers in the NHL
What Are NHL Waivers?
NHL waivers refer to a process by which teams can designate certain players for transfer or assignment. When a player is placed on waivers, they become available to other NHL teams for a limited amount of time. During this period, any team can claim the player on waivers and assume their existing contract.
Why Do NHL Teams Use Waivers?
NHL teams primarily use waivers as a means of managing their roster and salary cap. In many cases, teams may need to send a player down to their minor league affiliate or make room for a new acquisition. By placing the player on waivers, they expose them to the rest of the league and potentially free up space on their roster for another player.
Additionally, NHL teams may place a player on waivers if they are looking to terminate their contract but cannot come to an agreement through trade. If no team claims the player on waivers within the designated timeframe, the team can then buy out the player’s contract and remove them from their payroll.
Who Is Eligible for Waivers in the NHL?
In order for a player to be eligible for placement on waivers, they must meet specific criteria set forth by the NHL. Generally speaking, the following types of players are subject to being placed on waivers:
- Players with professional experience who were signed to entry-level contracts and have not played in at least 10 NHL games or spent 30 days on an NHL roster
- Players who have been designated as non-roster players
- Players who have cleared unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating their contract
- Veteran players (those with over 10 years of experience or who have played in at least 180 NHL games) who have been signed to a two-way contract and are being sent down to the minor leagues
It’s worth noting that different rules may apply for certain types of waivers. For example, if a player is placed on conditional waivers, they may only be claimed by specific teams based on stipulations set forth by the team placing them on waivers.
“Waivers provide an important tool for teams to manage their roster and make necessary adjustments throughout the season.” -NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly
The Waiver Process in the NHL
How Does the Waiver Process Work in the NHL?
The waiver process is one of the ways that NHL teams can release a player from their current contract. It’s used to free up roster space and salary cap room by allowing other teams to claim waived players instead of keeping them.
To place a player on waivers, an NHL team must submit a form notifying all other clubs in the league that they intend to waive that particular player. This typically happens when a team has more than 23 players on their active roster or if they need to create additional salary cap space quickly.
After a player has been placed on waivers, they will be available for other teams to claim for 24 hours. If a team claims a player off waivers during this time period, they are required to take over the remainder of that player’s existing contract. The claiming team also assumes control of the player’s rights and cannot send them back down to the AHL without exposing them to waivers first.
If no team claims the player during the 24-hour window, they will clear waivers and remain with their original club, often being assigned to their AHL affiliate instead.
What Happens When a Player Is Claimed Off Waivers in the NHL?
When a player is claimed off waivers in the NHL, they immediately join their new team and become subject to that team’s rules, systems, and expectations. They also forfeit any protection that may have come with their previous team (i.e., special treatment, playing time guarantees, etc.) and may find themselves taking on a reduced role or even bouncing back and forth between the NHL and AHL depending on the needs of their new organization.
Players who are claimed off waivers also give up some degree of control over their career path. They are now at the mercy of their new team’s salary cap situation, roster needs, and preferred organizational strategy, which can all impact whether or not they will remain with that team for very long.
That being said, getting claimed off waivers is typically a positive sign for players who may have been struggling to earn regular ice time or gain traction within their original organization. It provides them with a fresh start and an opportunity to prove themselves on a different team in a new environment.
“Being placed on waivers is never ideal, but it is an opportunity for many NHL players to find success elsewhere,” says NHL analyst Elliotte Friedman.
The waiver process allows teams to make quick roster moves while also providing some flexibility and opportunities for individual players looking to advance their careers. While getting claimed off waivers can be stressful for players, it can also present unique opportunities and challenges that could ultimately lead to success both individually and for their new club.
Waiver Priority in the NHL
Putting a player on waivers in the National Hockey League (NHL) is a common practice used by teams to move players around and create more space within their salary cap. However, putting a player on waivers does not necessarily mean they will be instantly claimed by another team. So, how long do NHL players stay on waivers?
How Is Waiver Priority Determined in the NHL?
Before understanding how long NHL players can remain on waivers, it is important to understand how waiver priority is determined. A team’s waiver priority is based on its position in the league standings at the time of the request.
So, if a team with a higher standing makes a claim on a player who has been waived, they will have priority over any other team with a lower standing that may also want to claim that player. Waiver priority resets every day of the regular season to reflect the current standings.
There are certain exceptions to this rule. For instance, if multiple teams submit a waiver claim for a player from the same conference or division, then the team with the lowest point total at that time will be given the first opportunity to claim the player.
What Happens When Multiple NHL Teams Claim a Player Off Waivers?
When multiple NHL teams make a claim on a single player off waivers, the team with the highest priority will be awarded the player. Other teams that made claims will receive no compensation or players in return.
The claiming process itself takes 24 hours, beginning from the moment the player becomes available. If one or more teams put in a claim during that period, the team with the highest priority will be given 24 hours to officially claim the player. Failure to do so will result in the next highest priority team being given the same opportunity.
If no team claims the player during this period, the placing team has several options. They can keep the player on their roster, assign them to a minor league affiliate or terminate their contract altogether. If terminated, the player becomes an unrestricted free agent and is free to sign with any team in the NHL.
“In today’s game, waiver priority can be critical. There are always players that need to move through the ranks and might get caught if they don’t have movement somewhere,” said former NHL coach Craig Hartsburg.
So, to summarize: how long do NHL players stay on waivers? The answer depends on several factors including their skill level, salary, and overall performance within their club.
Once placed on waivers, they can remain there for up to 24 hours before another team either claims them or they are returned to the original team’s roster. Waiver priority is based on the teams’ current position in the standings, but certain exceptions apply when multiple claims are made on one player.
Understanding total timeframes around waiver periods can aid in making staffing decisions much easier for hockey clubs who typically manage talented rosters in highly competitive leagues.
How Long Can a Player Stay on Waivers in the NHL?
When an NHL team wants to place a player on waivers, they are essentially exposing that player to being claimed by any of the other thirty teams in the league. If no one claims the player within the designated waiver period, the player can be sent down to the minors or remain with the NHL team. But, how long can a player stay on waivers in the NHL?
What Is the Maximum Amount of Time a Player Can Stay on Waivers in the NHL?
The maximum amount of time that a player can stay on waivers in the NHL is 24 hours. After the team places the player on waivers, all other NHL teams have 24 hours to claim the player. Once that period has passed and no team claims the player, the team that placed him on waivers can then assign him to the minor leagues or keep him on their roster.
If a player is claimed off of waivers by another team, that team must immediately assume his current contract, including salary and length. The claiming team also takes responsibility for that player’s spot on their own active roster or injured reserve list.
Can a Player Be Recalled from Waivers in the NHL?
Technically, a player can be recalled from waivers in the NHL only if he clears waivers. Once a player is placed on waivers, every NHL team has the ability to put in a claim for the player. This means that if a team puts a player on waivers and nobody claims them, the team can recall him back to their roster without losing him entirely.
When a player is claimed off of waivers, he cannot be recalled until he either plays ten games (with at least one occurring after the trade deadline) or remains on his new team’s active roster for thirty days. After the ten games or thirty days have passed, his new team can choose to send him down to their minor league affiliate without risk of losing him to another waiver claim.
What Happens If a Player Is Not Claimed Off Waivers in the NHL?
If a player clears waivers and is not claimed by any other team, he then becomes available to the team that placed him on waivers once again. In this case, most teams will assign the player to their AHL (American Hockey League) affiliate if they are cleared through waivers more than 30 days after the beginning of the regular season or after January 1st; but if the player has already played in ten games with the NHL club, he must receive clearance from every team before being assigned to the AHL.
In order to clear waivers and be eligible for assignment to the minors, there is a certain requirement that must be met. According to Section 13.16 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and the Players’ Association, “a player shall be deemed to have cleared waivers at the earliest of 12:00 p.m. ET the following day, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.”
“The use of waivers began when multi-year contracts put GMs in such situations that trades were becoming very difficult. These days players are waived not only because of salary concerns, although this is one reason why they might end up being unwanted by their current team.” -Chris Wassel, The Hockey Writers
An NHL player can remain on waivers for a maximum of 24 hours. During this time period, any team can make a claim for the player. If no team claims him within 24 hours, then he either remains with his current team or gets sent down to the minors. If he clears waivers he can either be recalled or assigned to the minor leagues. If he’s claimed off of waivers, then his new team must assume his current contract and either add him to their active roster or injured reserve list for at least ten games or thirty days before attempting to send him down to the minors.
What Happens When a Player Clears Waivers in the NHL?
In the NHL, teams place players on waivers for various reasons, including sending them down to the AHL or getting rid of them completely. But what happens when a player clears waivers? Essentially, any other team can claim that player and acquire him for their own roster at his current contract’s terms and salary cap hit; however, if he clears unclaimed by noon ET the next day, he is eligible to be assigned to the AHL without needing to clear waivers again. The player can either report to the AHL team to which they were sent to or refuse to go.
Can a Player Refuse to Report to the AHL After Clearing Waivers in the NHL?
Once a player clears waivers, it means that no NHL team claimed him, so he can be assigned to an AHL team by his current team. However, he does have some control over where he plays. If the player has a “no-move clause,” he cannot be sent down against his wishes. Without a no-trade clause, the player can decide whether to report to the minor leagues or not. In this instance, the team and player may work out a different agreement, but ultimately, the decision to play (or not) lies with the player.
What Happens to a Player’s NHL Salary When They Are Sent to the AHL?
When sent down to the AHL, a player’s NHL salary remains unchanged, until they exceed 30 days spent in the AHL per season. At that point, teams are allowed to reduce a player’s salary.” Because salaries in the AHL are significantly lower than those in the NHL due to the league’s lower revenue share, it often becomes financially beneficial for teams to demote underperforming or well-paid players, even for a short duration.
How Many Times Can a Player Clear Waivers in the NHL?
The number of times that a player can clear waivers before they become exempt depends on their age and years of professional experience. In general, once players have three years of professional hockey service or have played 80 NHL games, they must pass through waivers to be assigned to AHL teams. Players with less than three years of experience and/or fewer than 80 NHL games are exempt from this rule for a limited amount of time; however, each season that they remain eligible to claim starts a new clock until they reach the standard benchmark.
Can a Player Be Claimed Off Waivers After Clearing Waivers in the NHL?
After clearing waivers, an NHL team retains the ability to call up claimed players at any point during the remainder of the season but if it has been over 30 days since the player was placed on waivers, he will need to clear again (note: there are some exceptions like emergency recalls). If called up due to injury, the recalled player may only be held on the active roster for two weeks. Additionally, as long as another team doesn’t claim the player first, the same team that waived him cannot reclaim him without the player being put back onto waivers.
How Waivers Affect Team Salary Cap in the NHL?
In the National Hockey League (NHL), a player can be put on waivers by their team. This process allows other teams to claim that player at no cost, except for assuming the player’s contract. However, putting a player on waivers may still affect the team’s salary cap, depending on the circumstances.
Does a Player on Waivers Count Against a Team’s NHL Salary Cap?
When a player is claimed off waivers, their original team will have their contract removed from their salary cap. But if no team claims the player and they get sent down to the AHL, their salary will not count fully towards the NHL team’s salary cap. That said, there are rules about how much salary counts against an NHL team’s salary cap when a player is placed on waivers, which depend on several factors:
- If a player has played less than 10 games during a season or has been with the team for less than 30 days since being recalled from the minor leagues, then their full salary won’t count against the salary cap while they’re on waivers or in the minors.
- If a player has played more than 10 NHL games or has been with the team for over 30 days after being recalled from the minors, then their full salary will continue to count against the team’s salary cap even if they’re sent down to the minors – unless the player was designated as a two-way contract, allowing them different salaries for the NHL and AHL stints. In such cases, only the portion of the player’s salary associated with his time spent in the NHL will count against the club’s cap.
How Does Sending a Player to the AHL Affect a Team’s NHL Salary Cap?
When a player is sent down to an AHL team, their salary-cap hit can be reduced depending on each of the following scenarios:
- If a player clears waivers before being demoted to the minors, then their entire salary won’t count against the NHL club’s cap.
- If a two-way contract exists for the player and they shuffled between the NHL and AHL throughout the season, then only the portion of the player’s pay related to his time spent in the NHL will apply to the salary cap. Their minor-league compensation doesn’t have any bearing on the NHL squad’s spending ceiling.
Can a Team Trade a Player on Waivers in the NHL?
If a team attempts to put a player through waivers and that player gets claimed by another team, then he belongs to that organization until the end of the season, unless he subsequently gets placed on waivers again at some point during the year. But even when traded, the same rules refer with regards to the NHL salary cap implications of that player as previously mentioned.
“There are risks associated with putting guys on waivers.” -David Poile
Putting a player on waivers can sometimes backfire because of various reasons like losing the player for nothing or having an opposing team claim them or not being able to assign someone due to his high salary for which no one wants to take the claim; it is always better to weigh all the factors while making this decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the maximum amount of time an NHL player can stay on waivers?
The maximum amount of time an NHL player can stay on waivers is 24 hours. During this time, other NHL teams have the opportunity to claim the player and add them to their roster.
What factors affect how long an NHL player stays on waivers?
The factors that affect how long an NHL player stays on waivers include their age, contract, and performance. If the player has a high salary or poor performance, they may be less likely to be claimed and could stay on waivers longer.
Can NHL teams recall a player from waivers before the 24-hour period is up?
No, NHL teams cannot recall a player from waivers before the 24-hour period is up. Once a player is placed on waivers, they are available to be claimed by other teams, and the 24-hour period must be completed before any team can recall the player.
What happens to a player who clears waivers?
If a player clears waivers, they can be assigned to the AHL or ECHL if they have a two-way contract. If they have a one-way contract, they can be assigned to the AHL but will still receive their NHL salary. The player can also remain with their NHL team as a healthy scratch or be traded or released.
Is there a limit to how many times an NHL player can be placed on waivers in a season?
No, there is no limit to how many times an NHL player can be placed on waivers in a season. However, if a player is placed on waivers more than twice in a season, they must remain on waivers for 10 days instead of 24 hours.