NHL LOCKOUT: PLAYERS BEGIN TO DISPERSE

With the NHL lockout in effect, players have begun to disperse around the globe to other leagues.

Most of the league’s younger players were reassigned before the CBA deadline by their clubs, either to the AHL affiliate teams or to the junior teams that still maintain their rights.  This all depended on a player’s eligibility: players over 18 years old drafted out of leagues other than the CHL (i.e. NCAA players, European league players etc.), players over 20, or who turn 20 by December 31st of that season, or who have played 4 seasons of junior hockey, can all be sent to the AHL; players who do not meet that criteria had be returned to their junior teams, or European junior aged players can return to Europe to play professionally.

For players being sent to the AHL, waivers must be taken into account.  Players are eligible to be put on waivers if they meet the following criteria:

AGE

GOALIES

SKATERS

YEARS FROM SIGNING – NHL

NHL GAMES PLAYED

YEARS FROM SIGNING – NHL

NHL GAMES PLAYED

18

6

80

5

160

19

5

80

4

160

20

4

80

3

160

21

4

60

3

80

22

4

60

3

70

23

3

60

3

60

24

2

60

2

60

25+

1

1

This includes regular season games and playoff games.  So, if a skater was signed to an NHL contract at age 20, he would be eligible for entry onto waivers after either 3 years, or 160 NHL games played, whichever comes first.  Goalies have a separate part to the table as they tend to make it to the NHL later than skaters, and are moved up and down a lot between the AHL and the NHL as they develop.

The waivers process is basically a system whereby a player who is signed to an NHL contract must be placed on waivers if he meets the above criteria, for all the other 29 NHL teams to be able to put a claim in for that player within 24 hours.  If multiple teams claim a player, the team that has the lowest percentage of possible points in the standings at that time (or if it is the offseason, the previous season’s final standings are used) has preference over the other team(s).  There are all sorts of other rules regarding waivers, such as who is eligible or ineligible, as well as other forms of waivers (e.g. re-entry waivers), but that is a basic overview.

Other, more established NHL players are technically eligible for the AHL, but would have to be placed on waivers to get there, and they would almost certainly be claimed by other teams.  As such, these players will most likely either not play pro hockey until the situation is resolved (this will benefit some players, such as the Oilers’ Taylor Hall, who could use the time to fully recover from injuries sustained in the previous year), or they are free to sign abroad in other professional leagues, as long as that league will have them.

The KHL, which is the top Russian league and the league generally regarded as the second best in the world, has already stated they will take on NHL players.  However, they have strict guidelines, designed so they only attract higher end talent, making it more beneficial to them.  The guidelines, as per The Hockey News:

A foreign player must meet at least one to be eligible.

• Player has played no fewer than 150 NHL games over the past three seasons.
• Player has KHL experience.
• Player represented his country at one of the past two World Championships, World Junior Championships or Olympics.
• Player has won a Stanley Cup, reached the final or won an individual NHL award.

KHL clubs based in countries other than Russia may use all three NHL player roster spots on foreigners and the above criteria is not applicable to those teams.

In the event of an NHL lockout, the maximum number of foreigners allowed on any KHL club will rise from five to six, though only five (one goaltender) will be permitted on a game day roster.

Also, any wages paid to NHLers during the lockout will not count against the KHL club’s salary cap and those wages may not exceed 65 percent of what the player makes on his NHL contract.

This does limit somewhat the amount of players from the NHL who can go here to basically Russians, top NHLers, players on top NHL teams, and veteran players.  Still, kudos to the KHL on making a decision that should boost their league’s attendance/viewing figures by bringing in players whom fans want to see, and also by not allowing their league to be flooded with NHLers and thus compromising too much the existing KHL players’ jobs.  The KHL also stated that players may leave should the NHL start back up in the middle of the season.  In contrast, the SEL in Sweden has stated that they will not allow teams in their league to sign players to anything less than contract covering the entire season; i.e. there is no out clause should a player wish to leave mid-season.  Switzerland appears to be a popular choice amongst players so far, at least in terms of being mentioned, and Finland, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia should also experience an influx of talent.

There is of course the moral question of whether NHLers should be allowed to go to these leagues at all.  Many have put forth the idea that these high end players going to leagues that are essentially beneath them, if only for a matter of months or a year, could put players already playing in that league at risk of being pushed out of the league altogether, or for younger developing players to lose playing time and thus not become the players they had the potential to be.  This is a valid point, and you have to consider that the pro players in these leagues that stand a chance of being pushed off their teams by NHLers coming in are likely to be getting paid only a fraction of what the average NHLer makes, then it’s entirely possible that an entire family’s earnings are shut off as a result.  This is somewhat disconcerting, but I’m sure there must be some guarantee in these players contracts that they still earn their salary in this event?  I expect most of these leagues will do as the KHL has done and increase the number of roster spots available.

Better I suppose to lose playing time than your job altogether.

Notable players headed to the AHL are:

Anaheim

  • Emerson Etem
  • Peter Holland
  • Kyle Palmieri
  • Devante Smith-Pelly

Boston

  • Jordan Caron
  • Jared Knight

Buffalo

  • Luke Adam
  • Marcus Foligno
  • Zemgus Girgensons
  • Cody Hodgson
  • Brayden McNabb
  • Mark Pysyk

Calgary

  • Akim Aliu
  • Sven Baertschi
  • TJ Brodie
  • Krys Kolanos
  • Max Reinhart
  • Ryan Howse
  • Greg Nemisz

Carolina

  • Zach Boychuk
  • Zac Dalpe
  • Riley Nash
  • Victor Rask
  • Justin Shugg
  • Jeff Skinner
  • Jared Staal
  • Brett Sutter
  • Brody Sutter
  • Justin Faulk
  • M.A. Gragnani
  • Bobby Sanguinetti
  • Justin Peters

Chicago

  • Kyle Beach
  • Jimmy Hayes
  • Marcus Kruger
  • Jeremy Morin
  • Brandon Pirri
  • Brandon Saad
  • Andrew Shaw
  • Nick Leddy
  • Dylan Olsen

Colorado

  • *NO APPARENT RE-ASSIGNMENTS.  WILL UPDATE IF FOUND*

Columbus

  • Cody Bass
  • Cam Atkinson
  • Matt Calvert
  • Ryan Johansen
  • Tim Erixon
  • John Moore
  • David Savard
  • Allen York

Dallas

  • Jordie Benn
  • Jack Campbell
  • Cody Eakin
  • Scott Glennie
  • Patrik Nemeth
  • Jamie Oleksiak
  • Toby Petersen
  • Tomas Vincour

Detroit

  • Damien Brunner
  • Landon Ferraro
  • Tomas Jurco
  • Gustav Nyquist
  • Riley Sheahan
  • Tomas Tatar
  • Brian Lashoff
  • Brendan Smith
  • Thomas McCollum

Edmonton

  • Tyler Bunz
  • Dane Byers
  • Brandon Davidson
  • Jordan Eberle
  • Taylor Fedun
  • Teemu Hartikainen
  • Anton Lander
  • Martin Marincin
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  • Magnus Paajarvi
  • Kristians Pelss
  • Tyler Pitlick
  • Alex Plante
  • Olivier Roy
  • Justin Schultz
  • Colten Teubert

Florida

  • JF Jacques
  • Quinton Howden
  • Jacob Markstrom
  • Mattias Lindstrom
  • John McFarland
  • Alex Petrovic
  • Drew Shore

Los Angeles

  • Slava Voynov
  • Stefan Legein
  • Nicolas Deslauriers
  • Brandon Kozun
  • Jordan Nolan
  • Andrei Loktionov
  • Tanner Pearson
  • Tyler Toffoli
  • Linden Vey
  • Jordan Weal

Minnesota

  • Jonas Brodin
  • Charlie Coyle
  • Tyler Cuma
  • Mikael Granlund
  • Matt Hackett
  • Darcy Kuemper
  • Johan Larsson
  • Zack Philips
  • Marco Scandella

Montreal

  • Michael Bournival
  • Brendan Gallagher
  • Blake Geoffrion
  • Patrick Holland
  • Louis Leblanc
  • Nathan Beaulieu
  • Jarred Tinordi

Nashville

  • Taylor Beck
  • Gabriel Bourque
  • Kevin Henderson
  • Austin Watson
  • Ryan Ellis
  • Charles-Olivier Roussel
  • Jeremy Smith

New Jersey

  • Bobby Butler
  • Jeff Frazee
  • Eric Gelinas
  • Adam Henrique
  • Jacob Josefson
  • Adam Larsson
  • Tim Sestito
  • Mattias Tedenby
  • Alexander Urbom
  • Scott Wedgewood

New York Islanders

  • Ty Wishart
  • Colin McDonald
  • Casey Cizikas
  • Calvin de Haan
  • Matt Donovan
  • Travis Hamonic
  • Kirill Kabanov
  • Brock Nelson
  • Aaron Ness
  • Nino Niederreiter
  • John Persson
  • Anders Nilsson
  • Kevin Poulin

New York Rangers

  • Mike Vernace
  • Chad Kolarik
  • Kris Newbury
  • Brandon Segal

Ottawa

  • *NO APPARENT RE-ASSIGNMENTS.  WILL UPDATE IF FOUND*

Philadelphia

  • Sean Couturier
  • Erik Gustafsson
  • Blake Kessel
  • Tye McGinn
  • Zac Rinaldo
  • Brayden Schenn
  • Danny Syvret
  • Eric Wellwood

Phoenix

  • Brett Hextall
  • Alexander Bolduc
  • Rob Klinkhammer
  • Andy Miele
  • Brendan Shinnimin
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson
  • Brandon Gormley
  • David Rundblad
  • Michael Stone
  • Chris Summers
  • Louis Domingue
  • Mark Visentin

Pittsburgh

  • Beau Bennett
  • Tom Kuhnhackl
  • Philippe Dupuis
  • Benn Ferriero
  • Simon Despres
  • Brian Dumoulin
  • Joe Morrow

San Jose

  • *NO APPARENT RE-ASSIGNMENTS.  WILL UPDATE IF FOUND*

St Louis

  • Jake Allen
  • Taylor Chorney
  • Ian Cole
  • Evgeny Grachev
  • Philip McRae
  • Andrew Murray
  • Anthony Peluso
  • Jaden Schwartz
  • Brett Sonne
  • Vladimir Tarasenko

Tampa Bay

  • Cory Connacher
  • Brett Connolly
  • Alex Hutchings
  • Vladislav Namestnikov
  • Ondrej Palat
  • Radko Gudas
  • Riku Helenius
  • Dustin Tokarski

Toronto

  • Carter Ashton
  • Joe Colborne
  • Jerry D’Amigo
  • Nicolas Deschamps
  • Jake Gardiner
  • Ryan Hamilton
  • Korbinian Holzer
  • Nazem Kadri
  • Greg McKegg
  • Brad Ross
  • Jussi Rynnas

Vancouver

  • Kevin Connauton
  • Andrew Ebbett
  • Alex Friesen
  • Derek Joslin
  • Zack Kassian
  • Eddie Lack
  • Yann Sauve
  • Jordan Schroeder
  • Bill Sweatt
  • Chris Tanev

Washington

  • Stanislav Galiev
  • Matt Clackson
  • Zach Hamill
  • Ryan Potulny
  • Ryan Stoa
  • Dmitry Orlov
  • Braden Holtby
  • Dany Sabourin

Winnipeg

  • Alex Burmistrov
  • Patrice Cormier
  • Jason Gregoire
  • Carl Klingberg

Notable players being reassigned to their Junior team:

Boston

  • Dougie Hamilton

Buffalo

  • Mikhail Grigorenko

Carolina

  • Ryan Murphy

Chicago

  • Mark McNeill
  • Phillip Danault

Columbus

  • Ryan Murray
  • Boone Jenner

Dallas

  • Radek Faksa

Edmonton

  • David Musil
  • Nail Yakupov (assigned for contract reasons, will play in KHL this year)

Florida

  • Jonathan Huberdeau

Minnesota

  • Matt Dumba

New Jersey

  • Stefan Matteau
  • Damon Severson

NY Islanders

  • Ryan Strome
  • Griffin Reinhart

Philadelphia

  • Nick Cousins
  • Scott Laughton

Phoenix

  • Lucas Lessio
  • Connor Murphy

Pittsburgh

  • Scott Harrington
  • Olli Maatta
  • Derrick Pouliot

St Louis

  • Ty Rattie

Toronto

  • Tyler Biggs
  • Morgan Rielly

Vancouver

  • Brendan Gaunce

Washington

  • Tom Wilson

Notable players being loaned to European teams:

Buffalo

  • Joel Armia (Assat – SM-liiga)

Vancouver

  • Nicklas Jensen

NHL Players Signing Overseas (courtesy of TSN)

  • Pavel Datsyuk (KHL)
  • Jason Demers (Finland)
  • Christian Ehrhoff (Germany)
  • Ruslan Fedotenko (KHL)
  • Sergei Gonchar (KHL)
  • Jaromir Jagr (Czech)
  • Jussi Jokinen (Finland)
  • Ilya Kovalchuk (KHL)
  • Nikolai Kulemin (KHL)
  • Evgeni Malkin (KHL)
  • Tomas Plekanec (Czech)
  • Alexei Ponikarovsky (KHL)
  • Jiri Tlusty (Czech)
  • Nail Yakupov (KHL)
  • Raphael Diaz (Swiss)
  • Rick Nash (Swiss)
  • Joe Thornton (Swiss)
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