Though they may appear inconsequential at first glance, waivers have proven an important element of roster composition for the Vancouver Canucks.
On the positive side of the ledger, the Canucks added Ryan Stanton and Dale Weise for, well, nothing, and even got a few years out of each player for their troubles. On the not so bright side, they fumbled the Frankie Corrado situation (in spite of having their hands held by the NHL throughout the entire process) and lost him when it wasn’t just possible to keep him, but excruciatingly easy — sorry to beat that drum again, it’s post relevant though. Oh, and I think there’s still some small section of the fanbase inexplicably upset about losing Aaron Volpatti that one time, too.
Waivers giveth and waivers taketh. The Canucks have a few players, some of which are on the roster bubble, who will require waivers to be sent down to the Utica Comets again this season. So let’s look at which players qualify and whether they’ll have to clear.
The league instituted waivers as a means of preventing powerhouse teams from hoarding NHL calibre talent in their farm system. Basically, it keeps NHL talent playing in the NHL and levels the playing field for down on their luck franchises that haven’t had such luck in the draft or free agency. It’s a mechanism that ensures any one player will get their opportunity if any one of the thirty teams in the NHL thinks they’re worth it.
I won’t get into the minutia of each individual rule because reading and interpreting the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement can be migraine inducing at the best of times. If you feel so inclined to give it the old college try though, here’s the www.CapFriendly.com Waivers FAQ.
Former Canucks Army Managing Editor and current The Leafs Nation overlord, Jeff Veillette, provided the too long, didn’t read of it all when detailing the waiver quandaries facing the Maple Leafs roster this season. The details are as follows.
- Based on your age and whether you’re a skater or a goalie, you’re allotted a certain amount of years of waiver exemption.
- If you signed as a teen, non-NHL leagues are treated as a slide, much like they are for your ELC.
- Players can also hit a certain Games Played threshold sooner than their allotted exemption years to become susceptible to the process.
- If a player is waived, clears, and comes back up, he has 30 days or 10 games of NHL time (whichever comes first) where he is temporarily exempt.
- Players can be sent on waiver-less “conditioning stints” for 14 days if for a reason deemed acceptable by the league.
Waiver eligible locks: Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Loui Eriksson, Anton Rodin, Brandon Sutter, Derek Dorsett, Jannik Hansen, Sven Baertschi, Markus Granlund, Alexandre Burrows, Emerson Etem
Waiver exempt locks: Bo Horvat (2017-18 or four games)
Waiver eligible bubble players: Michael Zalewski, Alexandre Grenier
Waiver exempt bubble players: Brendan Gaunce (2017-18), Jake Virtanen (2018-19 or 105 games)
Waiver eligible long shots: Michal Chaput, Jayson Megna
Waiver exempt long shots: Yan-Pavel Laplante (2019-20 or 80 games), Joseph LaBate (2018-19 or 70 games), Michael Carcone (2019-20 or 160 games), Cole Cassels (2018-19 or 160 games), Borna Rendulic (2017-18 or 56 games)
There’s really just the one forward that the Canucks should fret about losing during their final cuts. That would be Alexandre Grenier. He’s been on the cusp of the Canucks lineup for the better part of two seasons and even sipped the odd cup of tea with the club last year, suiting up in six games.
That Grenier hasn’t been able to break through to this point in his career is concerning, especially in light of the fanfare the Canucks engendered of Grenier in the 2014-15 season. He’s 24-years-old now, so it’s time for him to put up or shut up, as they say.
Waiver eligible locks: Alexander Edler, Christopher Tanev, Ben Hutton, Erik Gudbranson, Luca Sbisa, Philip Larsen
Waiver exempt locks: Nikita Tryamkin (2018-19 or 67 games)
Waiver eligible bubble players: Andrey Pedan, Alex Biega
Waiver exempt bubble players: None to speak of
Waiver eligible long shots: Chad Billins, Tom Nilsson
Waiver exempt long shots: Troy Stetcher (2019-20 or 70 games), Jordan Subban (2018-19 or 160 games), Guillaume Brisebois (2020-21 or 160 games), Ashton Sautner (2018-19 or 80 games), MacKenze Stewart (2018-19 or 160 games), Anton Cederholm (2018-19 or 160 games), Evan McEneny (2017-18 or 160 games)
This is where things get interesting. The pre-season is going to have a serious battle brewing between Andrey Pedan and Alex Biega for the eighth and likely final spot on the Canucks roster earmarked for defencemen.
The Canucks signed Biega to a two-year, one-way deal last season, so the likelihood another team poaches him on waivers is unlikely. That’s a hefty ask for a not-very-good defenceman. Putting Pedan on waivers, though, carries a high level of risk, given his youth and the potential he’s flashed with the Utica Comets.
If Biega is a better defenceman than Pedan (and I’m not certain that’s the case going into this season), it’s not by much. There’s much more room for Pedan to grow into a top four role or even a slightly better third pairing defender in time. He’s only 23-years-old, after all.
Besides, I can’t imagine the Canucks want to go through a repeat episode of the Corrado situation. That wasn’t a particularly good look. The parallels would be painfully obvious, too.
Waiver eligible locks: Ryan Miller, Jacob Markstrom
Waiver eligible depth: Richard Bachman
Waiver exempt depth: Michael Garteig (2017-18), Thatcher Demko (2020-21 or 60 games)
There won’t be an awful lot of intrigue in the Canucks net, weird as that sounds. The Canucks appear to have a short and long-term plan in place and by all accounts are sticking to it.
I guess it’s possible, though highly unlikely, that Richard Bachman is claimed. His two-way deal with a cost-prohibitive AHL salary almost ensures he’ll clear waivers, though. In theory, anyways. Maybe another franchise sees that as their own opportunity to grab an expansion draft fodder type of goaltender.