Fun With the CBA! On Philip Holm Being Old and Waiver Free

With free agency in the rear view mirror and the time marching on into the summer, the attention of Canucks fans turns to formulating potential opening night rosters. I took a crack at that myself the other day, at least with the forwards. One of the factors that I took into account was waiver eligibility. While the Canucks have shown in the past that they aren’t afraid to waive players if they are outplayed at training camp (Frank Corrado, Linden Vey, Emerson Etem come to mind – two of which were lost to other teams), the preference would usually be to not risk losing players for nothing.

This brings us to defenceman Philip Holm, who the Canucks signed as a free agent after his role with Sweden in the World Championships in May. Despite being 25-years old, Holm is in fact waiver exempt for the upcoming season. I’ve seen and heard some folks marvel about this fact, so I thought I’d run through the reasons that this is the case.

Waiver eligibility is determined by a few factors: the age of the player, how long it’s been since they signed their Entry Level Contract, and how many NHL games they played since they signed it. We’ve covered waiver rules on this site numerous times before, so this table from section 13 of the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement shouldn’t be unfamiliar.

Age is determined by a number of different conventions throughout the CBA. In regards to waivers, age is determined by article 13.4, which states that the age of a player for the purposes of waivers is the age they turn in the calendar year of the entry draft preceding the first year of their Entry Level Contract (simple, right?). Holm was born of December 8th, 1991, meaning he turns 26 in the calendar year of the relevant CBA. Therefore, his waiver age is considered to be 26.

That means he fits into the bottom row (age 25+) of the above table, which puts him into a situation that we haven’t encountered before in one of our cap-related articles. Later on in article 13.4, there is a subsection that states the following:

The language of this statement is a little confusing, so I reached to someone in the know to confirm its meaning. The simple explanation is that as soon as a 25-year old or older player that is party to an entry level contract plays in a single professional game, he becomes exempt from waivers for the remainder of the season. That doesn’t mean he needs to play a professional game first mind you, as he is already allowed waivers by virtue of being in the first year of an Entry Level deal. It simply means that, unlike younger age groups, there is no games limit that would end the player’s exemption if crossed.

The CBA was also generous enough to provide an example of a situation just like Holm’s. Replace 2013-14 and 2014-15 with the next two upcoming seasons (2017-18 and 2018-19) and you’ll have a fit. Holm will be exempt from waivers for the entirety of the 2017-18 campaign, and will require waivers beginning in the 2018-19 campaign.

Now that we’ve sorted out the why, we can focus on the benefits of Holm’s waiver exemption. This is a major advantage for the organization, as it allows an extra amount of flexibility not often afforded to players of that age. The Canucks won’t feel any pressure to keep him in the NHL as their won’t be any risking of losing an asset for nothing, and he can be shuttled back and forth between Vancouver and Utica for the entirety of the season. That makes him a prime candidate for injury call ups (especially as a veteran of the pro level), and for general roster housekeeping.

As for what to expect from Holm in his first season in North America, that’ll be something that we’ll dig into at a later date.

  • Sandpaper

    Do we have any idea if it would be considered a cap circumventing if the Canucks bought a few houses and allowed some of their players to stay rent free.
    With the ever increasing house prices in Vancouver, it might be an enticement for some players to consider Vancouver as a great place to play again, whether it be NCAA guys or sought after free-agents (when we become decent).
    Just wonderino.


    Palmu – “I need to grow 6 inches”
    Dahlen – “I will stay in Sweden to work on getting bigger until I am ready to play in the NHL”
    Goldobin – “He’s weak against bigger opponents and can look lost in his own zone” – Craig Button
    Petterssen – “I’m not ready to play in the NHL”
    Juolevi – “I still need to work on getting stronger and more physical”

    This says it all. ‘roid dealers are on high alert in ‘couver.
    So are Getzlaf, Doughty, Burns, Maroon and Looch.

  • andyg

    Another article that you could prepare is ” Why you were all wrong about Zack MacEwen” . This kid looks interesting and stood out at the prospect camp. It will be interesting to see if he can can transfer his game to the pro’s.

  • Wanda Fuca

    Hey bloggers – JD or Jeremy or Ryan or whoever is empowered to actually make decisions re. this site: I’m getting really sick of the juvenile and abusive dialogue in your comments section. This is unacceptable. When commenters insult each other just because they disagree with someone’s opinion – “dumb f*ckers” is just one of many moronic phrases being tossed around like mud – they demean themselves and reduce what could be respectful dialogue to the level of schoolyard aggression and abuse. This is no longer interesting. It isn’t why I come here. And you guys are letting your readership down by allowing it to happen. Attacks like this should be met with immediate banishment from the site. Show some class, gentlemen, and delete their accounts. As for me, I’m out of here. Will check back in September to see if the level of discourse has improved.

  • pheenster

    JD, ban the troll or I’m hitting the bricks. For real. I know you like the page views but you won’t be so happy when it’s one idiot talking to himself.

    • Killer Marmot

      Canucks Army should understand that not cleaning out troll accounts on a regular basis threatens the entire operation.

      I am puzzled why nothing has been done. Perhaps CA wants to avoid removing accounts that simply put forward unpopular views, but that should be easily avoidable with proper policies.

      • TheRealPB

        We’ve had these issues periodically but once again it would be really nice to clean up the comments section from the likes of PQW/Psych Major. Disagreements that I might have with some are fine — I like my arguments with Dirk22 for example — but these juvenile attacks are uncalled for and boring. This site tells us that it will moderate comments — will it?

  • Rayman

    Can you PLEASE PLEASE include the SIZE and HAND of the players whenever you talking about new kids? Maybe it’s just me but whenever I hear about a new player I want to find out his size/hand first.


  • Killer Marmot

    My guess is that some of the UFA signings were insurance policies in case there are few or no young players who seem ready to make the jump to the big leagues. Should a few players such as Boeser, Goldobin, Dahlen, Molino, and so forth, look ready, then the Canucks might not mind shedding a few players through trades or over the waiver wire.

  • Neil B

    Well, in fairness, JD has been beating the 50-man pro contract limit for some time now. He’s largely been trying to beat it against GMJB’s head, but he’s certainly not been ignoring the limit.

    As per the likelihood of Petterson or Juolevi making the team out of camp, while it is possible, like Marmott, I simply do not see them holding on to their plan C and D guys in that instance.

    Pettersson, for instance, should he make the team, would instantly make Burmistrov or Gagner redundant (Gaunce plays a completely different game from Pettersson), and one of our NHL-level Cs would be either traded or waived & cut loose. Similarly, if Juolevi plays 11+ games with us so his contract doesn’t slide, we would cut loose one of our other D–probably take a bubble player like Biega, or Holm, and ship him for Future Considerations, and then roll those futures into some other trade further on down the road. Worst case, we expose a player to waivers that we know will be taken, and clear contract space that way. So, I wouldn’t worry about either of the #5s making the team. If they do, we can find room.

    As for Archibald, I’d guess that he’s offered an AHL contract with Utica, rather than an NHL one.

  • Bud Poile

    Pettersson is 18.
    Olli was 18 a month and a half ago.
    Dahlen is 19.
    Allowing them to integrate successfully is in the best interests of both the club and the players.

  • RoCkFaThEr

    Umm…you need help… seriously!
    Wanda’s post was pointed directly towards you!
    Everyone in here reading this knows you are the one with multiple accounts.
    And what do you do, do you copy and paste everything that people post and save them?
    Really creepy dude.
    The thing I love about the comment sections on this site is that everyone posting seems to have an honest Canucks or hockey-related opinion.
    Not you though…. you just like to stir the pot and poke the stick all the while thinking you’re real witty.
    It makes me sad to think how much your real life must suck.
    Maybe try posting something thoughtful and nice for once, it might make you feel good inside.
    We Are All Bud…..