The news was fast and furious this morning as the Canucks acquired defenceman Derrick Pouliot, assigned Olli Juolevi to Finland and released Darren Archibald from his PTO. All these moves occurred before the cutoff for the ‘Opening Day’ roster that the Canucks had to submit at 2PM PT today.
They had to have 23 players (or less) on the roster before that cutoff. The addition of Pouliot threw a wrench in the plan because he was acquired for Andrey Pedan, who had already cleared waivers earlier in the day. Pouliot would’ve also required waivers to be assigned to the AHL. He would’ve had to have been placed on waivers yesterday to ensure he cleared and met the deadline today.
That same rule of having to be on waivers yesterday to be assigned to AHL prior to the Opening Day roster cutoff also has to be applied to players like Alex Biega or Patrick Wiercioch. But there is actually an article in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that applies to such an occurrence, and is located under Article 16.2b in the NHL/NHL CBA:
To simplify, the Canucks acquired Pouliot (“Player A”) via trade and thus agreed to place Patrick Wiercioch (“Player B”) on waivers tomorrow to make room for the incoming Pouliot. This makes Weircioch a non-roster player for today and why he wasn’t at practice this morning. The Canucks had to submit this request in writing to the NHL Central Registry and NHLPA, which was then approved by the Commissioner. (or someone acting on behalf of Gary Bettman)
The Canucks entered the day with 25 healthy players on the roster. They then acquired Pouliot, which put their total up to 26. By assigning Juolevi to Finland, then not signing (releasing him from his PTO) Archibald, and lastly designating Weircioch as non-roster, they were able to get down to the 23 man roster limit.
It is worth adding that if the Canucks were unable to this, they could’ve just assigned one of Jake Virtanen or Brock Boeser to Utica until Wiercioch had been placed on and cleared waivers. This would’ve been the necessary move to make because both of them are waiver exempt. It would’ve just been a little paperwork.
Pouliot is expected to be at Canucks practice tomorrow. Wiercioch will be placed on waivers on Wednesday morning at 9am, and if he clears, will be assigned to the Utica Comets on Thursday.