Which Players Can Clear Waivers? (Brule Update)

Jonathan Willis
August 07 2009 05:00AM

CapGeek.com has quickly turned itself into the Bible of player contract and salary cap calculation questions. In addition to listing the length and dollars of players contracts, and calculating team numbers, CapGeek does some other cool things: including calculating waiver exemptions.

The question has come up a few times which Oilers prospects can clear waivers this fall, so I ran all of the conceivable bubble players who might still be young enough to qualify. Sam Gagner, oddly enough, can still clear waivers until he plays in five more NHL games. Of course he won’t be demoted to the minors; I include this fact only as a curiosity and an excuse to lead with the video above.

Waiver Protected

  • Taylor Chorney: 2 years / 78 games played
  • Devan Dubnyk: 1 year / 80 games played
  • Colin McDonald: 1 year / 60 games played
  • Ryan O’Marra: 1 year / 160 games played
  • Theo Peckham: 1 year / 144 games played

Not a lot of surprises here, and only two real concerns in the immediate future: Devan Dubnyk and Theo Peckham, both of whom will be waiver eligible for 2010-11. I expect that Peckham will carve out a role for himself on the third pairing this year (regardless of whether he’s with this team when they break camp or not). That just leaves Dubnyk, who must be considered the most promising young goaltender in the Oilers’ system. After this season, he needs to be brought up or the team risks exposing him – which makes the continued devotion to Jeff Deslauriers a little bit perplexing, since his is the only spot that might be available.

Waiver Eligible

  • Gilbert Brule: 3 year exemption exceeded
  • Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers: 4 year exemption exceeded
  • Jean-Francois Jacques: 3 year exemption exceeded
  • Ryan Potulny: 3 year exemption exceeded
  • Liam Reddox: 3 year exemption exceeded
  • Rob Schremp: 4 year exemption exceeded
  • Ryan Stone: 3 year exemption exceeded

Some of these guys will be exposed; my guess is the bottom four names on the list. Potulny, Schremp or Reddox might garner some attention from someone, but I would bet that all three clear waivers - and if any of them don’t it isn’t a big loss; Potulny and Schremp are offensive prospects who haven’t been able to crack the NHL roster, while Reddox is a fairly run of the mill bottom-sixer.

UPDATE:  Gilbert Brule's name has come up (again) since the team apparently believes he is still protected from waivers.  Here's the way I understand it:

Brule’s still 3 games short of the 160-game requirement, but he first played 11+ games in 2006-07 (as a 19-year old) and his three seasons of eligibility (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09) should be up now.

He would have an additional year of protection had he not played in the NHL at age 19, but article 13.4 of the CBA seems to make it pretty clear cut that he’s waiver eligible.

The only possible way around this would be based on his birthday - Brule was born January 1, and the age calculation begins on January 1. There’s some room for argument there, but I believe the NHL would interpret the calculation as January 1st inclusive rather than exclusive, leaving Brule waiver eligible.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 DizzyD
August 07 2009, 05:11AM
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can't we just keep them all? LOL..... is it October yet?

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#2 Randy83
August 07 2009, 06:20AM
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DizzyD wrote:

That just leaves Dubnyk, who must be considered the most promising young goaltender in the Oilers’ system.

Not that I dispute what you're saying here, but can we expect another three headed monster in 2010-11? From what we can all tell, JDD should start around 20-30 games this year, so is this his one real shot at a job with our club? Say he performs poorly, he's outta here, and Dubnyk comes up in the following year?

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#3 MattN
August 07 2009, 06:35AM
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YOU ARE WRONG!!

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#4 Randy83
August 07 2009, 07:32AM
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Who is wrong?

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#5 Racki
August 07 2009, 07:51AM
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These all make sense to me, but unless I misheard, yesterday on Team 1260 they mentioned that Brule did not have to clear waivers (and acknowledged that they were baffled that this was the case). Jason Gregor pointed out that no one could figure out why that was the case. To me, I think he does based on years experience, but the Team seemed to have some information saying he didn't need to clear (and I missed why they had thought that). Any idea?

As for Gagner, I think that point is moot anyways, since I believe he is still not eligible to play in the AHL yet due to age (needs to be 21), correct? But that's probably just splitting hairs anyways since it's incredibly unlikely he'll be sent down.

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#6 scorecoff hemmercules
August 07 2009, 07:52AM
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Gagners shootout goal on Bulin is one of my favorite hockey clips ever. Bulin just shakes his head after all those moves. I really hope Gagner explodes this year and pots a ton of points.

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#7 The Towel Boy
August 07 2009, 07:54AM
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scorecoff hemmercules wrote:

I really hope Gagner explodes this year and pots a ton of points.

You and I both brother.

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#8 OvenChicken8
August 07 2009, 08:03AM
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JW - I believe Potulny and Reddox signed 2way deals for this year. Correct me if I'm wrong but wouldn't that mean they don't have to clear waivers?

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#9 Jonathan Willis
August 07 2009, 08:20AM
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@ OvenChicken8:

No, the 1-way/2-way contract has no bearing on waivers, just on how much they'll be paid in the minors.

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#10 Ogden Brother
August 07 2009, 08:30AM
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Question on:

Taylor Chorney: 2 years / 78 games played Devan Dubnyk: 1 year / 80 games played Colin McDonald: 1 year / 60 games played Ryan O’Marra: 1 year / 160 games played Theo Peckham: 1 year / 144 games played

Is that whatever comes first, ie 2 years or 78 games?

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#11 Jonathan Willis
August 07 2009, 08:31AM
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Racki wrote:

These all make sense to me, but unless I misheard, yesterday on Team 1260 they mentioned that Brule did not have to clear waivers (and acknowledged that they were baffled that this was the case). Jason Gregor pointed out that no one could figure out why that was the case. To me, I think he does based on years experience, but the Team seemed to have some information saying he didn’t need to clear (and I missed why they had thought that). Any idea?

He's still 3 games short of the 160-game requirement, but he first played 11+ games in 2006-07 (as a 19-year old) and his three seasons of eligibility (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09) should be up now.

He would have an additional year of protection had he not played in the NHL at age 19, but article 13.4 of the CBA seems to make it pretty clear cut that he's waiver eligible.

The only possible way around this would be based on his birthday - Brule was born January 1, and the age calculation begins on January 1. There's some room for argument there, but I believe the NHL would interpret the calculation as January 1st inclusive rather than exclusive.

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#12 Jonathan Willis
August 07 2009, 08:31AM
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@ Ogden Brother:

Yes, whichever comes first.

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#13 Jason Gregor
August 07 2009, 08:46AM
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JW,

I've spoke with both the Oilers and Brule's camp and they agree he doesn't have to clear waivers. The supposed reason is that he cleared waivers last year. I can't find anything that states he was waiver eligible last year, so I don't see how he would have had to but both camps agree at this point.

That is why Brule has yet to sign, ideally he doesn't want a two-way deal because that makes it much easier to send him down before the season.

Everything says he should have to have clear waivers now, but both his agent and the Oilers have said he doesn't. Strange.

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#14 Heatly
August 07 2009, 08:46AM
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@ The Towel Boy: I third this, however hope he isn't too expensive come contract time. I want him to do well, but blow up after the long term signing.

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#15 Colin
August 07 2009, 08:49AM
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Well Gagner sure likes that one move a lot for the shoot-out.

Dubnyk, Peckham and Brule are the only players on either of those lists I'd be worried about losing anyway.

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#16 King Mob
August 07 2009, 08:52AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: Yes, whichever comes first.

Quinn is going to be relying on Peckham a LOT if he intends to ice him for 144+ games this season.

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#17 Ogden Brother
August 07 2009, 08:53AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: Yes, whichever comes first.

*Thumbs up*

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#18 Jonathan Willis
August 07 2009, 09:00AM
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@ Jason Gregor:

This continues to be a rather bizarre stance for either party to take - particularly given that waiver protection doesn't extend from season to season like that.

It's awfully arrogant to assume I know the CBA better than Rick Olczyk and Brule's agent, but I can't see how they could be right.

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#19 Archaeologuy
August 07 2009, 09:08AM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Is there a double secret part of the CBA that only Rick Olczyk, Paul Holmgren, and the Chicago Blackhawks have access to?

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#20 Tyler
August 07 2009, 09:11AM
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@Jason - Have you considered calling the NHLPA and asking them? They provided an explanation on a trade a few years back and seem generally willing to explain why things are the way they are.

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#21 BigE57
August 07 2009, 09:18AM
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Wow, things are desperate, I think we all need a vacation here, maybe a trip to a Capitals game or something like Wanye took.

This whole Brule thing was discussed ad nauseum roughly a month ago....

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#22 Ender the Dragon
August 07 2009, 09:38AM
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Colin wrote:

Well Gagner sure likes that one move a lot for the shoot-out.

I was thinking the same thing; I had to watch really closely to see if it was truly a montage or just diferent angles of the same goal over and over.

Goalies do homework now. This pony better learn a new trick or his numbers are going to slide this year.

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#23 ChiliChunk
August 07 2009, 10:03AM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

Goalies do homework now. This pony better learn a new trick or his numbers are going to slide this year.

I think they already did. At the start of 07-08 'the move' worked great but even later in that year it started to falter and he went to other moves. Over the last 2 seasons combined he is 8 for 25 which is probably alright but not really lights out.

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#24 kris
August 07 2009, 10:19AM
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Gregor,

Why didn't you ask either Olcyk or Brule's agent which section of the CBA implies that Brule is not waiver eligible?

If they just say 'He already cleared last year.' You could ask: What in the CBA made him waiver eligible last year, and where in the CBA does it say if you cleared in the prior year, you don't have to clear the next year. (Or are they saying that once you clear, you never, ever have to clear again.)

Easy question. Easy answer. We all learn something. I mean, they're not keeping secrets from you on this. At least we'd know one way or the other, not just about Brule, but about other players too.

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#25 kris
August 07 2009, 10:22AM
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Of course, you don't even need to ask the big guns that question. Presumably there's somebody on the Oilers staff who could answer that question in a quick email exchange. Presumably. Or like Tyler says, the NHL should be able to answer the question, too.

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#26 Jason Gregor
August 07 2009, 10:51AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

It’s awfully arrogant to assume I know the CBA better than Rick Olczyk and Brule’s agent, but I can’t see how they could be right.

Neither can I...but that's what they say. I guess we'll find out in October if he gets sent down.

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#27 Jason Gregor
August 07 2009, 10:53AM
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@ kris:

Thanks Kris...I never would have thought of that. I did, but never got a precise answer. It's not like they just beckon to every call I make.

I even asked other capologists on other teams for an explanation and couldn't get one. OF course they are a bit hesitant to talk about a player on another team.

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#28 Jason Gregor
August 07 2009, 10:58AM
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@ Tyler: Just sent them one...we will see what they say. It sure looks like he should have to...

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#29 Jonathan Willis
August 07 2009, 12:36PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

Thanks for digging on this, Jason.

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#30 Dallas
August 07 2009, 01:16PM
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Gagner will explode this year he is my favorite player of coarse but I put him as almost as good as patty Kane

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#31 BruceM
August 07 2009, 01:47PM
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My favourite Gagner shootout attempt was against Dom Hasek. A classic showdown: 18-year-old greenhorn against 42-year-old greybeard. By then Gagner had potted a few and the Dominator obviously had watched the videos, cuz after Sam finished making his 11 moves and pulled the puck to his forehand there was Hasek calmly waiting for him. Dom never bit even the tiniest bit, and made his own move at precisely the right instant to make the save look easy.

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#32 kris
August 07 2009, 03:29PM
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Sorry Jason, I didn't mean to sound patronizing. I thought you had got the 'he was already waived' answer in an in person interview, where you would've followed up immediately asking about the CBA.

If they're not responding to your calls and emails, there's nothing you can do, I suppose.

Thanks for looking at this. You may have a 'management screws up' story like the Tallon story or the Philly-Pronger deal on your hands. Interesting stuff.

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#33 Racki
August 07 2009, 03:37PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

JW, I’ve spoke with both the Oilers and Brule’s camp and they agree he doesn’t have to clear waivers. The supposed reason is that he cleared waivers last year. I can’t find anything that states he was waiver eligible last year, so I don’t see how he would have had to but both camps agree at this point. That is why Brule has yet to sign, ideally he doesn’t want a two-way deal because that makes it much easier to send him down before the season. Everything says he should have to have clear waivers now, but both his agent and the Oilers have said he doesn’t. Strange.

The CBA is written as archaic as possible, much like Nostradamus' writings. So much legalese that it takes a lawyer to understand. But that explanation makes even less sense to me.

Firstly because I agree that it makes no sense he would even have to clear waivers last year. TSN's list of transactions for him also doesn't mention him clearing waivers at any point. If you look at a guy like Potulny, you'll see he had to go through waivers to be assigned to Springfield last year.

Secondly, like Jonathan Willis, I only play a capologist on TV. I haven't got the ego enough to think I'd know any better than Rick Olcyk. However, the comment about waiving him successfully last season baffles me as to how that affects this season. Maybe it has something to do with them intending to send him down before the season really starts. That would be my only guess. But I would think that once the season is underway that would change...?

It's too bad we don't have access to a CBA mastermind on a full-time basis to drill with questions. Hell, I would love to pick Olcyk's brain even for an hour just to get clarification on a few parts of the CBA.

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#34 mrbisson
August 07 2009, 03:49PM
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The reason Brule doesn't have to clear waivers is because of Article 13.2 (b) "the Player has not played in ten (10) or more NHL Games cumulative since Regular Waivers on him were last cleared, and more than thirty (30) days cumulative on an NHL roster have not passed since Regular Waivers on him were last cleared."

He was recalled on Dec 5/08, played 2 games, was assigned and cleared waivers on Dec 12/08, recalled Dec 31/08, played 9 games, assigned Jan 21/09 without having to clear waivers as per Article 13.2(b).

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#35 Tyler
August 07 2009, 04:33PM
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I'm pretty sure that that's not correct. Other players in that situation have had to clear waivers. I discussed this at my own site when this first came up.

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#36 Jonathan Willis
August 07 2009, 04:45PM
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@ mrbisson:

1) Why would he have to clear waivers on December 12 (less than 10 games/30 days)?

2) Why would any of that affect this coming season?

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