Clarifying the Waiver Draft

The following are the rules of the NHL waiver draft which may shed some light on the plight of a few teams, especially when it comes to goaltending.

The NHL imposes a trading freeze at noon today, and all teams have until 2:00 pm to submit their lists of protected players. Each team can protect 18 skaters and two goaltenders, however, players with little to no NHL game experience are exempt and do not have to be protected. The lists will be made available by the league tomorrow (so check your daily newspaper or HTR). The draft goes on Friday at noon.

There are basically only five rules at the draft: 1) Only non-playoff clubs are involved in round #1. 2) in round #1, no club can select a player from a team in its’ own division. 3) No club may lose more than three players unless it wishes to, or if that club is sleceting many players itself. 4) any team that lost a goalie in last year’s waiver draft cannot lose one this year. (BUF, COL, FLA, MTL, NJ, STL, TBY). 5) the draft will end when a round is complete where no team participates.

So what does all this mean? For starters it means that Trevor Kidd and Jeff Hackett will not be moved in the waiver draft. It means that Vancouver will not get an opportunity to grab Chris Osgood or Stephan Fiset until the second round and with the Islanders having the first pick, the Canucks may be S.O.L. in finding another goalie.

Atlanta picks third and will almost assuredly take Osgood if the Isles don’t, and if not, Fiset might suit them just as fine.

You would expect that Vancouver will be trying like mad to get Osgood before the trade freeze at noon today but GM Burke was quoted saying, “I have not discussed Chris Osgood with Kenny Holland (Wings GM) recently nor do I intend to in the near future.” Does that mean that Burke has his eye on another deal, possibly with Montreal or Florida?

Meanwhile, Ken Holland says,”We have to do something with one of our goalies by September 25th, we’ll do something by that day.” That is today. Do not expect Osgood to still be available in the draft, if Detroit has their way he will be dealt in the next few hours.

Minnesota will have either Dwayne Roloson or Jamie McLennan available as both play behind Manny Fernandez.

Stay tuned, there’s bound to be one or two deals done before todays roster freeze that could change the way the draft looks for many teams.