I’ve opened up CBA 101 to mailbag questions as I had more or less covered the critical topics with respect to the, now expired, Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). I had received a question about NHL player eligibility for the AHL during the lockout from reader Will Heineman, and then more specifically, from reader Tom Ciaverelli, “why isn’t Matt Read playing with the Phantoms?”
The answer ultimately comes back to waiver eligibility, which I covered in my very first CBA 101 article.
Without re-hashing the entire contents of my article on waiver eligibility, the crux of the topic comes down to A) when a player signed his first NHL contract and B) how many NHL games they have played.
Capgeek has a fantastic tool for determining a player’s waiver eligibility. Below you can find the results for Couturier, Schenn, and Read.
In order for someone like Read, who is not exempt from waivers, to play with the Phantoms during the lockout, he would first have to clear waivers. This is why the Flyers waived Danny Syvret and Matt Ford. They wanted both players on the Phantoms and there is also little to no chance they would be claimed. Someone like Matt Read, however, would never clear waivers.
Bill Meltzer touched on this topic a couple weeks back:
Yesterday, the Flyers placed veteran defenseman Danny Syvret and veteran winger Matt Ford on waivers. This was a necessary step in order for both players to join the Phantoms this season. Both players will clear waivers at noon today and be assigned to the AHL.
Neither Marc-Andre Bourdon nor Tom Sestito were placed on waivers because both players (especially Bourdon) would be at risk of being claimed by another organization. The AHL ruled today that players on two-way contracts who were on the clear list last spring will be eligible to sign an AHL-only contract after Sept. 15.
As Bill Meltzer points out, Marc-Andre Bourdon is in a bit of a unique situation because he has a two-way contract and was listed on the Phantoms clear day list last year. The clear day list is a list submitted by each AHL team which designates which players are eligible to play for the rest of their season and playoffs.