Time for more hockey learning - the blonde way. So, you’ve heard of waivers, right? Want to know what they are? They are a couple of things you need to know in order to understand how waivers work. (By the way, this explanation refers to NHL players, waivers, and contracts. If I tried to add all the other leagues and their rules into this, your mind might be blown. Not the way I want to lose readers, so I’m gonna try to keep it simple.)
First, some people may throw the different types of contracts a player may have into explanations on waivers. So, let’s clear this up. Yes, there are 2 types of contracts, 1-way and 2-way. If an NHL player has a 1-way contract and his team wants to send him down to the minors, the player must clear waivers first. If an NHL player has a 2-way contract, he can usually be moved back and forth between the NHL and the minors without having to clear waivers. (There are exceptions, but for general purposes, that is how it works). 2-way contracts are what you want if you have an injured player so you can call up a guy with a 2-way contract to take his place while the injured player recovers. 1-way/2-way, like streets, get it? But do they really have anything to do with whether or not a player will be placed on waivers? Not really.
Ok, now, there are 2 types of waivers, unconditional and regular. These are the important things to keep in mind. If a team places a player on unconditional waivers, it means that the team has no intention of keeping the player, even in the minors, so his contract can be completely bought out; done deal/game over. If a team places a player on regular waivers, it means the team really wants to keep him, but by NHL rules, they can’t reassign him or recall him from the AHL for “re-entry” without placing him on waivers. Sounds pretty risky, right? There are several conditions about when you can place a player on waivers, such as age, length of contract or amount of games played, etc., etc. They are important but if your team puts someone on waivers, trust they have met those conditions and don’t get bogged down by those pesky details. The most important part is why that player was placed on waivers.
So, let’s look at what the internet says:
~ From WikiAnswers:
Waivers are when a team wants to send a player down to the minors or farm team and they have to "waive" the rights to that player before they can send him down. If another team claims that player he is now their property. If the player clears waivers (no one claims him), he remains the property of the original team and can be sent to the minors. The player may be released and can be a free agent.
~From James Mirtle
Essentially any player that has three professional seasons since signing his first contract, or who has played 180+ NHL games, must go through waivers before going to the AHL. The waiver system allows all 29 other NHL clubs to pick up that player, with teams lower down in the standings taking precedence over those at the top. Players are on waivers for two days, and if they go unclaimed, they're off to the minors.
If they go to the minors and then return to the NHL club, players don't have to pass through waivers again unless they've been with the big club for 10+ games or 30+ days.
Those are both pretty good examples of the waiver process but are they clear enough? Let’s break this down into BlondeSpeak:
Waivers are like eBay. Want to get rid of a player? If he is on unconditional waivers, you put him on eBay with a 2 day listing, because he just doesn’t suit your décor anymore. Let’s hope somebody bids and wins him. Bidders that have lower “ratings” get the pick over any competitive bidder who has higher “ratings”, just to keep things fair. Then you pack him up and ship him out, so long, nice knowing ya. If your bidder is nice, they might even give you a good review on their purchase, but you can bet fans of the player won’t be posting pleasant comments on your eBay listing!
If nobody buys him, you can just let him go, buhbye, see ya. (Kind of like sending him off to the charity bin at Salvation Army, because you certainly have no more use for him. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have listed him on eBay in the first place, right?)
If he is on regular waivers, you hope that nobody bids on him during that 2 day listing, so you can send him down to the AHL. The risk here is a bidder might come along and snatch his butt up and you’ve lost him. But what are you gonna do, you had to put him up for bid in order to send him down to the AHL, you know? That’s why people get so worried and stress out for 2 days during the time a player is placed on waivers. He might be gone by the time the whole listing period is over. If nobody bids on him, he has "cleared" waivers, WooHoo! Just what we wanted!
So, yeah, maybe I didn’t cover all the wherefores and how to’s, but if you want to know those, Google away. I just want to give you the overall simple description of waivers and how they work in essence. I’m a little worried that people are gonna want to get into all those details, but remember; I’m not an expert; I’m just a blonde girl who wants the simple things in life…Any questions?