December 3rd, 2009, 12:33 pm
Ryan Vesce, along with Jamie McGinn and Logan Couture, has been on the short end of the stick when it comes to the Worchester shuttle this year, and I heard a rumor that’s he’s being called up for the game tonight:
|Oct 17||Ryan Vesce||RW||Called up from minors (from Worcester-AHL)|
|Nov 14||Ryan Vesce||RW||Sent to minors (Worcester-AHL)|
|Nov 21||Ryan Vesce||RW||Called up from minors (from Worcester-AHL)|
|Nov 22||Ryan Vesce||RW||Sent to minors (Worcester-AHL)|
But unlike McGinn, Couture, Joslin, McLaren, and the rest of the crew that are accruing frequent-flyer miles at a fantastic rate, Vesce is a veteran player. Some people may know a bit about the waiver rules in the NHL- they are based solely on age and years of experience. Young guys like the ones I mention above are exempt from waivers, a process where any other team in the NHL can take a player for free and assume their contract. But Vesce is 27 years old, way too old to be exempt from waivers, which he would need to clear to be sent to Worchester, and re-call waivers, which he would be required to clear to come back to San Jose. How come we never hear about him clearing waivers, like the recently demoted goaltender Stephen Valiquette of the Rangers?
It’s because the Sharks are being extra careful with Vesce, and taking advantage of some CBA minutia. As some of you might know, I’m oddly fascinated by the various obscure rules of the CBA, and none may be more confusing than the waiver process. The Sharks are manipulating his time carefully so that he’s not subject to either regular waivers (which is how he would be sent down) or recall (which is how he would come back). This is a pretty neat trick. The harder thing to get around is the recall (or re-entry) waiver process, and the Sharks are taking advantage of section 50.9(g) of the CBA:
The Re-Entry Waiver procedure will not, however, be applicable to Veteran Minor League Players defined as follows: (i) for goaltenders, Players who have:
(A) played in 180 or more professional games in North America (NHL, AHL and ECHL), and
(B) not spent more than 80 NHL games on NHL roster over the prior two (2) seasons or more than 40 NHL games on NHL roster in the immediately prior season; and (ii) for defensemen and forwards, Players who have:
Neither the salaries nor signing bonuses paid to minor league Players shall be counted against a Club’s Upper Limit or the Players’ Share. For a Player on a One-Way NHL Contract or a Two-Way Contract with a Minor League Salary and compensation that could be earned in excess of the following amounts:2005-06: U.S. $75,0002006-07: U.S. $95,0002007-08: U.S. $100,0002008-09: U.S. $100,0002009-10: U.S. $105,0002010-11: U.S. $105,0002011-12: U.S. $105,000
the following rules shall apply:
(i) To the extent the Player does not require Waivers to be Loaned to a minor league affiliate, he can be freely Loaned and Recalled
Vesce makes $105k, right under the wire, so this first rule doesn’t apply- Vesce is not subject to recall waivers. Now what about regular waivers- how does he get around that, being 27 years old, with NHL experience last year?
13.5 Waiver Expiration. The rights granted under this Article to Loan a Player(s) who is otherwise required to clear Regular Waivers to a minor league club expire for any Player(s) who, after clearing Regular Waivers:
(i) is not Loaned to a minor league club, or is Recalled from a minor league club (except on emergency recall); and
(ii) remains on an NHL roster for thirty (30) days (cumulative) or plays ten (10) NHL Games (cumulative).
So looking at the above chart, we know know why Vesce was sent back down on the November 14. Because his waiver exempt status was about to expire. Now with the new addition of Jay Leach, the Sharks are taking advantage of another waiver wrinkle – since Montreal got Leach on re-entry waivers, they only had to pay half of his salary, the Devils the other half. And now that the Sharks got him on regular waivers from Montreal, they are required to pay the amount the Habs did, about half the league minimum. Leach may or may not have been “a guy that our guys (scouts) have liked” as Pollak reported, but more likely it’s that “he’s a guy that our guys (accountants) have liked”.