O'Reilly and Waivers - Updated

Kent Wilson
March 01 2013 10:16AM

Chris Jonhston of Sportsnet is claiming that had the Flames signed Ryan O'Reilly to a contract the young center would have had to clear waivers this year to play for the club. Meaning Calgary could have lost a first, a third, and then the player himself to a waiver claim.

This strikes me as implausible. First, because the rule should apply to both teams, not simply the Flames. Ryan O'Reilly signed the same contract with the Avs as he did with the Flames and was a free agent. Why would he have to clear only for the Flames? In addition, I can't see the Flames missing this in their due diligence. I also recall mention previously when we were discussing Karri Ramo that the current CBA erased this provision when it comes to RFA players.

In short, I doubt there's a story here.

UPDATE - according to TSN and Bob MacKenzie, the rule would likely have been interpreted against the Flames, meaning O'Reilly would have been exposed to waivers. I think Calgary would have had an argument in any subsequent greivance, but it's likely it could have been a terrible blow to the franchise had the Avs chosen to wallk away.

All of this rests on a clause depending on the player playing after the NHL season started. So, for instance, had the Flames sent an offer sheet to O'Reilly on Jan 15th when I originally wrote about the topic, this would have been moot.

I suppose it's moot now because Colorado matched the offer, but it seems Calgary dodged a giant bullet. It will be interesting to see if there's any fall-out for the decision-makers as a result. I assume "no" because no actual harm came to the organization, but I guess we'll see.

It's tough to see what was a bold, strategic move blow-up in Feaster's face like this. Sometimes the devil is in the details though. It also shows how hard it is to acquire players like O'Reilly if you aren't able to draft them.

UPDATE 2 - @TMrjmki posted this on twitter today, capturing this whole saga from a Flames fan perspective over the last 24 hours or so:

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Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#2 Veggie Dog
March 01 2013, 04:41PM
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Hey, I was all gloom and doom too, but McGrattan was recalled to the big club so all is well!!!!! (puke)

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#3 cpbrowner
March 01 2013, 10:26AM
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New CBA States:

"All Players on a Club’s Reserve List and Restricted Free Agent List will be exempt from the application of CBA 13.23 Waivers in the case of a mid-season signing. For further clarity, if Club A trades such a Player to Club B and Club B signs the Player to an SPC, such Player will be exempt from the application of CBA 13.23."

Source: http://cdn.agilitycms.com/nhlpacom/PDF/Summary-of-Terms-1-10-13.pdf

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#4 Greg
March 01 2013, 12:33PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Im going to give Feaster the benefit of the doubt here I think. The rule is not only obscure and the situation exceptional, but the language of the rule itself is ambiguous. Im guessing if this all went down and O'Reilly got claimed the Flames would have filed a grievance with a chance of winning.

I'd like to think you are right about that, but the "For further clarity" clause seems to imply someone had thought of this scenario and specifically attempted to address it. That reads like the club with the player on its reserved or rfa list would have to trade those rights to another club BEFORE they sign that player, or else they wouldn't get the waiver exemption. It's not black and white, (ie it doesn't explicitly state what happens without that trade), but the fact that its there at all indicates that was considered and was the spirit of the agreement.

Which makes sense too... RFAs would be entitled to either wait for an offer sheet, or go play in Europe while negotiating, but couldn't threaten to play in Europe indefinitely and refusing to negotiate until they got an offer sheet they liked. It sounds very much like some clubs explicitly asked for that waiver exemption clause, and the league attempted to caveat it so as not to give the players additional and unintended negotiating leverage.

That wouldn't bode well for a flames grievance case. Probably couldn't have gotten RoR exempted and at best would have been given the option to keep him in Europe until next year. Even that is dubious... Once a third club got involved by claiming him, they'd be grieved if the transaction was reversed.

Could have been very, very ugly for flames...

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#5 Bean-counting cowboy
March 01 2013, 12:48PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

McKenzie says there is no provision for the Flames to have signed ROR and then not played him...meaning he would have been FORCED onto waivers.

I still think the case is a weird one, but this could have gone completely wrong for the Flames.

Wow. just wow. Yesterday during the 1st period I was pretty happy to be a Flames fan. I'm now at an all time low.

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#6 clYDE
March 01 2013, 12:54PM
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There is no way Feaster can continue is there? Can the ownership please allow someone to come in and start the clean up? What a mess this organization is?

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#7 Monaertchi
March 01 2013, 01:02PM
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@Kent Wilson

Right, good point.

If this whole thing is true, no one will ever offer another offer sheet to any player that would have to go through waivers.

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#8 Robert Johnson
March 01 2013, 01:59PM
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Weeks ago I said this organization is in trouble and that it starts with the Owners and trickles down from there.

This fiasco is embarrassing and bush league...with apologies to all the bush leagues out there.

Calgary: The City with the worst professional sports franchise on the planet - in more way than one.

Come for the garbage hockey - stay to watch and laugh at the morons who run the show.

Sad.....

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#9 Michael
March 01 2013, 02:18PM
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From Randy Sportak's Twitter:

"Flames released a statement saying their interpretation of the rule is different and would have argued it. Since it's moot, want to move on"

You bet they want to move on... NO WAY they would have gambled a first and a third if their was even a hint that ROR would have to clear waivers. Statement is pure PR, they got caught with their pants down pure and simple.

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#10 RexLibris
March 01 2013, 02:32PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

O'Reilly's agent admitted today he didn't know about it either.

Just to get this straight then, the Flames release a statement saying that the O'Reilly camp agreed with their interpretation of the rule, then the agent says that they didn't know about the rule?

Am I following the bouncing ball correctly in this?

Maybe the Flames should just stop releasing statements for awhile.

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#11 oilersfanincalgary
March 01 2013, 02:35PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

O'Reilly's agent admitted today he didn't know about it either.

If that's true, how do you reconcile that with the Flames statement that "the player's representative shared our interpretation and position ..."?

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#12 Scary Gary
March 01 2013, 02:38PM
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Tach wrote:

I'm sorry if I am being a simpleton, but are these not "Re-Entry Waivers" we are discussing?

The NHLPA says:

Re-Entry Waivers will be eliminated.

(see the earlier comment which linked to the NHLPA summary of the CBA terms)

Also, that mcsorley-stick.com website someone else linked to says:

Under the 2013 CBA, re-entry waivers have been eliminated. They are gone. They don’t exist. Strike them from your consciousness.

Does anyone actually have the terms of the CBA yet?

I'm with Tach, didn't the NHL get rid of re-entry waivers?

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#13 the-wolf
March 01 2013, 02:57PM
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Flames were going to argue? Nice. Let's contravene league rules and then whine about our side. Your side doesn't matter flames, NHL side does.

Seriously, how hard is it to pick up a phone and call NHL offices?

Feasted, KK and the rest of the management team deserve to be fired for this. Part of me actually wishes it happened. Complete incompetence.

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#14 meat1
March 01 2013, 02:58PM
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I made it quite clear last week on this site that I had no confidence in the current management to make the proper important decisions this franchise needs to in the next 4 weeks. This just proves the point.

There is NO way the Flames saw this coming. No way would they have risked those picks (based on THEIR interpretations) with the chance of losing everything. This group is just incompetent. Period.

Murray Edwards, this can't be swept under the carpet. King, Feaster, Weisbrod, Holdich, and Conroy should be fired. If you don't have the balls to tell them, let some of us here at FN do it. They are making a mockery of "OUR" team.

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#15 borisnikov
March 01 2013, 03:07PM
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From your "friends" up the QE2 LMAO...LMAO...LMAO...LMAO

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#16 Bruins
March 01 2013, 03:32PM
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feaster and the boys will crawl back under their rocks until the next screw up

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#17 Q
March 01 2013, 03:52PM
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Oh my gosh, are u kidding me? This just went from dumb and dumber to almost the complete annihilation of this organization. Oh..... Wait, that was last night. We are the laughing stock of the nhl! Nice one Feaster!

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#18 yawto
March 01 2013, 04:11PM
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“It’s not often you get a chance to get a franchise player,” Feaster told Sportsnet’s Roger Millions during Thursday’s Flames-Avalanche game in Denver.

Regardless of what did or didn't happen, that comment alone is reason for firing. O'Reilly may be a good player but Franchise. WOW.

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#19 suba steve
March 01 2013, 04:30PM
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@yawto

Yeah, no LAWYER would ever get involved in any "shady" business like this. I'm not saying that it IS what happened, but it is certainly not an impossibility. Your name calling is unnecessary and immature.

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#20 Avalain
March 01 2013, 04:48PM
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Veggie Dog wrote:

Hey, I was all gloom and doom too, but McGrattan was recalled to the big club so all is well!!!!! (puke)

This is great! Now we can beat the other team up when they score on us!

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#21 schevvy
March 01 2013, 04:53PM
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Drink. Drink. Drink.

These past 24 hours have been mind-numbing. I don't know what to say. Surprised they haven't hired the back-up goalie (Taylor) up to be GM a la Islanders.

Drink.

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#22 Go Oilers
March 01 2013, 05:48PM
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Love all you guys calling out Sportsnet and the media in general and refusing to believe something the rest of the world already knows: Feaster is a horrible GM. I say that with full acknowledgement that Oilers' management is less than stellar, but wow. Your ownership just doesn't know when to give up. Well, enjoy the downward spiral. You can delay it as long as you like, but it's inevitable.

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#23 yawto
March 01 2013, 06:32PM
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Parallex wrote:

Not a franchise player now? Sure I can buy that... but he's a tough minute, 50-60 point, selke worthy Center at 22 years of age. I'd bet more money on him being a Franchise level player at age 25-29 then I would bet on the opposite. He's really really good.

See there is problem with your comments right there. I do not deny that he would be the number one center on the flames. The question is who else in the league would he be a #1 center on? Very, very few. He also is cashing in on 1 good year. 1. 26 points his first two seasons. One year at 55 and now he gets over a hundred grand a point? Bad contract. Worse when you factor in the miss by Feaster.

And again, Franchise player. On a team that features Landeskog and Duchene I highly doubt he will be the face of the franchise. In fact, his breakout seemed to come along with a guy named Landeskog on his line. Before he had a player of that on his line, 26 points. The way you guys toss around 'Franchise' in reference to a player is crazy. There are 30 nhl teams, thus there are potentially 30 franchise players. Sure there are some that have multiple (Crosby, Malkin) but there are also teams with none (Columbus). So counting the extras that teams have let's say there are enough for two per team. Are you honestly telling me that Ryan O'Reilly is one of the top 30 (to be a true franchise) or top 60 in the league.

I can't even say for sure that he is in the top 60 centers in the league not even counting the top 30. He is a good player with good upside. He is not Joe Sakic though. Not a Peter Forsberg. Not a Jarome Iginla. If he was, when Sherman was asking for a roster player and a prospect, he would have got it!!! He is a Mike Peca. A good all around center, produces some points ane takes care of his own end. But a franchise player he is not. And if you think he is a franchise player, and are argueing it because of where he would slot in on your team, you are oblivious to the problems your team is truly in.

And where can we meet Parallax. I would love to take that bet. I would feel extremely confident in the next five years Ryan O'Reilly will be no where near a Franchise level talent.

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#24 Stockley
March 01 2013, 10:19AM
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It's just another attempt to mock the Flames. There is plenty of real life stuff to mock this franchise for. I don't think there's any real reason for reporters to start making stuff up.

The guy is wrong, the story is wrong. Daly himself said that under the old CBA it was true, under the new CBA he would have been free and clear to join the Flames.

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#25 Fats
March 01 2013, 10:20AM
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Yup... sounds like something from sportsnet... they are always so informative.

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#27 Stockley
March 01 2013, 10:21AM
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@Fats

Why don't they just stick to talking about the Leafs like every other sports outlet in Canada?

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#28 Colin.S
March 01 2013, 10:21AM
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Sounds more like piling on at this point, like look, the Flames suck so lets find a lot more reasons why they suck.

I'm in agreement with you, I think the rule now only applies to UFA guys who sign after playing overseas. Pretty sure that Radulov didn't have to clear waivers last year either. Something doesn't make a lot of sense and I sure hope that SN checked with the league to make sure this is accurate, cause if the Flames knew what they were doing, then SN is gonna have egg on their face soon.

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#29 VK63
March 01 2013, 10:22AM
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But spec just gave props to Chris Johnson on Twitter and added that Feasters head should be on a plate.

Im so confused.

Actually not. It was funny for a minute as I am firmly from the camp that competence and flames management are at odds.

However, in the end it is yet another illustration of how completely pathetic sports media has become. Facts? We don't need no stinking facts!!

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#30 Stockley
March 01 2013, 10:27AM
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@VK63

Social media has become too reliant on speed. They don't necessarily check into their facts before they hit the post button. Breaking a story first is far more important than getting it right the first time and being factual. There is so much misinformation out there it's no wonder I think we're getting dumber as a species.

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#31 Stockley
March 01 2013, 10:29AM
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How long before Proteau grabs this and runs with it? He's due for another "Flames need to blow it up and rebuild" story soon.

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#33 Colin.S
March 01 2013, 10:30AM
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cpbrowner wrote:

New CBA States:

"All Players on a Club’s Reserve List and Restricted Free Agent List will be exempt from the application of CBA 13.23 Waivers in the case of a mid-season signing. For further clarity, if Club A trades such a Player to Club B and Club B signs the Player to an SPC, such Player will be exempt from the application of CBA 13.23."

Source: http://cdn.agilitycms.com/nhlpacom/PDF/Summary-of-Terms-1-10-13.pdf

This to reads EXACTLY that ROR would NOT have had to clear waivers. As long as a player is on a teams reserve list he would not have to clear waivers. Again as I said previously the waivers is only going to affect players that are for the most part UFAs.

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#36 Stockley
March 01 2013, 10:37AM
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@Kent Wilson

For all his faults I'd like to think Feaster is above making this sort of colossal blunder. He's a lawyer after all, he has built teams that won in both the NHL and AHL. If the article turns out to be correct, that it was an oversight on the part of the Flames front office... then all hope might truly be lost because you can't fix stupid.

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#37 Colin.S
March 01 2013, 10:41AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

The inclusion of "a club's reserve list" is the tripping point for me. Does that mean ROR would NOT have been on the Flames reserve/RFA list before being signed and therefore subject to waivers.

Strikes me as possible but, again, unlikely.

The way I read it is:

ROR is on COL reserve list, and is allowed to be signed, because he is on the list and gets signed he does not need to clear waivers.

The thing is, I do not get the signing him this year and then waiting till next year to sign him thing, cause you lose this years picks, which would have really be a kick in the ass, because the player you signed can't get you out of the hole.

No where in there does it read to me it has to be THAT team that signs him.

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#38 Colin.S
March 01 2013, 10:53AM
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"All Players on a Club’s Reserve List and Restricted Free Agent List will be exempt from the application of CBA 13.23 Waivers in the case of "A" mid-season signing. For further clarity, if Club A trades such a Player to Club B and Club B signs the Player to an SPC, such Player will be exempt from the application of CBA 13.23"

The word in CAPS and " is the big deal. It does not say what kind of signing, as well it does not specify teams, it just says A signing. Again it doesn't specify that the team that signs the player has to be the one with the player on it's reserve list. There are a lot of IFS here, but to me, that reads that as long as a player was on a teams reserve list he can be signed and not go through waivers.

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#39 cpbrowner
March 01 2013, 10:57AM
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@Colin.S

Exactly my thoughts. It's unclear because it doesn't mention anything about offer sheets. I just can't see Feaster screwing this up, they have been looking into this for weeks.

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#40 RexLibris
March 01 2013, 10:57AM
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That sounds like a very suspicious article to me.

I cannot imagine a scenario where the League and PA would put something like that into the agreement. It would make player movement and signings much more restrictive.

I don't know that this is piling on, but it certainly is an example of someone needing to check their facts before putting eink to epaper.

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#42 Stockley
March 01 2013, 11:01AM
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@RexLibris

Feaster was a lawyer before he sort of fell into life as a sports exec. I just find it really hard to swallow that a man with a background in law would fail to look at the small print and overlook something like this.

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#43 exsanguinator
March 01 2013, 11:05AM
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cpbrowner wrote:

New CBA States:

"All Players on a Club’s Reserve List and Restricted Free Agent List will be exempt from the application of CBA 13.23 Waivers in the case of a mid-season signing. For further clarity, if Club A trades such a Player to Club B and Club B signs the Player to an SPC, such Player will be exempt from the application of CBA 13.23."

Source: http://cdn.agilitycms.com/nhlpacom/PDF/Summary-of-Terms-1-10-13.pdf

This reads to me as the player not having to go through waivers in the event of an offer sheet.

Once the player is signed he immediately becomes listed on the teams RFA list and is then exempt from waivers.

At least, that's what I get from it.

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#44 redricardo
March 01 2013, 11:07AM
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Check out Eric Francis' twitter timeline. He sent out one saying that this egregious oversight means that Feasters time in the NHL is numbered (apparently everyone is piling on one side or the other... Lol).

He then released an article written by himself praising Feaster for the bold move shortly thereafter.

People make me laugh.

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#46 Stockley
March 01 2013, 11:12AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Well, once he's signed he's not RFA anymore is the thing.

At some point Feaster will have to speak about this. I assume he'll clear it up either way.

I'm sure Jay is aware of it by now. They're probably tearing apart the ins and outs of the language of the CBA to make sure they weren't wrong before they address it.

Good lord. McGrattan should feel at home. A dancing bear in what is turning into a real life circus.

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#47 Colin.S
March 01 2013, 11:22AM
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Again the CBA language is not "possessive", meaning that there doesn't appear to be language in there indicating that it has to be THAT team signing it's own RFAs and things like that. It appears very open to interpretation.

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#49 the-wolf
March 01 2013, 11:29AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

TSN reporting Daly confirming O'Reilly would have had to go through waivers.

Yeesh.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=417108

HAR! What a joke the Flames are, but tell me Kent, could they still have sat him for the year and kept him or no?

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