While the turning of the calendar to November marks the first full month of the NHL season, it also represents the first day that the waiver priority order changes.
During the offseason and through the month of October, claiming priority was based on the reversed regular season standings of the previous year. As a result, teams like Montreal and Edmonton, who have been among the league leaders in the standings so far this year, have had top ten priority for players that were waived during training camp and the first few weeks of the season based on their low finish in 2015-16.
Now the claiming order is based off of the current standings and will change daily from now until the end of the season. That means that Arizona and Nashville are the top two teams in the priority list today. It’s also worth noting that a team claiming a player does not make them move to the back of the priority list.
We’re reaching the time of the year where some of the players claimed via the waiver wire back in the preseason will once again be on waivers after failing to make an impression on their new squad or the return of another player from injury has forced them off the roster. The team that originally lost the player does not automatically have top priority in reclaiming him. However, if the original team places a claim and no one else does, the original team would be permitted to send the player to the minor leagues. We saw this happen today with Martin Frk and Detroit.
Depending on who hits the wire in the days and weeks ahead, that should be something to watch for. In the meantime, some different teams will have the top chances to add anyone that is waived moving forward.