The annual Holiday Roster Freeze is now in effect although there are several exceptions that allow for roster movement to occur over the next several days. While there won’t be any trades or regular waiver activity during that time, here are the allowable transactions that can occur during the freeze.
While there is a limitation on players being sent to the minors during this time, players can still be recalled at any point so if someone gets hurt over the next couple of days, a replacement can be brought up.
Demotions For Players On Emergency Recalls
Anyone designated as an emergency recall can be assigned back to the minors at any point during the freeze as long as they don’t have to pass through waivers to return. The threshold for a normally waiver-eligible player to require waivers to be sent back down after being brought up on an emergency recall is ten games.
Demotions For Players On Regular Recalls
Anyone brought up on a regular recall as of December 11th is eligible to be sent down through December 23rd at 11:59 PM local time. There will likely be an influx of demotions this weekend once teams have played their final game before the Holiday Break to get those players off the salary cap for a few days. The exception to this rule is any player that becomes waiver-eligible between the 11th and the 23rd by playing their tenth game or spending their thirtieth day on an NHL roster since last clearing waivers.
Activating Someone Off Of LTIR
Section 16.5(d)(i) of the CBA grants teams the ability to make any transactions necessary in order to get back into salary cap compliance after activating a player off long-term injury reserve. Teams using that provision are allowed to exceed the cap during that time but must get back under it in order to bring the injured player back onto the active roster.
With all of this in mind, there will still likely be a fair amount of transactions through the weekend before the league shuts down for three days beginning on the 24th. Teams will be permitted to resume making trades or placing players on waivers on December 28th at 12:01 AM local time.