Eric O`Dell has shown some promise in the past couple seasons, he has a strong offensive game while his defensive game has been developing. Many had hoped the Ottawa, ON native would stick around past opening night, but his injury early in training camp derailed that. A conditioning loan to the AHL would have allowed the Jets to retain his rights without exposing him to waivers:
13.8 Conditioning Loan. Unless a Player consents, he shall not be Loaned on a Conditioning Loan to a minor league club. Such Conditioning Loan shall not extend for more than fourteen (14) consecutive days. The Commissioner may take whatever steps he deems necessary to investigate the circumstances under which a Player is Loaned on a Conditioning Loan. If the Commissioner has reason to believe or determines that the Club has used the Conditioning Loan to evade Waivers, or otherwise Circumvent any provision of this Agreement, he may take such disciplinary action against the Club, as he deems appropriate. The Player shall continue, during the period of such Conditioning Loan, to receive the same Paragraph 1 NHL Salary, and be entitled to the same benefits, that he would have received had he continued to play with the Club.
(bold emphasis mine)
Issue #1: Player consent
Did O`Dell reject the idea of a conditioning loan? Was he asked? Did management even consider it?
Issue #2: Internal cap, is Chevy counting his pennies?
After blowing a little over 700k on goaltender insurance and a prospect, is Chevy pushing up against his internal cap? Putting O`Dell on a conditioning loan would still cost his NHL salary(650k), placing him on waivers does not(100k). Keeping him on IR still burns money and serves no purpose since he cannot play. Waiving him is the only way to save on the internal cap.
Another clue lies in the definition of active roster:
"Active Roster" shall be determined as follows: Commencing on the day prior to the start of the Regular Season, and concluding with each respective Club's last NHL Game in a League Year, Active Roster shall include all Players on a Club's Reserve List who are signed to an approved and registered SPC, subject to the provisions of Article 11, and who are not on the Injured Reserve List, Injured Non-Roster, designated Non-Roster, or Loaned. A Player who is on a Conditioning Loan is included on a Club's Active Roster. During Training Camp, a Player shall be deemed to be on the Club's Active Roster only if he had been on the Club's Active Roster after the Trade Deadline in the preceding season on other than an emergency recall basis.
(bold emphasis mine)
Issue #3: O`Dell needed to be on the active roster for a conditioning loan
If he needs to be on the active roster for a loan, who do you send down? Only Adam Lowry, Mark Scheifele, and Jacob Trouba are exempt from waivers. All three are essential to our team. Adam Pardy is needed for defensive depth and NHL teams need two goalies. That means one of Matt Halischuk, Anthony Peluso, or newcomer T.J. Galiardi needs to be waived. Perhaps management is happy with these players and views them as higher up the chart than O`Dell. This would also mean the waived player and O`Dell would be going to the minors.
Group VI free agency is defined as follows:
Group 6 Free Agents.
(i) Means any Player who is age 25 or older who has completed three (3) or more professional seasons, whose SPC has expired and: (i) in the case of a Player other than a goaltender, has played less than 80 NHL Games.......
(ii) Any Group 6 Player shall, at the expiration of his SPC, become an Unrestricted Free Agent and shall be completely free to negotiate and sign an SPC with any Club, and any Club shall be completely free to negotiate and sign an SPC with such Player, without penalty or restriction, or being subject to any Right of First Refusal, Draft Choice Compensation or any other compensation or equalization obligation of any kind.
(bold emphasis mine, quote shortened for clarity)
Issue #4: He is probably a UFA come July
If O`Dell does not play 50 more NHL games this season, he will become a UFA next July. The odds of him playing 50 games are relatively low. O`Dell is your typical NHL/AHL tweener, Performs well in the AHL, but not enough skill to crack an NHL top 9, and not enough size to play on the fourth line. Players like this fall through the cracks all the time due to waiver requirements in the CBA. This is for their benefit, to get a chance to play somewhere else.
Issue #5: Most player clear waivers early in the season
Clearing waivers is much easier when GMs around the league have settled into their 23 man roster. Sending someone down right around opening night is a tacky move. He is also more likely to clear because of Issue #4, his RFA years are behind him.
Issue #6: We can afford to lose him
Gone are the days of lack of depth in the Winnipeg Jets prospect pool. The Jets currently have Lowry playing on wing even though he is being developed as a center, a great middle six center who wants to come back to the NHL in Alexander Burmistrov, Nicolas Petan who impressed at camp, plus three current top 9 centers in Bryan Little, Mark Scheifele, and recently signed free agent Mathieu Perreault. Losing O`Dell hurts the Ice Caps more than the Jets, but he can't be sent down without waivers.
Was waiving O`Dell a wise move? Do you think he will clear? Can the Jets afford to lose him? We value your input.