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Waiver Rules: Sometimes young players are sent down when they deserve to stay

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The logistics of deciding to send down a good young player versus waiving a veteran.

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Connor Hellebuyck is back in the AHL today. It could be a very temporary move though. You see, Hellebuyck is the only goalie on the Winnipeg Jets roster who is not waiver eligible. This means that he can be assigned to the Manitoba Moose without the Jets needing to clear a roster spot for 24 hours while they wait to see if a team claims the waived player.

More often than not a young player will be called up from the AHL and show well with the big club. They will look like they belong and then when an injured player returns fans howl while they are sent back to the AHL for more seasoning. Except, it makes sense if you want to have a full roster. You see, Michael Hutchinson could have been waived, but that would mean that the Winnipeg Jets would have their back-up goalie playing while on waivers and if he gets hurt in that time frame he has to stay with the Jets as you cannot waive injured players. On the other hand, it is easy to send Hellebuyck down to the AHL and not waive a different player, putting the team without access to that player (for all intents and purposes) or their roster spot for 24 hours. That could put the team in a real pickle if someone falls ill or falls on an icy sidewalk and hurts themselves. This is the safer route for the Jets.

Or the Jets are stupid and have it out for Hellebuyck. Believe what you want. Waiving a player can be a bad decision though and that is not because they could get claimed.