by PuckStopsHere on 01/19/11 at 01:47 AM ET
The St Louis Blues have clearly shown that they do not understand re-entry waivers. If you sign a player who has played in several of the top European leagues within the current season, he must clear re-entry waivers before he plays in the NHL. Thus if you sign a player that anyone else might want who requires re-entry waivers, you are wasting your time. You are signing him to a contract for another NHL team. So why bother?
In late December, the St Louis Blues signed Marek Svatos, who was returning from the KHL. On re-entry waivers he was claimed by the Nashville Predators. Yesterday, they signed Kyle Wellwood, also returning from the KHL. He was claimed by the San Jose Sharks.
The St Louis Blues are wasting their time. Any player you attempt to bring back to the league must be such a borderline player that nobody would want him or you won’t get him. Somebody else will claim him.
Any name players returning from the KHL will not stay with the team that signs him. So there is no point whatsoever in signing him. Your team will not keep him.
The St Louis organization claimed in both the cases of Svatos and Wellwood that they thought they would get the player through re-entry waivers because nobody else was trying to sign them. This idea is incorrect because it gets things backwards. Nobody was trying to sign them because they had to get them through re-entry waivers. You wait for somebody else to sign them and claim them then. As a result, if the teams behave sensibly, Evgeni Nabokov will be out of the league for the remainder of the season.
Re-entry waivers keep talent out of the NHL. It is not smart to set up artificial rules to keep talent out of the NHL. While Svatos and Wellwood are probably not game changers, Evgeni Nabokov could be. It is too bad that he has been forced out of the NHL and likely will remain out until the beginning of next season.
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