Know Your Rights! AHL Postseason Eligibility Changes

Checkers vs. Oklahoma City Barons 1-11-13
Photo by Rob Ferguson.

As we near the twenty games remaining mark of the American Hockey League, there are some things to consider league-wide outside of who’s in and who’s out. The AHL postseason rosters have always been formed through a bit of chaos that directly tied into the NHL trade deadline. With some tweaks here and there to help assist NHL clubs in a shortened (and odd) season, the AHL postseason rosters are formed a bit differently this year.

Originally dug up by Patricia Teter over at Artful Puck, the AHL Calder Cup rosters are mangled together slightly different than in year’s past. Here’s what she had to say on the matter:

This season, due to the lockout, the NHL Trade Deadline will take place on April 3rd and the AHL Trade Deadline a week later on April 10th. There will be no Clear Day Roster set at this time, and the AHL Playoff Roster — of 22 players (or shares) — will be submitted by each team at the end of the regular season in later April. This also means the NHL teams will not be limited to four recalls from the Trade Deadline to the end of the season. All very welcome news!!

In addition to Patricia’s explanation, here’s the official release by the league:

The AHL’s trade and loan deadline will be Wednesday, Apr. 10, at 3 p.m. ET. Following the deadline, no player may be acquired via trade between member clubs, and no AHL club may accept a player on loan from a club other than its NHL affiliate.

The AHL’s playoff roster deadline will be Monday, Apr. 22, at 3 p.m. ET, by which time all 16 playoff teams must submit to the league a list of playoff-eligible players. Only those players on a team’s playoff eligibility list, plus signed draft choices and players signed to amateur tryout contracts, are eligible to compete in the Calder Cup Playoffs. Players from lower professional leagues can also be added if they played in at least eight games in the AHL and/or a lower league in 2012-13.

AHL Clear Day roster restrictions have been removed. Any eligible player on a club’s roster may participate at any time during the remainder of the regular season and the Calder Cup Playoffs.

And per National Hockey League rules, only those players who have been recalled from an AHL club following the NHL trade deadline (Wednesday, Apr. 3 at 3 p.m. ET) may be returned to the AHL during the remainder of the season.

Gone are the up/down ways of preparing players for the clear day roster of old. Remember when Tambellini sent Magnus Paajarvi down and up too many times and he couldn’t play in Edmonton? That likely won’t happen “by accident” this season.

The changes to the postseason rosters in the AHL is a good move. Should have happened long ago. It’s simple, straight-forward, and free of frivolity. Know your rights now, because come mid-April you’ll want to know the framework.