There’s been a lot of questions lately regarding some of the roster moves by the Oklahoma City Barons and the Edmonton Oilers, the AHL Vet Rule, and just how they affect the Barons as well as the ECHL and CHL teams that players have recently been assigned to. So today, we’ll take a quick look at some of those questions and answer them along the way.
Question #1: What is the AHL Vet Rule? As defined by the AHL, a player is considered a veteran when they have played in 260 or more games in the NHL, AHL, or a European Elite League when the season begins. If a player has played 259 qualifying games when the season begins, they will not be considered a veteran for the course of the entire current season. Goaltenders are not affected by the Vet Rule.
Question #2: How many vets can an AHL team have? AHL teams can have an unlimited number of vets on their roster, just as they can have an unlimited number of players on their roster, but they are only allowed to play a maximum of six per game. At least one of the six must have played in less than 320 games. Goaltenders are not counted against the Vet Rule.
Question #3: What is considered a European Elite League? There has never been a definitive list of leagues that I have ever seen, but leagues included in that are the KHL (Russia), SHL (Sweden), Liiga (Finland), DEL (Germany), and NLA (Switzerland).
Question #4: Who is considered a vet on the OKC Barons? The Barons currently have seven vets on their roster, meaning one has to sit out each game. The seven current players are:
Steve MacIntyre: 179 AHL games + 91 NHL games = 280 GP
Denis Grebeshkov: 166 AHL games + 144 KHL games + 227 NHL games = 537 GP
Ben Eager: 132 AHL games + 400 NHL games = 532 GP
Matthew Ford: 274 AHL games = 274 GP
Derek Nesbitt: 320 AHL games = 320 GP
Ryan Hamilton: 421 AHL games + 12 NHL games = 433 GP
Linus Omark: 46 AHL games + 56 KHL games + 48 NLA games + 177 SHL games + 65 NHL games = 392 GP
Question #5: What about Anton Lander? While Lander has technically played enough games to be considered a vet, his games played during “junior eligible years” don’t count towards the vet rule. Whether that rule applies to players that played in the NHL during junior eligible years, I don’t know.
Question #6: Do games played in the CHL or ECHL count? No, leagues below the AHL do not count towards the vet rule limit. Players like Erick Lizon who have played the majority of their career in the CHL and ECHL are not counted towards the vet rule.
Question #7: Why was Austin Fyten assigned to Idaho? At the end of each ECHL season, teams are allowed to “protect” players rights for the next season. Fyten played last season for the Steelheads on an ECHL contract and was protected at the end of the season. As such, he had to be assigned to Idaho if he were to be assigned to the ECHL this season.
Question #8: So the same goes for Erick Lizon going to Wichita then? Technically. While Lizon’s rights were held by Wichita in the CHL, he could technically have been sent to any ECHL team as there is no longer an agreement between the two leagues to honor such deals. In the same vein, Fyten could have technically been assigned to any CHL team as well. Due to the players having pre-existing deals with those teams however, those are being honored.
Question #9: What can be done to have Fyten playing in Bakersfield? It is possible for the Bakersfield Condors to trade for his rights, therefore allowing him to play in Bakersfield. If Fyten were to be signed to an NHL contract, that would also allow him to be assigned to Bakersfield.
Any other questions? Hit me up on Twitter, @ericrsports and let me know.