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Emil Heineman’s Injury Could Keep Him Around Longer Than Expected



Montreal Canadiens

Depending on the severity of his injury, Montreal Canadiens prospect Emil Heineman could be sticking around in North America a little longer than expected.

The Montreal Canadiens recently announced that Emil Heineman, along with Joel Armia and Nick Suzuki, were out with upper body injuries, and, depending on the severity of the injury, it could help the Canadiens keep Heineman in North America for the time being


Injury Opens Door To Staying In North America

Normally, the Canadiens would have to send Heineman back to Leksand in the SHL after cutting him from camp, due to being in the first year of his three-year deal with the club. However, when a player is injured, the team cannot send him back until he is healthy and they decide not to retain him at this point.

In essence, if the Montreal Canadiens wish to assign Emil Heineman to the AHL, they must first consult with Leskand. If they agree, he can then make his way to the Rocket, but, realistically, it’s unlikely they acquiesce given there’s little to no advantage in letting him play in North America.

However, there is a possibility, or rather, a sliver of hope he could end up playing in the AHL with the Laval Rocket without having to ask Leskand’s permission, and it would be a situation that is eerily similar to what Mattias Norlinder went through last year with the Canadiens.


Loophole In Transfer Agreement

How can this work?

Firstly, Heineman must make the Canadiens’ roster out of camp, or remain on their injured reserves to start the season. With the severity not having yet been disclosed, there’s a possibility that he may start the season on the Canadiens’ Injured reserved.

However, more importantly, he must then remain on the roster for 60 days. Then, and only then can they assign him to Laval without getting approval.

The rule is as follows, as per the IIHF agreement with the NHL.

“Any player who would otherwise be subject to return to his IIHF team, but who is retained by his NHL team because he is able to earn a roster position on his NHL team by the first day of the NHL regular season (or because he is injured as of the first day of the NHL regular season, may not be assigned to a minor league team before such player has attained a minimum of 60 days on his NHL team’s active roster during the regular season without first being offered to his previous IIHF team for the balance of the IIHF season.”

Now, being on the injured reserve doesn’t count toward the rule of 60 days on the active roster, but the Canadiens could have a different structure at forward by that point depending on the injury status of other players or possible trades and could be tempted to try Heineman in an NHL game setting for a prolonged period of time. The first year of his entry-level contract will be burned whether he plays or not, so evaluating him for 10-15 games would not hurt the Canadiens from a contractual perspective.

If, at that point, Heineman shows that the NHL may be too much for him, he could eventually be assigned to the Laval Rocket if the Canadiens decide to keep him around for 60 days on the active roster.


High Praise From Martin St. Louis

Emil Heineman has been impressive ever since he stepped on the ice in Buffalo for the Prospect Challenge and he’s certainly caught the eye of St. Louis, who had recently sent some serious praise his way.

“It’s complicated I guess. We’re evaluating all the time. Our goal is not just to be good this year, but to progress each and every year,” said St. Louis regarding what the club was going to do with Heineman. “We’re trying to build something that is going to bring continued success. From what we see from him, we see a guy that could be part of that.”

Even though Heineman has a valid contract with Leksand in Sweden for the next three seasons and would have to be returned to his Swedish club if he doesn’t crack the NHL roster, St. Louis maintained that it would be fun to have him around the team this season.

“Is it this year or is it next year? We don’t know. What we’ve seen is good. Now? The AHL vs Europe? I don’t know. It would be nice to be around us more.”

There’s a lot of ‘ifs’ involved, but there is a chance that Heineman could spend the year close to the team after all.

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Curtis Ault

“Eeerily similar.” I like that.

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