Now that the 2022-23 season is officially over, the Montreal Canadiens will once again have the option to use waivers if they want to bolster their lineup.
The off-season waiver priority is rather simple, it’s the reverse order of the season-ending standings.
The Canadiens finished with just 68 points last season, securing a top-5 pick at the 2023 Entry Draft in the process. As an added bonus, they’ll maintain the fifth-best waiver priority in the NHL until November 1st.
The waiver-priority list only comes into play if two or more teams make a claim on the same player.
Waiver-claim priority is explained in the following manner in the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement.
“In the event that more than one Club makes a claim for such Player, he shall: (i) be transferred to the claiming Club having earned the lowest percentage of possible points in the League standing at the time of the request for Waivers, or (ii) if Waivers are requested outside the Regular Season, or the successful Waiver claim is made (i.e., the date the Player would be transferred to a successful claiming Club per this Section), before November 1st then the priority shall be determined by the final standing in the League’s Regular Season schedule in the preceding Regular Season.”
The waiver wire rarely provides teams with many talented options, though there are some hidden gems available once in a blue moon, especially now that we’ve entered an era where cap space has become the ultimate asset.
Gems such as Paul Byron and Johnathan Kovacevic.
Another good example is Eli Tolvanen, a 2017 first-round pick. He was placed on waivers by the Nashville Predators last season, but despite his offensive potential, no team bothered to make a claim before he finally fell to the Seattle Kraken, who gleefully put in a claim. Tolvanen went on to score 16 goals and 11 assists in 48 games with the Kraken.
The NHL’s complete off-season waiver priority list is as follows:
|Teams||Waiver Priority Order|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||2|
|San Jose Sharks||4|
|Detroit Red Wings||9|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||20|
|Los Angeles Kings||23|
|Vegas Golden Knights||28|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||29|
|New Jersey Devils||30|