From just before midnight tonight local time the Edmonton Oilers will not be allowed to trade, loan or place any players on waivers until Dec. 28.
There’s a big freeze on the way for the Oilers, but we don’t mean the type you usually associate with Edmonton around this time of year. No, we’re referring to the NHL’s holiday roster freeze.
As per TSN, the annual roster freeze begins on Tuesday night from 11:59 pm local time for each market. It runs through until 12:01 am local time on Dec. 28.
The freeze was implemented, to stop any player being traded, loaned to the minors, or placed on waivers during the aforementioned time period. It’s a really good idea by the NHL and a rare one where they’re actually putting the players first, as it means they don’t have to worry about being moved during the Christmas festivities.
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As such, barring a late miracle — a Christmas miracle if you will — the Oilers won’t be making that desperately needed move for a quality goalie reinforcement until Dec. 28 at the earliest. (Not that we believed such a trade was imminent anyway.) The freeze includes active and non-roster players, as well as injured reserve and injured non-roster players.
However, this doesn’t mean a team can’t conceivably make some moves during the eight days in question. More specifically, teams are allowed to exceed their 23-man roster limit during the holiday roster freeze.
In order to be able to do this though, any additions to the NHL roster must keep the team in question within their salary cap limit. So in other words, again don’t expect the Oilers to make any moves, specifically given their precarious salary cap situation. (Just $65,098 as per Cap Friendly at the time of posting, and that’s with just 22 of their 23 roster slots filled.)
Of note, the Oilers only have two games on their schedule during the holiday roster freeze period. Although this is in part helped by all teams being off on Dec. 24, 25 and 26, in another move by the NHL which actually benefits the players.