Moments after the NHL Trade Deadline passed, the league announced that the expansion Vegas Golden Knights franchise has become an operational member of League and can conduct official hockey business.
Beginning March 1, 2017, the Vegas franchise can execute trades, make waiver claims and sign players to contracts. Wednesday’s announcement included a number of stipulations, both for Vegas and other NHL clubs.
- Eligibility for Bona Fide Transactions: Only Players who have completed their 2016-17 season (except UDCs) can be included in a bona fide transaction completed between today’s date and the conclusion of the Expansion Draft (on Wednesday, June 21, 2017). A Player whom Vegas has agreed to claim or not claim in the Expansion Draft as part of a bona fide transaction will similarly be required to have completed his 2016-17 season before the transaction can be completed and approved. A Player will be considered to have completed his 2016-17 season if he played under an NHL contract for an NHL Club or one or more of the NHL Club’s Minor League affiliates during the 2016-17 season, and he is no longer eligible to play for his NHL Club or any of its Minor League affiliates in 2016-17.
- Waiver Priority Order: Vegas will be placed in between the 2nd and 3rd to last place Clubs in the Waiver Priority Order from today’s date until October 31, 2017, inclusive (although Waiver Claims by Vegas can only be made with respect to otherwise eligible Players).
- Continued Compliance with Expansion Agreement: A Club that has agreed which Player it will lose in the Expansion Draft pursuant to a bona fide trade transaction shall continue to be obligated to comply with all other aspects and requirements of the Expansion Draft Rules (e.g., protection and exposure rules, compliance with critical dates, etc.).
- Transfer of Players between Reserve Lists: All Players who are Traded or claimed on Waivers in connection with a bona fide transaction will be placed on the appropriate Club’s Reserve List immediately. Players who are selected in the Expansion Draft pursuant to a bona fide trade transaction will be placed on Vegas’ Reserve List only after all Expansion selections have been approved by Central Registry.
The league also noted that any Club – including Vegas – that acts in violation of these provisions will be subject to the penalties established for circumvention.