This moved turned some heads today. Simon Despres was sent back to WBS. [ Pensburgh ]
Why the move?
This seems to be the most logical move. Credit to @demangone for finding it. Teams are governered by unrealistic rules during the Olympic break. [ Syracuse.com ]
Starting with the easiest rule first, any NHL player subject to waivers normally are still subject to them during the break. So Tampa Bay defensemen Keith Aulie or Mark Barberio couldn't just join the Crunch for a quick two-week tour without first being exposed to waivers.
All waiver-exempt players who have been on an NHL roster (including the Injured Reserve List) for 75 percent or more of the days from the start of the season up to and including Jan. 24 (i.e., has been on an NHL roster for 87 days or more between Oct. 1 and Jan. 24) AND who remain on an NHL roster as of Jan. 24 will have earned "Olympic Time-Off".
Now here is the reason:
Players who participate in 16 of their club's last 20 games leading up to the Olympic Break ("16-game players") will also have earned time off, regardless of whether he he is loaned to an AHL affiliate prior to his club's final game before the Olympic break.
Both groups of players will be ineligible for loan between the parent team's final game before the Olympic break and the conclusion of the Olympic break.
But here is where it gets a little tricky.
Both groups of players WILL be eligible for loan during a "pre-Olympic period,'' running from Jan. 24 to Feb.8, as long as any such loan occurs prior to the club's final game before the Olympic break.
However, these players may NOT practice, participate or play for the AHL affiliate during the Olympic break.
Despres has only played five games since December 23, so with Paul Martin scheduled to be back next week, this move makes sense.
Thought this was an interesting view:
Letang - Scuds
Maatta - Niskanen
Logical move by the Pens here. It keeps Despres sharp. Interesting sidenote to the Olympics will emerge: Maatta, Martin and Orpik are all going to be playing a ton of high-level hockey in less than two weeks. And with their weary legs, we probably will be seeing a lot of Despres in March.