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Claimed:The VHLM Waiver Carousel


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The VHLM Waiver Carousel

Being a hockey player is not a choice for those seeking a life of stability. Professional hockey players can have their lives shaken up with a few words almost every single one has heard at least once in their career, “there’s been a trade.” A trade means a player has to uproot their entire life and move to another city to start fresh, a tough process but one that mercifully may only happen one or two times in a players career. It is also a process that is very definitive, you move from city x to city y, the end. For VHLM rookies they face a process even more uncertain, the process of passing through VHLM waivers. To be assigned to a VHLM squad, rookies must pass through a waiver system which can see multiple teams place claims, with the top priority team “winning” the bid. Complicating this system however, is a teams ability to withdraw and re-place claims on players, sometimes resulting in a strange shell game, with players being the prize. Perhaps the most bizarre sequence the VHLM will see this season took place recently, with 3 wingers and 5 teams playing musical chairs ending in all sides dizzied as each player was matched with a team.



Playing hockey is the easy part of being a rookie in the VHLM

The Beginning

The action began on January the 23rd with Ashton Galbraith, a prospect with moderate potential, being placed on VHLM waivers. Forty minutes into the process the Bern Royals placed a claim on the RW. Bern was fairly low on the priority list and was expected to be out-bid. “I knew that there were a couple other teams interested in bringing me in” Galbraith explained “I think everyone knew that this claim was really just getting the ball rolling and the odds of me ending up there weren’t very high.” This turned out to be true, as soon after Saskatoon placed a claim, edging out Bern. Saskatoon was a relatively high priority but was soon bested by a bid from Oslo, who had higher priority than both Bern and Saskatoon. At this point most VHLM prospects pack their bags and head out to their new city. With Oslo being the highest priority team with any interest, Galbraith was almost certainly heading to the Storm.



"I'm very happy to go to Bern, no Oslo, no Saskatoon"

The VHLM Carousel Gets Moving
What should have been a straight forward waiver claim process was soon confused by the entrance of an extremely talented and highly regarded prospect, Logan Laich. With Laich now eligible, teams were falling over themselves to claim him. Ottawa started the clock on the young winger with an early claim but were soon outbid by… Oslo? Roughly the same time Galbraith was purchasing a plane ticket to Norway, the Storm were withdrawing their bid on him and putting a claim on Laich. With Oslo withdrawing their bid, Saskatoon became the high bid again and likely destination for Galbraith, a fact Saskatoon wasn’t even aware of as they had already put in a claim on ANOTHER young winger, Walt Pringle. Several hours later the SNAFU was discovered at the VHLM front office and with time running down on Galbraith’s waiver eligibility, Saskatoon was told to pick between Pringle and Galbraith. Saskatoon chose to uphold their original claim on Galbraith and with time running short on his eligibility and no interest from teams further up the waiver priority, Galbraith purchased plane tickets to Saskatoon and began packing.



Should have stayed in school kids


”Carnival of Shenanigans”

As time expired for his waiver eligibility, Galbraith had already received the phone call from Saskatoon welcoming him to the team and setting him up with a team apartment. Galbraith was ready to play for Saskatoon the next night in Saskatoon, the only problem was he was scheduled for a home game in Oslo, the team that now held his rights. At the 11th hour Minot had come in and snagged Laich from Oslo, leaving them scrambling and replacing a waiver claim on Galbraith, while Galbraith was on a plane to Saskatoon. “I didn’t realize I was heading to the wrong city till after I had landed in Saskatoon” Galbraith explained “my phone blew up with messages and missed calls as soon as I turned it back on.” The GM of Oslo had himself named the whole process a “Carnival of Shenanigans” but for better or worse Galbraith finally knew where his new home would be. “The process was extremely stressful and very confusing” Galbraith laughed “but at least it’s over now and I can focus on playing for Oslo and getting adjusted to life over here.” The life of a hockey player isn’t a stable one as your life can be uprooted with a simple phone call, even for players who haven’t suited up for a team yet.

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Content: 3/3 - Over 800 words, which is good. It was a great read and I believed it really captured that odd few hours of claiming, un-claiming, and reclaiming. I witnessed it via email notification and was like wtf was going on. Haha.

Grammar: 2/2 - There weren't really any. Good job!

Appearance: 1/1 - Yep!

Overall: 6/6 - Great job, and good luck in Bern! Wait no Saskatoon! Wait no Oslo! haha

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