Saturday, November 30, 2013

1989 NHL Waiver Draft

The 1989 Waiver Draft was held on October 2. The rules were broadly speaking the same as they were in 1988 (e.g. protected lists of 18 players and two goaltenders) except for the number of rounds at the beginning of the draft where only the clubs that failed to make the playoffs in the preceding season were allowed to participate. In 1986 and 1987 it was unlimited—playoff clubs would begin selecting only after all of the non-playoff clubs passed on their choices in a round—and in 1988 this was amended to a hard cap of two rounds. In 1989 the limit was reduced to one and only one round. It would remain this way until the waiver draft was abolished after the 2004-05 lockout.

This was on the face of it a much more subdued affair than the drafts in 1987 and 1988. Only eight players were chosen, and none were claimed as compensation after being dropped from their club's protected list. The fallout from trades before and after the draft were the biggest newsmakers. I will explain after the draft results.

PlayerPicked byPicked fromPlayer dropped
from protected list
Cash or claim?
Round 1
Greg C. AdamsQuebec NordiquesVancouver Canucks???cash
Dave HannanToronto Maple LeafsPittsburgh Penguins???cash
Moe ManthaWinnipeg JetsPhiladelphia Flyers???$5,000
Kent NilssonNew Jersey DevilsEdmonton Oilers???cash
Round 2
Dave MackeyMinnesota North StarsChicago Blackhawks???cash
Craig CoxeVancouver CanucksChicago Blackhawks???cash
Mikael AnderssonHartford WhalersBuffalo Sabres???cash
Nick KypreosWashington CapitalsPhiladelphia Flyers???$20,000

So, what was all the hub-bub about trades? There were two of them that had an impact on the results of the draft. On September 28, mere days before the draft, the Flyers traded goalie Pete Peeters and forward Keith Acton to the Jets for future considerations. The Jets had a young team and could protect Peeters and Acton without sacrificing any of their other players. On October 3, the day after the draft, the Jets traded Peeters and Acton back to the Flyers for a draft pick and other considerations. (Specifically, the Jets received the Maple Leafs' fifth round pick in the 1991 Entry Draft (which the Flyers had acquired on Sept. 9 in a trade for Mark Laforest—the Jets used the pick on Finnish defenceman Juha Ylonen) and the future considerations in another previous trade involving Shawn Cronin were cancelled.) The others teams immediately cried foul; it was obvious that the Flyers 'stashed' Peeters and Acton with the Jets in order to prevent them from being eligible for selection.

The NHL investigated the matter and on December 2, after two months of internal deliberations, President John Ziegler fined both the Flyers and Jets $10,000 each for using the guise of trades to loan players and keep them from being taken in the waiver draft. The trades were not rescinded: the Flyers kept Peeters and Acton and the Jets kept the draft pick they were given.

In 1990 the waiver draft rules were amended such that any players traded by a club in the four weeks preceding the waiver draft were not allowed to be reacquired by that club in the season that followed.

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