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NHL Freezes Rosters and Decisions During League Pause, Bettman Comments

The NHL has basically shut down all decisions and rosters in as the league tries to figure out its next steps.

Gary Bettman NHL roster freeze

According to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet on Monday, the NHL has implemented a league-wide roster freeze. The freeze kicked into effect at 5pm Eastern time Monday which caused a flurry of assignments between the NHL and AHL before the deadline. It may also explain why Anaheim moved a player yesterday, which was seen as a somewhat controversial decision.

Among the players that moved today:

  • The New Jersey Devils sent both Janne Kuokkanen and Matt Tennyson to the AHL. Both players were on two-way deals which means they’ll earn less at the AHL level than they would have in the NHL.
  • The Winnipeg Jets have recalled Mark Letestu from his conditioning stint.
  • The Florida Panthers sent Sam Montembeault back to the AHL.
  • The Minnesota Wild have moved Matt Bartkowski back to the AHL after not playing any NHL games.
  • The Anaheim Ducks have sent both Jani Hakanpaa and Anthony Stolarz down.
  • The Colorado Avalanche have sent Logan O’Connor to the AHL.
  • The Vegas Golden Knights have sent Keegan Kolesar and Brandon Pirri to the AHL.

Johnston also notes, the league’s 31 teams have been told “that the four-recall rule post-trade deadline will continue to apply if the seasons resumes.”

On the same day, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman noted that key among the mandates for the NHL moving forward is maintain its integrity during this process. Waiving or trading players might be among the things that reflect poorly on the league.

Everything Else in NHL Frozen Too

Among other things Bettman is concerned about is that whatever form of the playoffs our a “tournament or competition we put on has integrity and does justice to the history of the Stanley Cup.” They have a number of options on the table but aren’t prepared to make any decisions at this time.

When asked about the deadline for this season and whether or not it affects next season, Bettman also stated that he envisions a full season next year, with pre-season, the regular season and playoffs, but that is contingent on the world being healthy and that there may be more focus on the calendar.

He stated the NHL will know more and can make more decisions when information becomes available.

Related: Will the Penguins Move on From Justin Schultz?

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