For the first time in franchise history, the Dallas Stars and Texas Stars have made the playoffs in the same season.
Obviously, this is good news for the franchise. It does, however, create some wrinkles for Texas’ roster in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Chris Mueller, Colton Sceviour, Dustin Jeffrey, and Patrik Nemeth are the only current Dallas players eligible for the AHL playoffs.
If, or when, Dallas is eliminated from the playoffs before its AHL affiliate Mueller, Sceviour and Jeffrey would have to pass through waivers to join the Texas Stars. Nemeth is waiver exempt, so he could be sent down immediately.
(For those unfamiliar with waivers, a player’s contract and rights can be claimed by any of the other 29 NHL teams during a 24-hour window.)
Even though Sceviour and Jeffrey were initially emergency call-ups, that status has since changed. Jeffrey has been a healthy scratch, while Sceviour has played 18 games since the unfortunate Rich Peverly incident and is no longer an emergency call-up at the start of the playoffs.
So, what does this mean?
In layman’s terms, Sceviour isn’t going to play for the Texas Stars again this season, maybe ever. Nemeth will play for Texas when, or if, Dallas’ season is over, Mueller and Jeffrey probably will too.
Sceviour recently signed a two-year, one-way contract with the Dallas through the 2015-16 season. It’s unlikely Dallas would risk losing Sceviour – a full-time NHL player now – to help Texas’ Calder Cup Chances.
Mueller and Jeffrey both have expiring contracts at the end of this season. Therefore there isn’t much risk in sending them through waivers and they should re-join Texas at some point in the playoffs.
Any team that claimed Mueller or Jeffrey would have to place them on the active NHL roster – even teams that are already eliminated from the playoffs. For other NHL teams, there isn’t much of a reward in doing so since Mueller and Jeffrey both become free agents July 1 and could then re-sign with Dallas.
The good news for Texas fans is the AHL club isn’t going to lose anyone else to the NHL club, barring a rash of injuries for Dallas.
NHL teams have an unlimited number of call-ups during the playoffs, but can only have three called-up players on the NHL roster at a given point, barring an emergency call-up to dress a full roster. The exception being — and this is Dallas’ case — if a team made four call-ups after the trade deadline, then they can carry those four called up players throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
So, what does this mean?
As long as Dallas doesn’t lose three forwards, three defenseman, or a goalie to injury Texas isn’t going to lose any more players to the NHL this season.