HabsWorld.net -- 

One of the more frequent questions popping up as a result of the lockout is
who all is eligible to play for Hamilton this year.  For whatever reason,
the Habs have yet to issue any sort of press release regarding who actually was
sent down there as most teams have already.  So instead, here is a look at
who is allowed to suit up for the Bulldogs to kick off their 2012-13 season.

There are several different ways that a player can be eligible to be sent
down.  The first, and easiest way, is players who are waiver exempt due to
age and their games played in the NHL.  The second is for any player who
cleared waivers during the four day period which ended on September 15th. 
Some players who normally would require waivers are also eligible to play in the
AHL if they were on the Clear Day Roster or finished the season in the AHL. 
Finally, players who simply are without NHL contracts at this time could sign an
AHL deal as well.  What Habs fall under these categories?

The regularly waiver exempt group is where most players, especially from the
Habs who may very well have one of if not the youngest team in the AHL, slide
into.  Here are the newcomers and returnees that are in this category:

Newcomers: Nathan Beaulieu, Michael Bournival, Morgan Ellis, Brendan
Gallagher, Patrick Holland, Greg Pateryn, Steve Quailer, and Jarred Tinordi.

Returnees: Alexander Avtsin, Alain Berger, Peter Delmas, Gabriel
Dumont, Blake Geoffrion, Louis Leblanc, Phillipe Lefebvre, Robert Mayer, Joonas
Nattinen, Ian Schultz, and Joe Stejskal.

Over the past few days, well over 100 players passed through the waiver wire
to make them eligible.  Montreal only went this route with one player,
Michael Blunden.  As he was not on Hamilton’s Clear Day Roster and did not
finish the year with the Bulldogs, waiving him was the only way that the Habs
could send him down.

Several other players normally would require waivers to be sent down but
because of the rules the AHL put in place for the lockout, they can avoid the
waiver process by signing AHL contracts instead.  These players are:
Cedrick Desjardins, Brendon Nash, Aaron Palushaj, and Frederic St. Denis. 
If signed, they would join defenceman Kyle Hagel as players on minor league

Lastly, any players who are free agents (either restricted or unrestricted)
can sign minor league contracts.  In terms of RFA’s, this applies to P.K.
Subban although I don’t see management approaching him to even consider going
that route.  Several of the Habs’ UFA’s remain unsigned, most of them
played for Hamilton in past years.  I think it might be wise for them to
consider bringing one or two of those players back although there is no
indication that they have any interest in doing so.

So, what might the Bulldogs’ opening roster look like?  Assuming Marc
Bergevin (or someone in management) filed the proper paperwork with the NHL and
AHL, here is how the roster looks at the moment:


Alexander Avtsin Nathan Beaulieu

Alain Berger

Morgan Ellis
Michael Blunden Kyle Hagel

Michael Bournival

Brendon Nash
Gabriel Dumont Greg Pateryn

Brendan Gallagher

Frederic St. Denis
Blake Geoffrion Joe Stejskal

Patrick Holland

Jarred Tinordi
Louis Leblanc  

Phillipe Lefebvre
Joonas Nattinen

Aaron Palushaj
Peter Delmas
Steve Quailer
Cedrick Desjardins

Ian Schultz
Robert Mayer