The NHL’s holiday roster freeze went into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday and runs through 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 28. While trades, loans and moves that require waivers are prohibited during this window, there are exceptions to the freeze that allow teams to adjust their rosters in certain situations.
According to the collective bargaining agreement, players may still be recalled by NHL teams during the freeze. And players who were recalled after Dec. 11 may be loaned to the AHL up to 11:59 p.m. Dec. 23 as long as that player is not required to pass through waivers.
There’s one other exception to the roster freeze that may apply to the Capitals this year. According to Article 16.5 (d) (i) of the CBA, teams can “make any player transactions necessary” to come back into compliance with the salary cap during the roster freeze if a player is removed from the long-term injury list.
That means if Brooks Laich, who is currently on LTIR, is able to return to the lineup for either the Dec. 23 against the Ducks or Dec. 27 game against the Rangers, the Capitals will be able to make whatever moves are required to fit his $4.5 million salary cap hit under the $64.3 million limit.
Also, don’t forget that the NHL goes on a holiday break with no games or practices from Dec. 24-26.