Syracuse Crunch and the AHL Veterans Rule

Where do the Crunch stand on the Veteran Rule?

To maintain it’s position as a developmental league for the NHL, the AHL has what is referred to as the “Veteran Rule.” This rule limits the number of more experienced players that can be dressed for a game.

The rule states that an AHL team must dress at least 12 skaters that have played 260 or less games in the NHL, AHL, IHL, or European Elite Leagues prior to the start of the season. This means that up to six skaters that have played more than 260 professional games may be dressed.

Goaltenders are not impacted by the Veteran Rule. Any European Elite League games that are played during a players age-19 or earlier season are not used in the calculation of professional games. For each player, their status as a Veteran is determined at the start of the year and does not change even if they cross the 260 game threshold during the season.

This had a big impact on the Syracuse Crunch last season as they ended up with a couple of extra veterans on the roster after Cory Conacher and Erik Condra did not make the Tampa Bay Lightning roster. It also led to trading away Jeremy Morin mid-season despite having put up 21 points in 43 games when Tye McGinn was ready to return from injury.

For the upcoming season, the Lightning are looking very good on the veteran front. With so many incoming rookies, the team did not need to go out and sign too many veterans, especially on forward, to fill out the roster. The following are the players that have veteran status and are possibilities for assignment to the Syracuse Crunch:

  • C Gabriel Dumont - 57 NHL, 409 AHL, 466 total
  • W Cory Conacher - 152 NHL, 222 AHL, 48 NLA, 422 total
  • W Erik Condra - 366 NHL, 190 AHL, 556 total
  • D Jamie McBain - 348 NHL, 150 AHL, 7 Liiga, 505 total
  • W Tye McGinn (if he re-signs) - 89 NHL, 256 AHL, 345 total/

With only four Veterans possibly with the team, and perhaps only one or two to start the season, the Syracuse Crunch will have little to worry about with the Veteran Rule. That could change later in the year if the Tampa Bay Lightning acquire any AHL veteran help for a playoff run at the trade deadline. That’s far enough in the future to not worry about at this point.

There is a very good chance that at least one of Dumont or Conacher will make the Tampa Bay Lightning out of training camp. Both would also be top recall candidates in the event of injury during the season if they are in Syracuse. Condra is also a big question mark to start the season after having back surgery in the offseason. McBain is likely the only veteran that has a good chance of spending the whole season with Syracuse.