Yesterday was the Clear Day deadline in the American Hockey League, in which teams submitted their 22-man rosters for the remainder of the season and Calder Cup Playoffs.
The day is significant around the league because it shows which players currently on recall in the NHL won’t be coming back. According to Albany coach Jeff Daniels
, Tim Conboy, Dwight Helminen and Michael Ryan aren’t on Albany’s list, meaning they will stay in Carolina for the remainder of the season.
To clear up some recent confusion about extra players on the Hurricanes’ roster, there is currently no limit on NHL roster sizes. There is a 23-player limit throughout most of the season, but that limit is removed after the trade deadline.
There is some wiggle room in the Clear Day process, as players on NHL recall can usually return if the parent club does not make the playoffs or is eliminated fairly quickly. For example, Conboy was able to play in Albany’s first-round playoff series last season, even though he wasn’t initially named on the Clear Day roster.
Another exception to the rule is that players who are playing junior hockey may join AHL teams at the conclusion of their season on tryout contracts. This could happen with a number of players in the Hurricanes’ system this year, including Brandon Sutter, as early as next week.
Sutter is currently ineligible to play in the AHL since he was only 19 when the season started, and thus could not play in the league (recent two-week conditioning stint, with a different set of rules, aside) until the end of his junior season. His junior team, Red Deer of the WHL, plays its last regular season game on Sunday and will not make the playoffs.
The Hurricanes currently have eight other prospects in junior hockey that could also join the Rats, but all are playoff bound except for Samuel Morneau, who plays for Val-d’Or of the Quebec league, so there would be a delay before they could play in the AHL.