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Nick Holden Waivers FAQ

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

UPDATE (1/12/21 9:07 AM) – Nick Holden cleared waivers.

The Golden Knights had to do something to get under the cap before the first game of the season. Today we learned that something was waiving Nick Holden, risking losing a player they signed to a new contract less than a year ago.

The salary cap and waivers can be confusing under normal circumstances and now with the new rules put into place for the shortened season, it can be almost impossible to follow. So, here’s the Nick Holden on waivers FAQ.

What does that mean, Nick Holden is on waivers?

In an effort to reduce the salary cap, the Golden Knights removed Holden from their active roster. Due to his age and experience in the NHL, he is required to pass through waivers to remain with the Golden Knights organization. That means every team in the league will have the option to claim Holden and add him to their active NHL roster. If someone does, Holden will no longer be a member of the Golden Knights. If they do not, he’ll be eligible for the Golden Knights taxi squad and the Silver Knights.

What are the chances someone claims him?

It’s certainly possible, but it’s not necessarily probable. A total of 139 players were placed on waivers today. Holden is among the most experienced of the group and absolutely could be viewed as valuable by another team.

Put odds on it happening.

I’ll say there’s about a 20% chance he gets claimed by someone else.

When will we know?

The deadline is 9 AM pacific time tomorrow. We will have the news on Twitter shortly thereafter.

Why Holden and not someone else?

The main reason probably starts with the likelihood of whoever the Golden Knights chose to waive to get claimed by another team. Other options such as Tomas Nosek, William Carrier, Ryan Reaves, and Alec Martinez would probably all be considered to be at higher risk of being claimed. Plus, the organizational depth at defense is a bit stronger to replace Holden in the unfortunate event that he is indeed claimed.

How does this help the Golden Knights’ salary cap situation?

When a player is on the active NHL roster, their entire salary counts against the cap. However, when assigned to the AHL (or the taxi squad this season), a total of $1.075 million is subtracted from the player’s salary and only the remainder counts against the cap. Don’t ask why, it’s a long complicated answer that you really don’t care about.

Here’s how that looks with Holden.

NHL salary – $1,700,000
Buried cap relief – $1,075,000
Total counting against cap after waivers – $625,000

Of course, Vegas then has to replace him with a player to play in his spot. In this case, that player will be Nic Hague. Here’s where the difference comes in.

Holden in NHL + Hague in AHL
Holden – $1,700,000
Hague – $0 (because his salary is less than $1,075,000)
Total – $1,700,000

Hague in NHL + Holden in AHL
Hague – $791,667
Holden – $625,000 (see above)
Total – $1,416,667

Thus, the swap from Holden to Hague saves the Golden Knights $283,333.

Are the Golden Knights cap compliant now?

Technically, at this moment, they are not. However, the waiving of Holden will allow them to field a 20 player roster on Thursday that will be compliant. That roster is expected to look like this…




Both Alex Tuch and Robin Lehner’s availabilities are in limbo at the moment with each missing the Saturday scrimmage and Sunday practice. In the event one is unable to play, Vegas will either be forced to use LTIR (keeping that player out for 10 games) or make another roster move.

Assuming Holden clears, will he have to clear waivers if he plays an NHL game with the Golden Knights?

If Holden clears, he would have to play in 10 NHL games before he is once again required to pass through waivers. However, if he is brought back to the NHL roster, the Golden Knights would have to make a subsequent move to once again become cap compliant. They are currently on track to be compliant with Holden on the taxi squad, but would not be if he returned to the NHL roster. Long-term IR could be that corresponding move.


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  1. Herby

    Holden seems to be a great person, but i like the fact that Holden is put on waivers.

    It was a stupid contract extension at way much too high cap hit for a below average
    33 years old D. Especially when you look at the VGK D prospect pool:

    Bischoff, Coghlan, Hague, Schuldt

    He will clear waiver. No doubt.

    Would love to see

  2. Mikegron32

    Ken I really appreciate when you do stuff like this. The majority of fans don’t totally understand what this means and the possible strategies behind it. Thanks so much for explaining it

  3. Daryl

    It was a realky bad decision to give Holden that extension to begin with. Nothing against him personally but he did nothing to help this team win last year. He and Engo were on equal playing fields but Holden cost the team $1m more. No I’m not saying they should have signed Engo for another year so relax. But yes it would have been smarter to sign Engo instead of Holden. Look where they are now! And to think VGK still isn’t under Cap after signing Petra. Was he really worth 3+ players?

  4. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    I’ve always said Ken, that this is your strength! Thanks for the info!

  5. Tim

    Cudo’s Ken nice explanation of the cap. I differ though with you on him clearing waivers he’s not bad good locker room guy I think someone will snag him. My logic is out of the 30 other teams someone needs a decent D-Man. Daryl your still beating that drum on Engo if Holden gets claimed I’d much rather have Coghlan the a 39 year old Engo hands down.

    • Daryl

      Work a little bit on that reading comprehension. VGK screwed up by giving Holden that contract. If they gave Engo a base salary contract, they could still use Coghlan and they wouldn’t have to worry about their Cap. Hell, they could have just not given anyone a contract and gotten rid of Holden and they would have been fine. You seem like one of those fans who is closed minded and doesn’t see the bigger picture. You are set in who you like and it doesn’t matter what happens on the ice or the stats would change your mind. Tell me, what exactly has Coghlan done in the NHL?

      • Tim

        Daryl your hung up on Engo and most of your posts refers to why we didn’t keep him. You made your point you like the guy and he is a nice guy but the time has come to give some of the kids a chance. If Kelly thought there was any value in keeping him at 775,000. don’t you think he would have? Coghlan hasn’t played a NHL game yet but I believe from what you hear he may be a pretty good player time will tell.

        • Daryl

          I made a comment in this thread about Engo but if you’ve paid attention to almost every other post I haven’t brought him up. As for Kelly, I don’t keep him in as high of praise. I thinks he/they have made some really bad contracts, Holden being one of them. Kelly thought Holden was good enough to give a contract extension with a praise raise and now they are trying to dump him off. Kelly gave Reaves a pay raise all because of the pressure of BLM and minorities in the sport. Just look at how those 2 really bad moves has cost VGK.

          As for the young guys, I can’t wait to see how they do. I’m excited about watching them. As for Engo and these young guys, I think it would have been a good idea to have a veteran player who can step in when needed and now they won’t have that….even if that veteran player was Merrill. Now we will have one rookie in Whitecloud paired with another rookie. As good as Whitecloud is, he made several mistakes and needed help from Holden and others. He won’t make as many mistakes but he won’t have the support he did last year. I live Whitecloud but that 3rd pairing is going to cost VGK.

  6. Tim

    One of George and Kelly’s strong points is finding diamonds in the rough. Out of the 139 players on waiver don’t be surprised we don’t grab one.

  7. A VGK Fan

    Hey Ken did you read that LVRJ article about Reaves working “overtime” due to the condensed schedule and being worth every dime this season? What say you, Reavo hater? I’m waiting for the response

      • DOC (Go Knights Go)

        My opinion is that Revo brings a needed component to the Knights. He does not generate “numbers”, with goals, pts etc… but his intangible value is appreciated by most of the players, I would think. Because Ken IS a numbers guy, it’s hard for him to quantify his worth. No matter what Revo does, Ken won’t back him.

        • THE hockey GOD

          his intangible assets are 1) BSing talk trying to get under skin of other team 2) at which point they laugh at him like court jester 3) leading to fight 4)regardless of fight result the other team becomes motivated by the “david vs goon” syndrome proceeding to elevate their game play leading to a win.

      • A VGK fan

        Ken is a number cruncher and can’t accept the fact that the game (any sport) is more than just numbers. You can’t quantify heart, emotion, camaraderie and the toil the players put in the game. Reaves brings a lot of intangibles that aren’t shown on paper, and for that Ken hates the guy. As a guy who has played sports in college and minor league, I hated guys like Ken that strictly look at numbers and give barely any credit to the things that aren’t tracked on a stat sheet.

        Ken sucks as a fan. I’m sure he’d make a fine cashier though, since he can count numbers. I said it. Don’t @ me either

        • Daryl

          As someone who played football in college and semi-pro as well as coached in college, I do not think Reaves is worth his salary. I get and agree with you on going beyond the numbers but that still doesn’t change that Reaves is over paid. Having heart and being a great locker room guy is great for college, but it’s not that important in the professional ranks

        • DOC (Go Knights Go)

          I agree “fan”. Also, his “politics” has nothing to do with his effort on ice! Hockey back tomorrow ….. Knights on Thursday!

  8. Mark

    I was a big fan of Reaves, he’s as tough as they come, plays hard, no doubt. That said, he better not spit in our faces anymore. Many of us are hurting with employment, reduce hours or laid off completely. Where I work in the Casino business, 40% of my Department has been cut, many jobless now, no fault of theirs. Some older, middle aged. What are they going to do? So remember, when we see a foreigner, basking in glory, loved by a City, earning more in a year that many of us make in a lifetime and that guy spits in our face, trashes this great Country, well he’s not the man I thought he was. He should kiss the ice he skates on, be thankful, be constructive. Same for that lard ass Lehner. I can’t imagine going to Montreal or Toronto or Sweden and spitting in their faces and picking up millions of dollars, I mean, that’s treating them like Chumps. We are not Chumps here, act like a man Reaves, act like a man Lehner, no more passes from me.

    • the president Elect- Hockey God

      spot on, too many “entitlement ‘ itches in AMERICA, which has best society in world for freedom and equality (sans last election cycle in which the neofascist and nutzi’s stole election in power grab and now are censoring it’s own citizens who revealed the truth of the matter). If they don’t like it here, leave and take their hate with them.

      • Mark

        Damn right. I despise ingrates. These guys get to sleep with beautiful women, make money hand over fist, get their asses kissed constantly. I have no problem with them getting hot women, no problem getting paid millions, no problem if people want to suck up to them. It’s a problem when they bitch and whine about how unfair it is here in America. It had to tear Foley apart, a great Patriot like him, a good guy. Our core guys get it, Fluery gets it, a humble, hard working, appreciative guy, a man who does kiss the ice he skates on. Smith gets it, humble, hard working a master at the game. Marchy, Patches, these guys understand too. Karlsson is just as unassuming, kind and humble as anyone can be, with all his talent. I’m happy they have smoking hot girlfriends or wives. These guys get it, they will never worry about money, about things we worry about on a daily basis. I don’t think its too much to ask to act responsible, not to kick us Nevadans while so many are down, out of work, hurting while this Governor has his boot in our neck. No more passes.

  9. THE hockey GOD

    I’ve give up on ice hockey ever since I saw a cardboard fan get hit in the head with an errant slam short and they rushed him to a hospital where he succumbed to Coronavirus. — thought of the day

  10. Joe Webster

    So Taxi Squad will be (my guessestimate):
    G Oscar Dansk
    D Nick Holden
    D Dylan Coghlan
    F Keegan Kolesar
    F Gage Quinney
    F Tomas Jurco

    • MARK – Its encouraging to read what some others think of those two guys Revo and lard ass – in any other country they along with the rest who participated in disrespecting the country would probably be tried for treason. Both of them grossly overpaid for what they are worth in my humble opinion. For such a terrible place it’s amazing why so many want to come here.

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