Subject to the provisions of this Article, the rights to the services of a Player may be Loaned to a club of another league, upon fulfillment of the following conditions, except when elsewhere expressly prohibited:
(a) Regular Waivers were requested and cleared during the Playing Season Waiver Period; and
(b) the Player has not played in ten (10) or more NHL Games cumulative since Regular Waivers on him were last cleared, and more than thirty (30) days cumulative on an NHL roster have not passed since Regular Waivers on him were last cleared. -NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement
What that says is if a player has cleared waivers, which Pirri did on 10/4/18, he can be recalled and play in up to nine games OR be on active roster for up to 29 days without having to once again re-clear waivers.
Brandon Pirri was recalled to the Golden Knights on 12/18/18. Prior to tonight has played in eight games since being recalled. He’s been the on the roster 19 days.
Thus, if he played in two more games OR was on the active roster for 11 more days he would once again be subject to waivers in the event the Golden Knights wanted to send him down to the AHL.
That brings us today. Due to injuries and illness, the Golden Knights only had 12 active and available forwards on the roster with Pirri. Reilly Smith, William Carrier, Erik Haula, and eventually we learned Cody Eakin, were all unavailable to play in tonight’s game. Thus, without Pirri, the Golden Knights would only have 11 available forwards.
Enter a different CBA provision called “the emergency recall.”
(ii) is Recalled from a minor league club on emergency Recall and plays in ten (10) NHL Games (cumulative) while on emergency Recall. For purposes of clarity, games played while on regular Recall shall not count towards the ten (10) NHL Games in this subsection (ii).-NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement
Since the Golden Knights only had 11 forwards without Pirri, they were officially in an emergency situation. So, they returned Pirri to the AHL, stopped the non-emergency clock at eight games, recalled him under the emergency recall, and now have a brand new clock.
Thus, Pirri played tonight as game one on his emergency recall. So, as long as Eakin, Smith, Carrier, and Haula ALL remain unavailable to play, Pirri will remain playing on the emergency clock. The moment one of those four is available, the Golden Knights will have to immediately return Pirri to the AHL, stopping the emergency clock. If they want to recall him again, they will restart the non-emergency clock which sits at eight games and 19 days.
Emergency Clock – 1 game, 1 day
Non-Emergency Clock – 8 games, 19 days
So, there you have it. That’s why it happened, and why George McPhee is smarter than you, and me, and probably the rest of the NHL (at least for a few hours until I figured it out.)