By Michael Russo
Correction in bold
Good morning. Just an fyi, I’ll throw up another blog post when I find out after 11 a.m. whether Stephane Veilleux cleared waivers or was claimed. Check back.
Veilleux asked me yesterday whether I thought he’d be claimed. I told him if this was the middle of the season, there’s no doubt in my mind he’d be snatched up. However, I told him I have my doubts now because of his contract situation.
After talking to a number of people the last 24 hours, I really have my doubts now.
And quite frankly, this is why you need an agent.
Remember, Veilleux is a restricted free agent. He’s one year from unrestricted free agency. Any team that claims Veilleux would want to make sure it can sign him long-term.
Well, say you were interested in Veilleux during this 24-hour waiver period, who do you call to make sure you can sign Veilleux long-term? He has no agent! And he said no team called him directly.
And here’s the added component. Veilleux’s arbitration hearing is Monday. Each side must exchange their arbitration briefs 48 hours prior, or in this case, Saturday morning at 9.
As somebody just told me on the phone, and this quote regards a team that “100 percent would like to claim Veilleux, 100 percent likes his game and 100 percent could guarantee him a spot,” this person said, “Say I want to claim Veilleux, take him and find out we’re going to arbitration. Well then I have to start from scratch. Think the Wild’s going to give me their arbitration brief? I think the Wild knows nobody’s going to claim him because it’s 24 hours before briefs are to be exchanged.”
In other words, if Veilleux clears waivers, the Wild — as stated in today’s article — is going to tell Veilleux, “See, nobody took you. Your value is not as high as you think it is,” when that’s not entirely true.
If Veilleux goes unclaimed, it’s not because nobody wants him. It’s because he’s a year from unrestricted free agency, his arbitration brief is due to be exchanged Saturday and because there was no agent for another team to inquire about Veilleux’s wishes.
The moral of the story perhaps? Keep your agent.
Now, watch Veilleux get claimed by another team, ha.
Also, check back later and I’ll post the Wild’s schedule in its entirety.