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Nash Daily: NHL Holiday Roster Freeze Begins; ’26 Winter Olympics Talks

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At 11:59 EST Tuesday night, the NHL holiday roster freeze went into effect in accordance with Article 16.5(d) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. 

The roster freeze is an agreement between the league and NHL Player’s Association where teams are prevented from moving players between Dec. 19 to Dec. 28, subject to certain limited exceptions. During the nine-day window, teams are able to go over the ordinary 23-man roster limit if they have the appropriate salary-cap space to carry those players.

Per Article 50 of the NHL holiday roster freeze provision referring to the salary cap, teams are able to make moves, despite the freeze, in the event they activate a player and need to make a correlating move to come into salary cap compliance. 

The NHL, NHLPA, International Olympic Committee, and International Ice Hockey Federation are set to meet Wednesday in New York to discuss the NHL’s participation in the 2026 Winter Olympic Games in Milan, Italy. International competitions are a major deal for NHL players, and Article 24 of the CBA even outlines that these events are a right granted to the players through good-faith efforts to make it happen.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who represents the NHL owners, has expressed several concerns from arena construction to accommodations and insurance. There are a lot of moving parts to halt a season and participate in an international tournament such as this, but the players and their agents are adamant on having these events return, which is great for the sport. NHL players have not participated in the Olympics since 2014 in Sochi, Russia. They skipped both the games hosted by South Korea and China in 2018 and 2022, respectively.

Nashville Hockey Now

After a red-hot 13-3 run in their last 16 games, the Predators stumbled against the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. Here’s the plus/minus report from that game.

The Predators are, once again, becoming a factory for solid defenseman, so does that mean a few active roster players are on their way out?

Exhibition games have begun as the world’s best junior players head to Sweden for the Under-20 World Junior Championships (WJC), but why isn’t Predators’ star prospect Joakim Kemell suiting up for Team Finland?

Tanner Molendyk joined fellow Predators prospect Matthew Wood at the WJC to represent Team Canada. 

Central Division standings

  1. Dallas Stars — 18-8-4, 40 points
  2. Colorado Avalanche — 19-11-2, 40 points
  3. Winnipeg Jets — 18-9-3, 39 points
  4. Nashville Predators — 18-14-0, 36 points
  5. Arizona Coyotes — 16-13-2, 34 points
  6. St. Louis Blues — 15-15-1, 31 points
  7. Minnesota Wild — 13-13-4, 30 points
  8. Chicago Blackhawks — 10-20-1, 21 points

Around the NHL and National Hockey Now

Florida Hockey Now: Dmitry Kulikov hits 900 games where it all began

New Jersey Hockey Now: Jack Hughes is one of the most talented players in the NHL, but even he has things to learn according to head coach Lindy Ruff. 

NYI Hockey Now: The Islanders are finding results at home, extending their home point streak to 10 games after defeating the Edmonton Oilers

Philly Hockey Now: The Flyers continue to find ways to win, topping the New Jersey Devils 3-2 in OT

Follow Clay Brewer on Twitter/X: @ClayBrewer10

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