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Awkward: Blair Betts Returned to Flyers

Oct 9, 2011, 3:28 PM EDT

After failing to pass a physical with the Montreal Canadiens, Blair Betts has been returned to the Flyers per NHL by-laws.
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After being waved by the Flyers less than a week ago, Blair Betts has been returned to the team that sent him packing due to NHL by-laws that say the Montreal Canadiens, the team that claimed him off waivers last week, can refuse the claim since Betts was not healthy. Full explanation from the NHL below.

This also makes the Flyers roster situation a bit hairy, as CSN’s Sarah Baicker writes, “But with Betts back in the fold, the Flyers would have 50 contracts, not
including 18-year-old Couturier. Should they wish to keep Couturier on
the roster for more than 11 games, they will be forced to make some kind
of a move.”

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From the NHL:

NEW YORK (October 9, 2011) — Forward Blair Betts, who was claimed on waivers by the Montreal Canadiens from the Philadelphia Flyers on October 5, has been returned to the Flyers, per NHL By-Law 11.8 (a),  the National Hockey League announced today.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman rendered the decision after reviewing submissions from both Clubs.  By-Law 11.8 (a) states: “The Member Club acquiring a player by waiver claim shall take an assignment of the player’s contract. Nevertheless, if the Commissioner determines that a player acquired by waiver claim is not physically fit at the time the claim is made, the Member Club making the claim may refuse to take an assignment of such player’s contract and the request for waivers shall be cancelled.”

In reaching his decision, Commissioner Bettman stated: “While it is clear that both clubs have acted in good faith in this unique situation(i.e. a waiver claim), I am not prepared to dispute the conclusion of the Montreal Club doctors that Mr. Betts was physically unfit to play at the time of the claim. Therefore, it is my decision that, per League By-Laws, the appropriate resolution to this matter is to restore the parties to the position they were in prior to the waiver claim on Oct. 5.”