Since Schneider was placed on waivers by the ducks and then clearing waivers there has been debate about why some teams, mainly why the Kings did not pick him up. I as well as a few others felt that it was because LA would rather trade for him. I brought up the idea here and elsewhere that it is because if they claimed Schneider on waivers they would not be able to trade him at the deadline but some either did not understand, or disagreed. So I thought I would right this up to make it a little easier to understand.
The Kings may or may not be able to make the playoffs this season. It really depends on how their kids progressed and a lot on how they are in goal. They also are below the cap floor. Add trying to hit the cap floor with a young, potentially playoff worthy team and the fact that Schneider's family is in LA it seems like the perfect fit for LA to claim him. They get him for nothing afterall. However there are a couple things to consider.
1.) LA may not make the playoff's thus it is not in their best interest to pay his salary all the way through the season if they have to so they would like to trade him, and get a little something for him.
2.) Schneider is hard to move now, but at the deadline will for sure be one of the more sought after players at the deadline for his experience and leadership, and will not hit the cap as much.
So with those things in mind, it is in LA's best interest to have Schneider on the roster as a tradeable asset.
Now the NHL CBA dictates
13.20 (b) A Player who has been acquired by Waiver claim shall not be Traded to
another Club until the termination of Playoffs of the season in which he was acquired
unless he is first offered on the same terms to the Club(s) that entered a claim when
Waivers were requested originally and the offer has been refused.
What this means is if LA put in a claim and others did also Schneider would have to be offered up to those teams as a waiver pick up again before he could be traded. So that could potentially limit LA's ability to trade him and they would have essentially grabbed him for no reason.
Two arguments could then be made for LA still making the claim.
1.) LA still needs to make the cap floor so Schneider's contract would help either way.
2.) No one else made a claim for him so this would not effect LA in their attempt to trade him at the deadline.
However there are things to think about with these two arguments. The first about LA needed to hit the cap floor is not a solid argument as they can fill in most of that cap space from within so he does not need to be added for only salary cap reasons. The second argument about no one else making a claim is harder to counter but it can be done.
There is alot of communication in the NHL and teams keeping tabs on other teams about what they are doing. That DOES included keeping tabs on other teams making claims on waivers. So if teams found out that LA made a claim on Schneider while on waivers, they are clear to put in a claim for him also knowing they won't get him now, but this leaves the door open for them to acquire him later in the season at a reduced rate for a playoff run should he become available from LA.
To demonstrate I will use this example.
LA claims Matthew Schneider off waivers from the ducks. Knowing this two other teams also put in a claim for Schneider which were Minnesota, and Colorado. Because LA finished lower in the standings they had priority and received Schneider.
LA is out of the playoff picture, Minnesota and Colorado are in the playoff hunt.
LA wants to trade Schneider to a playoff team, however he has to be offered up to Minnesota and Colorado as a waiver. Minnesota having a stable defense declines to pick him up. However Colorado had an injury and needs a vet d-man and decides to pick him up for their playoff run.
Outcome - LA wastes Millions on Schneider and gets nothing in return.
As you can see LA runs the greater risk of losing him for nothing as a waiver claim. But if they trade for him they have free reign to move him at the deadline. So they could trade something small to the Ducks to get him, and then trade him at the deadline at a premium. Thus they waste the Millions but gets something in return.
So with this in mind it is clear that by LA passing on Schneider when on waivers, and having him pass through waivers unclaimed, they can trade a whole lot less for Schneider then have the ability to move him at the deadline for a big return helping out their franchise.