How does a player become eligible to be drafted, and can they opt out?

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by mydnyte, Apr 14, 2005.

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  1. mydnyte

    mydnyte Registered User

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    If a player doesnt want to be drafted at all, (by any team) do they have this right, and why not, or how can they get it?

    I work for a company that I researched and decided on my own that I wanted to work for, it wasn't X companies picking names out of a hat and then I was stuck working at a company, and in a city I don't like, why should these players be forced to accept this type of employment?
     
  2. Jaded-Fan

    Jaded-Fan Registered User

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    This is between the union and management, as it would be between any union and management in any business with a union. That is why the CBA will govern the draft. Many businesses with a union are set up that you can not work at that business without belonging to the union, who bargains for you. The CBA, being part of that bargaining, means that without joining the union in hockey, without being under their bargaining, including the draft, you do not work.
     
  3. mydnyte

    mydnyte Registered User

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    The problem is an Undrafted Player is not a member of any Union!! ...it's only once he's drafted he becomes a member, but I dont know if it's legal to stop any team from signing any player to a contract and have them join the union in that manner regardless of draft eligibility.
    ...I think the undrafted players can do some serious damage legally if they were so inclined.
     
  4. Chili

    Chili Registered User

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    In the last cba players did have to 'opt-in' to the draft. (opt in form).

    We'll see if there is anything similiar in a new cba.

    As far as restricting employment, it only alots your rights to one team. And has happened numerous times, rights are traded for players not wanting to play for that team. There were also some re-entry provisions in the old cba while some others don't sign and end up becoming free agents. Teams have only had so long to sign draftees (excluding Europeans) under the old cba.
     

  5. So you're saying that you selected one company to work for and waited for them to hire you? And you're saying that as soon as you applied that they threw open the doors and hired you on the spot, giving you what ever you wanted?

    BTW... these players are not forced to do anything. They have choices just like anyone else. Any player can elect to NOT sign a contract with the team he was drafted by and become an Unrestricted Free Agent at 21. At that point the player can attempt to see his services to the highest bidder. If he is so focused on playing for one team he can wait patiently to become a UFA and then approach the team in question for a contract or for a tryout. No one is holding a gun to their kids head. They have choices and they can do what they want. If holding out is what they view as the wise choice, then they can do that. But if they want to make millions of dollars as unskilled labor then it is probably a good decision to accept the fact that you were drafted by X team and take the money and run.
     
  6. I'm not sure how relevant it is to this discussion but I was thinking about 2 recent players in particular. Thomas Pock and Peter Sejna both signed pro contracts after playing in college and weren't drafted. But both played at least 3 yrs in college which makes them older than the average draftee. I guess players could probably opt out by going the college route instead of the juniors route.
     
  7. Kritter471

    Kritter471 Registered User

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    This is the way I think it works currently (and didn't it just change?):

    Players who are 18 years old in the draft year must opt-in to the NHL Draft and in doing so lose their college eligibility.

    Players 19 or older (to an age limit, I think) are automatically eligible for the Draft, and being drafted does not affect their NCAA eligibilty. I have no idea what happens to players who don't want to be drafted (I would think that some European players might fall into this category, and I'm pretty sure there's a Russian guy (drafted by the Pens-Malkin?) who's had this happen).

    I know in baseball you can be drafted without your knowledge or consent, or at least could in the mid-1980s.
     
  8. Jag68Sid87

    Jag68Sid87 Nothing Else Maattas

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    "BTW... these players are not forced to do anything. They have choices just like anyone else. Any player can elect to NOT sign a contract with the team he was drafted by and become an Unrestricted Free Agent at 21."

    That's not entirely true. European players' rights are held by the drafting club ad infinitum...or until the club chooses to drop said player from their reserve list...at least that's how I remember it from the old CBA.
     
  9. Jaded-Fan

    Jaded-Fan Registered User

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    Malkin did not wish to be drafted?
     
  10. Kritter471

    Kritter471 Registered User

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    No idea. He was the name that came to mind of a player that did not sign with an NHL team he was drafted by. But I could be very, very wrong on that. I'm in class and just going on my admittedly scattered recall.
     
  11. Timmy

    Timmy Registered User

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    Draft dodgers always wind up in Canada.
     
  12. mydnyte

    mydnyte Registered User

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    The problem there is that the player is drafted at 18 and his rights are held (or he's reentered into the draft, BUT unable to earn a living durring this time!! ...why shouldnt he be able to work where he wants (team of his pick in the NHL) before 21? ...he is afterall a legal adult and can enter into a legal agreement.
     
  13. kdb209

    kdb209 Registered User

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    That Opt-In form is only for 18 year olds. 19 and up are always draft-eligible, no choice.

    From the last CBA:
    The NHL and the draft is not like working for companies X, Y, and Z. Yes, the draft is a restriction on employment and a restraint of trade that would in most situations be blatantly illegal. But it's not, because those restrictions were negotiated as part of a CBA, and as such have exemptions from anti trust restrictions.

    Now, you say the potential draftee is not a member of the NHL and never agreed to those terms. True, he wasn't a NHLPA member when he was drafted, but as soon as he signs with any team he must sign the Standard Players Contract which makes him retroactively agree to all the terms of the CBA, including the draft.

    A player cannot opt out of the draft and treat himself as a UFA - if he's drafted, he's drafted.

    If a player doesn't want to play for the team who holds his draft rights, he has few options:

    - If he's a high profile enough prospect, he may be able to force a trade. See Lindros, Eric.

    - If he's a CHL player, he can just refuse to sign, wait 2 yrs and either go back into the draft or become a UFA then (depends upon age).

    - For US HS or College players, the team owns the rights for at least 6 mos after graduation.

    - For other (non-North American) players, the team owns the draft rights indefinitely, as long as they are playing overseas.

     
  14. kdb209

    kdb209 Registered User

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    He may want to work for a certain employer (team), but that team has no legal obligation whatsoever to hire him. If fact, by the terms of the CBA they have a legal obligation, not to.

    He's free to play anywhere else he likes - the AHL, Europe, etc and earn a living.

    You have no right to work for any specific employer if they chose not to hire you.

    Being a legal adult has nothing to do with it. It is purely a condition of employment legally negotiated between an employer and a union (The 30 NHL teams and the NHLPA).
     
  15. Kestrel

    Kestrel Registered User

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    The player DOES still have the option of working elsewhere. As I understand it (no legal background) the NHL can more or less for THIS purpose be seen as a single entity made legal by the CBA. If you were to be hired by a company, I'm sure that company would be within their rights to say that you can only work for a certain branch of the company, and not for the others - not practical in the business world, but practical in the sports world.

    Anyhow, to touch on my first line - the player doesn't have to accept the NHL draft, he can go play for the UHL, keep playing juniors, go overseas, or do a number of different things. All the NHL is doing is restricting opportunities within this one single entity, not the entire industry.
     
  16. Mighty Duck

    Mighty Duck Registered User

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    Please define unskilled labor. I also wonder where you get this idea that a player, who gets drafted, makes millions, and should take the money and run. Nothing is guarantied, with out 1sr round picks, most players sign contracts with a small signing bonus, and a two way contract if he is lucky. He still needs to make the team to get any money at all, other than their signing bonus, which in some cases after the 2nd round are non existent. Even 1st rounder's could play only in the minors, and including their signing bonus, not reach the million dollar total, in their 1st 3 years. It appears you have this idea that all this money and oportunity of being a pro athlete is thrown at these guys. I suggest you follow around a WHL player for 3 or 4 years and you may find out that a so called apprenticeship for being a pro hockey players is one of the toughest grinds a young man can encounter. The fact still remains, there is no guaranty! The kids in the WHL make $200 dollars a month plus room and board, and some are lucky to get gas money, if they have a car. Once you have done some research on the WHL, the next level would be Minor Pro. Have you checked out the average salary in the AHL. Not many millionaires in this league. These guys put in some long days, long road trips, and long nights, trying to get that chance at the Big Show, the NHL. All this for a huge salary of $30,000 and up per season. I would suggest that in most cases, that it is the elite players, the ones who have had the silver spoon handed to them, give the rest of the honest, hard working guys a bad name. Does this remind you of the bosses son, taking your job, which you have sweated over the last 20 years, only because the boss wants his son to have it. It is the top 10% players in the league where the problem lies. The Jagr's, Lindros's,Holik's and LeClair's of the league which have caused an imbalance as far as wages vs revenues. It is also, owner's of the Capitals, Avalanche, Red Wings and Maple Leafs and some others, who have not made wise decisions as far as long term deals.
     
  17. Jaded-Fan

    Jaded-Fan Registered User

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    I respect your opinions, you have been very well spoken in the past. And you know more than I do about the intricacies of this particular process I think. But that part about being able to wait until age 21 to go unsigned and be a free agent on the market seems a bit hard to believe. Certain players each draft year could make a fortune merely by playing somewhere like Russia or Europe for 3 years and then cashing in big time offering themselves to the highest bidder. Lindros, etc. come to mind. Not disputing it, but it just sounds like if that were so someone would have taken advantage of the system like that by now.
     
  18. Spetzky

    Spetzky Registered User

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    And that russian was Shirokov (?)
     
  19. McDonald19

    McDonald19 Marcus Pettersson

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    um...why did he show up at the draft and put the jersey on up on the stage?

    if he didn't want to be drafted he would be sitting at home in Russia the day of the draft.
     
  20. Kritter471

    Kritter471 Registered User

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    Again, f'up on my part. That's what I get for taking lecture notes on class and trying to think about hockey at the same time.
     
  21. kdb209

    kdb209 Registered User

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    Just going over and playing in Europe until you're 21 doesn't necessarily get you UFA status. A player signing with an non-affiliated league (a league other than the AHL/ECHL) has his rights retained by the team that drafted him:

    And even if you could play overseas and wait out becoming a UFA, you would still be subject to the ELS (Entry Level Compensation System) unless you waited until you were 25.
     
  22. It's the Mike Van Ryn loophole. Its easy to use, you just have to plan your playing career properly and have massive balls to make it happen. You commit to college so you are drafted as a 19 year old. Right after you are drafted you commit to a CHL team and you're pretty well home free. The window is small, the move extremely risky, but you can do it. Mike Van Ryn, Mike Comrie, Chuck Kobasew and RJ Umberger used the strategy to extort deals favorable to them. If any of them were really serious about playing for only one team they would have refused to sign at all and become that free agent, signing only with the team of their choice. The trick in the past has been not getting involved in major junior and going to college. But now with the US schools talking about accepting CHL players that problem may disappear as well. Of course this could all disappear with the rules put in with the new CBA, but the strategy is still there at this time.
     
  23. The Nemesis

    The Nemesis Semper Tyrannus

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    The practical reason that this doesn't happen is simple: Competitive balance. Although the NHL consists of 30 member clubs all capable of operating on their own, the true business entity the NHL draft services is the National Hockey League on the whole. If a player doesn't want to play in the NHL, he is free to seek employment from another league. He can go overseas to Europe, he can play in one of the North American minor pro leagues, he can find a job as an instructor or a coach somewhere. No one holds a gun to his head and says "You must play in the NHL". But if a player declares his intentions to enter the NHL via the entry draft, he is subject to the NHL's primary placement process, which is the draft.

    To use your analogy. Imagine you get a job at, say, a Best Buy or a Future Shop. You've declared your intentions to work for that store, and they've accepted your application. Whereabouts you work in said store is not totally up to you though. you may want to work in the video games section, but if they need someone to work in appliances, that's where you'll end up. You won't get a chance to pick your department until you've earned it. The only degree of control you have at the beginning is if your particular aptitudes absolutely scream for you to work in a specific department and the needs of the other sections don't outweigh your benefit there.

    The NHL is much the same. It dictates that the best new "employees" should go where they are most needed. Thus the draft ranks teams according to performance to facilite the process of letting the teams who need the talent have the first crack at it. Once you've put in your time in the league, you get free agency, and then you have control over your situation. Until then, your only hope on draft day is that the team you really want to go to is the one team that needs a player of your specific talents, and that they'll make the necessary moves to get you.

    Think about it this way. If any player could sign with any team, how would bad teams get better? Everyone wants to play for a winner or a team with tradition, so 90% of the players would probably all be picking to sign with the same 10% of the teams.
     
  24. Chili

    Chili Registered User

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    I didn't say that so you hilighted the wrong comments.
     
  25. Schlep Rock

    Schlep Rock Registered User

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    The same reason NHL players aren't suing the NHL (or talking about it) for blocking them from employment is the same reason kids can't sue the NHL to become free agents, the NHL is assumed the top league in the world but there are other "companies" out there offering hockey employment.

    Pock and Sejna were late bloomers and went undrafted, it has nothing to do with the fact they were NCAA players. NCAA players are drafted all the time.
     
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