Simple Question about unsigned draft picks

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by mydnyte, Apr 28, 2005.

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  1. mydnyte

    mydnyte Registered User

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    1. What was the last day that NHL teams had to sign thier unsigned draft picks from the last draft? (after which they players would be eligible to go back into the next draft or become UFA's)
     
  2. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    Midnight June 1, 2005 as per the old CBA ...

    You can read it here : http://www.nhlcbanews.com/cba/article8.html

     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2005
  3. mydnyte

    mydnyte Registered User

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    Okay, let me see if I understand this,
    ...if a club makes a "Bona Fide Offer" to the player, regardless of whether or not the player accepts the offer, the club team still has exclusive rights with that player until the second June 1st (which would be June 1 2005) under the old CBA.

    ...since there is no current CBA that second June 1 may or may not exist, although since the last CBA was in existance at the time that the "Bona Fide Offer" was made then technically the Club team would still own the players rights because at that moment the offer was made the last CBA's wordings were and would still be legal until all existing contracts expire.

    Thus, to use Jeff Carter as an example, if Philly did make him a "Bona Fide Offer" they still own his rights, BUT, only until June 1, 2005 at which time the old CBA's terms would expire regardless to there being a current CBA/lockout/strike/etc.
     
  4. Chili

    Chili Registered User

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    The old cba expired so the June 1st 2005 date should be irrelevant.

    Players rights, signing period, etc. will all need to be defined in the new agreement, whenever it is agreed to.
     
  5. Weary

    Weary Registered User

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    The NHL must abide by the terms of the previous CBA. The only way the NHL teams will retain rights to those players without signing them before June 1 is if the new CBA retroactively allows them to. If the new CBA doesn't allow that or if it doesn't address the issue at all, those players will re-enter the draft or become free agents depending on the situation.
     
  6. Chili

    Chili Registered User

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    I can't see how this issue would not be addressed in a new agreement. The only question I see is whether it would be challenged by an agent/player. And since no players can be signed to NHL contracts since the agreement expired, I fail to see why anyone is still referring to deadlines such as June 1st.
     
  7. nyrmessier011

    nyrmessier011 Registered User

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    there's no CBA right now so nobody knows what to do...whatever was in the old one doesn't count anymore if i'm not wrong
     
  8. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    Any Special Clause will be challenged in court. .

    This is exactly the case the player's agent will present to the courts .. OLD CBA to NEW CBA and the difference in earning potential between the two.

    Enter into evidence a few choice quotes by Bobby Clarke that say " Both Carter and Richards would have been on the opening day roster had there been a Season" and have the Flyers explain the reasoning for not giving them contracts then, when training camp was about to open in a few days..

    Then show that all other draft classes before this had a players rights retained for 2 years , and if unsigned the player COULD CHOOSE to re-enter the next entry draft and/or become an UFA based on his current age and birthday, if they did not sign.

    Then the agent will remind the NHL that the right to sign a NHL contract is the PLAYERS right as it is optional and can not be obtained by any form or strong arm tactics in a free country.

    At the same time will point out that these players rights were obtained at the entry draft June 22, 2003 and the Lockout began September 15th, 2004 .. Giving the Flyers organization a full 15 months exclusive negotiating time to sign these precious players that are so valuable now to them that the Lockout is really a SILLY excuse to use as the reason you need MORE TIME ..

    Then the agent will enter Dion Phaneuf's contract and all the other 2003 that got signed to OLD CBA deals moments before the lockout by poor/small market teams which couldn't afford to overpay, but felt they didn't want to risk losing their key draft picks by a prolonged work stoppage..

    Which will then point out the obvious that the intention of the Flyers organization was nothing more then to screw Carter and Richards out of earning what the others are now receiving, because the NEW CBA was almost certainly going to contain lower earning thresholds both in base and signing and performance bonuses ..

    Then the agents and lawyers with take out their yellow highlighters and colour in the NEW CBA clause that both restricts these players rights for movement and their ability to earn money based on the CBA in which their rights were first obtained, which is written specifically for them in the best interest of the owners and not the players . Combined with the fact that Carter is not a member of the NHLPA yet and that he had neither a say nor a vote on the issue of his rights, or have his best interests in mind.

    Then in closing arguements the agent will state the intent of the Flyers organization is clear in that it wanted to screw over these draft picks financially to benefit the organization's own gain. Now they require both MORE TIME and SPECIAL CLAUSES in a new CBA in order to fulfill that goal.

    At which time the Judge will stand up and say I have heard enough ..and follow that up with his best Martin Luther King quote :

    " Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, you're free at last! "
     
  9. In addition to Messengers post, if they were going to be on the openinght night roster, did they receive Bonafide offers?

    Here is a question: Is an old CBA considered current until replaced by a new CBA, even if it is expired? I know from my work experience that our CBA has expired and it has been in effect past its expiry until replaced by a new one.
     
  10. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    Bonafide offers I think are for the first year if I am reading the old CBA correctly .. It makes it sound that once you are drafted by a team that team has to make a Bonafide offer to the player in the 1st year before June 1 of the following in order to retain exclusive negotiating rights to the player ...and then must have the player signed to an approved player contract by the second June 1 after his draft year or else on June 2 his rights are removed from that team that drafted him and he either re-enters the next draft or becomes a UFA depending on his birthdate and when he turned 20 in that calendar year ..

    In the last Baseball strike/dispute the NLRB actually order the Owners back to the bargaining table, threw out the IMPASSE CBA and required the Owners to honour the terms of the old CBA until an new CBA could be worked out ..
     
  11. Jarqui

    Jarqui Registered User

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    http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/2005/04/28/1016742.html
    Asked to react to the Sun story that a number of agents are prepared to go to court to get their clients declared unrestricted free agents if there's no CBA in place by July 1, Daly told the Sun their status remains undecided.

    And he indicated any agent who believes players taken in the 2003 draft that have not signed by June 1 will go back in the draft -- or NHLers who need qualifying offers by July 1 will become free agents -- is "misinformed."

    "The status of all players, vis-a-vis NHL club rights, will be determined in collective bargaining," Daly wrote in an e-mail to the Sun. "Those who are suggesting otherwise -- namely, that certain players have now, or will have in the future a particular status -- are misinformed."

    Later, in an interview with Sportsnet, Daly was even more upset: "It's a very uninformed and misguided premise which totally ignores and misconstrues the nature, purpose and laws of collective bargaining and the status of the multi-employer bargaining unit in collective bargaining."

    Then, Daly added: "It's union-directed rhetoric which is so baseless it's almost laughable."


    then read what the NHLPA said:
    "Player status issues, such as retention rights and free agency, are all subjects to be collectively bargained," union spokesman Jon Weatherdon said in a statement

    Both negotiating parties appear to agree on this issue.

    And then Bob McKenzie weights in:
    http://www.tsn.ca/columnists/bob_mckenzie.asp
    The NHL is in the midst of a lockout. Individual NHL clubs are not permitted to conduct business as usual. NHL teams cannot sign players right now. If they did, they can't register the contract with the league.
    ...
    The truth is the fate of all these players, from Crosby to Carter to Richards to any of the restricted free agents to any player who had a contract this season, will be determined as part of the CBA negotiations. For lack of a better term, it's called transition. It will be a significant element of the negotiations above and beyond the NHL and Players' Association agreeing on a new economic system.

    Maybe these issues, what will happen with the Crosbys, Carters and Richards' of the world, will give the NHLPA more leverage than they otherwise would have in the negotiations, but at the end of the day, it would be shocking if any of those players get to pick and choose what NHL club they'd like to play for. The new CBA will spell it all out.


    At this point in time, this is a collective bargaining issue.

    Free agency ? For what ? There's no NHL league right now to be a free agent in. They're already free to play in other leagues. When the CBA is finally signed, the transition rules that the two parties have agreed to will very likely decide this issue.

    If the league opens with replacement players, we have a different set of legal circumstances in the interim. What those legal issues would be, depends upon how the league goes about that.
     
  12. kdb209

    kdb209 Global Moderator

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    Sure they can challenge the changes, but they will lose - if the changes were negotiated as part of a Collective Bargaining Agreement. Courts give almost complete deference to terms of a CBA.

    It won't matter that Carter or Richards may be disadvantaged by changes from the old CBA to the new - as long as those changes were negotiated by a collective bargaining agent that represents them (or will represent them when they sign a contract that retroactively agrees to all new CBA terms). When you are covered by a CBA, you basically give up the right to individual action in the courts.

    They will have no better standing and no better likelyhood of prevailing in challenging the terms of a new CBA than all the past draftees who have challenged the legality of drafts (and other restrictions) in other sports - they will lose. Just ask Maurice Clarett what you get when you fight the terms of a legally negotiated CBA.

    And it's not like this is the first transition between CBAs where one draft class is treated differently from the previous one (to their potential disadvantage). All those players drafted under the first year of the ELS had no grounds to sue just because if they had been drafted a year earlier they would have gotten a bigger contract.

    It is perfectly legal for a CBA to discriminate against it's own members based on agreed upon terms or discriminate against future members by applying less generous terms to future members than current ones. This is actually quite common - a two teir wage scale where current union members receive higher pay and benefits than future members, even though they will be doing the same work. Yeah I know it violates all kinds of equal pay for equal work labor laws, but it is perfectly legal because it was negotiated in a CBA.

    It doesn't matter that Carter and Richards are not members of the NHLPA yet and that the PA might not have their specific best interests in mind - the PA's obligation is not to look after the best interest of any individual or class of players but to look after what it deems to be the best interests of all players as a whole. If it chooses to sell out certain classes of players (or future players), it is well within it's rights - as it has done so in the past (ELS).
     
  13. kdb209

    kdb209 Global Moderator

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    Correct. Bonafide offers are just necessary to retain exclusive rights to a draftee from year 1 to year 2 after the draft. But also remember, a Bonafide Offer just needs to be an offer of a 1 yr two-way contract with mimimum ($175K) NHL salary - it doesn't have to be anything you really expect a player to accept. So in general, there is little downside in making Bonafide offers.

    Also. In general, the terms of an expired CBA remain in force until superceded by a new negotiated (or imposed) CBA. That is why the league was able to play the (almost) entire 1992 season without a CBA before the April player's strike.

    What actually happened in the case of MLB was that they actually did not declare an impasse (well they actually did but later rescinded it). They then made unilateral changes to free agency and salary arbitration - mandatory subjects that could only be changed through collective bargaining. The MLB PA files an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB and a court injunction blocked those (and any future) changes to the CBA until a new one was negotiated.
     
  14. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    This all depends on timing as well ..

    In the scenario I gave above the NEW CBA is in place and comparisons from OLD to NEW used to determine damages for example ..

    However if Carter and his agent went to court in June after the 2 years have passed and the agents only goal is to get his client declared an UFA and not force the court to honour the old CBA terms in which he was drafted ..

    The judge certainly can't say based on current timing if no new CBA is yet in place and the lockout is expected to go into next year that Carter can't earn a living now .. and bind Carter to a CBA that has not yet been negotiated ..

    Carter will claim has fulfilled his 2 year obligation to Flyers at that time and remains without a contract in place ..

    The Carter camp could also argue that even if the courts or the CBA included a clause that gave the Flyers an extension on exclusive rights to sign him, that no matter what money they offered he would not accept the deal .. It is his option after all remember, and being in court and challenging his own former team should be a pretty good indication that Carter is not happy with the current arrangement.

    If all other entry drafted players going back 30 years + were only bound to the drafting team for only 2 years ..Why should Carter's rights magically be treated any differently?? .. June 2 comes and goes each year, and the NHL should have attempted to get a new CBA in place before June came around if this was such a big issue to them.

    Also the Autoworkers quote that was used by the NHL in previous CBA meetings to describe all players clearly makes the statement that players are easy interchangeable in the minds of the NHL and its Owners .. So why all of a sudden is Carter's situation so different as an unsigned, unproven junior hockey player if the NHL perceives all proven players as interchangeable parts and easily replaceable. Not a very good NHL bargaining team if it makes that case to NHLers and sees the need to fight the freedom of a few 20 year olds in court.






     
  15. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    Not much different then I stated, but I think the key issue was the Cap itself, and saying there would be none, yet the IMPASSE CBA had it. and PA used the fact that the other issues like Salary Arb and UFA were not discussed yet thoroughly, therefore no IMPASSE exists yet and "Bad Faith" bargaining on behalf of MLB owners....but the point being including special clauses to 2003 drafted players ..

    How is SPECIAL CLAUSES for 2003 draftees any different really then unilateral changes in other areas in the MLB example as Free Agency and Salary Arbitration .. Still all changes made to a CBA for the benefit of owners not the players that could be challenged in court depending on the wording and restrictions. ??

    Answer this then ... Signing a players contracts is optional correct ??

    Then what happens if the NEW CBA has a clause that says the Flyers have a 30 day extension on exclusive rights to negotiate due to the lockout to come to a contract agreement with Carter, at which time he becomes a ?????.( WHAT??)

    What happens to Carter's rights then if Carter does not sign any Flyers offered contract in the extension period ??
     
  16. To add my 2 cents

    I think everyone needs to remember who locked who out! The NHL elected this course of action. You have a whole class of people, drafted unsigned and draft eligible undrafted who have been damaged by the leagues actions. I don't think it is as clear cut an issue as Daly thinks it is. All you need is one agent and player to sue. Booby Clarke obviously gambled and it is not the 1st time he has made a huge error in judgement. With a restrictive CBA about to come into effect, whenever that is, where the NHLPA and the NHL are certain to reduce significantly the entry level salaries, it would be in those players from 2003 who are not signed to go to court and argue that they are being denied the right to sell their services. All the league has to do is say that it is OK to sign these players before june 1, 2005.
     
  17. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    A player's agents job is to get his client the most money he can in a player contract ..

    I agree with you here that the biggest issue is not UFA as much as it is money lost by difference in CBA levels of earnings.

    Carter's agent if they went to court would fight harder to make the Flyers sign Carter under the terms of the old CBA he was drafted under and to a contract close to what Phaneuf got as one of the best Junior Hockey players in Canada as a comparison.

    The only reason the Flyers did not sign him clearly boiled down to saving money, knowing the intent of the new CBA ahead would benefit them and not the player.

    The court may rule almost like a Salary arbitration case and say either Carter and all other 2003 draft picks should be signed to the terms of the old CBA which will only effect a few anyway the top draft picks that expected the rookie max and top end rookie signing and performance bonuses (almost like turning the clock back to pre-lockout and giving the Flyers a Do Over) or if the Flyers decline then the court will set Carter free possibly so that while he will remain wronged Salary wise at least he will be able to play for the team of his choice under the new CBA and entry level contract system ..
     
  18. kdb209

    kdb209 Global Moderator

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    Actually there was no Impasse CBA in the case of MLB - that actually was their problem (and their screw up).

    This is a common misconception. I beleived it too untill I finally looked up the court decision.

    They (MLB) unilaterally implemented changes in the absence of an impasse that touched upon mandatory bargaining issues and which could only be changed by a negotiated or impasse CBA. The league held that these were not mandatory issues and that no impasse was necessary - the NLRB and the courts held otherwise. The league did not even try to negotiate this point - that the PRC be the sole bargaining element. Had they done that and then decalred an impasse, the situation would have been completely different.

    "SPECIAL CLAUSES" for 2003 draftees are completely different from the unilateral changes made by MLB - if there were a new negotiated CBA - because they would not be unilateral, they would have been agreed to by the NHLPA, the legal bargaining unit recognized (even if retroactively) by the draftees. If the PA negotiates it, the draftees have to live with it - end of story.

    There is some legal grey area if an impasse is declared (and upheld) whether the terms of a legally imposed impasse CBA could address these types of restraint of trade issues as opposed to work rule type issues and whether an imposed CBA would provide the same same haven from anti trust challenges as a negotiated one.

    But that is not the issue here - we've been assuming a negotiated CBA will address the transition rights of draftees and RFAs.

    Signing a contract is optional. Nothing forces Carter to sign with the Flyers. He is free to sign with an AHL team, Europe, etc. He is just unable to sign with any other NHL team.

    But if he wants to play for the Flyers (or any other NHL team) he must sign the Standard Players Contract and agree to all of the CBA terms - that is NOT optional.

    Both Carter and the Flyers have to live with the language of the new CBA. If the CBA grants a 30 day extension it will also have to clarify what happens after that 30 days - does he become a UFA or go back into the draft. This case would have to explicitly be dealt with in the transition terms or it would fall back to the general draftee rights tems defined in the new CBA. And any ambiguity there that could be challenged would not be challenged in the courts, but through the dispute mechanisms agreed to in the CBA - an arbiter.
     
  19. kdb209

    kdb209 Global Moderator

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    A judge could rule that Carter is a UFA, but that would be a meaningless distintion in that no NHL club would be able to sign him. He would still be (as he is now) free to sign with the AHL or Europe.

    However, once a new CBA is negotiated by the league and PA and that CBA states that 2003 draftees have their rights maintained by their drafting team, his UFA status goes poof. Why? Again because he will have "volunteerily" given it up when he signs a new SPC binding him to all the terms of the new CBA.

    He would be in no different situation than any other draftee - a free agent in name only.

    Of course no one is arguing that Carter couldn't pull a Lindros if he pleased.

    If all other entry darfted players before 1995 were not subject to an ELS, why should later draftees be treated any differently? Because that's what the CBA says - pretty simple actually.
     
  20. kdb209

    kdb209 Global Moderator

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    People keep trying to differentiate between a strike and a lockout - that somehow the league is more culpable because this is a lockout. This is untrue - a lockout is just as legal a labor action as a strike in the absence of a CBA.

    Yes players could go to court (this is America) but would be very unlikely to prevail. A player has no inate right to play in the NHL - they cannot force the NHL to sign a player. Right now, without a CBA, the league is not signing any players, and once a new CBA is in place, the players will be bound by it's terms.
     
  21. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    This it the issue that we are discussing now that often gets overlooked .. My point there has to be a clearly defined OUT for the player should he not sign a deal ..

    Bill Daly and others always talk about the clauses that keep him a Flyer, but the opposite as to what would free him is overlooked even if the new CBA contains a Special Clause .. My opinion is that the window to sign him needs to be fairly small and non-restrictive to go unchallenged anyways .. Now you are getting in labour rights here and issues ..

    Under the OLD CBA draft re-entry was a possibility the other being UFA as Players OUTS .. This was determined when your birthday fell in the calendar year in which you turned 20 .. If the lockout continues no draft occurs and if that drags on into 2006 then clauses as you pointed out of Draft re-entry based on player age would limit that option dramatically only leaving UFA as the main option IMO ..

    Bottom line with all these 2003 players is that the final choice to sign or not remains within their control .. and any Special Clause made particularly for a certain draft class only would have to be considered Reasonable and Fair for both sides or it will be disputed and possibly thrown out anyways..

    All this still remains a non-issue until June 2, 2005 rolls around anyways because a CBA signed before that time would not require a special clause in the first place as the drafting teams would have time to make contract offers before the deadline passed .. Whether the player signs it that is a different story that only him and his agent will determine.

    I am still not ruling out the possibility of a agent taking the NHL to court for damages of lost wages from one CBA to the next that dramatically effects the amount of money a player can earn .. and the only players that would be able to make that claim are the 2003 and 2004 class drafted under one set of rules and signed (Owners not players option) under another, and not being NHLPA members have no say or vote on the issue .. but since Johnny Cochrane is no longer with us they may not win , but they still might test the waters as it can do nothing but benefit them should they win..
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2005
  22. kdb209

    kdb209 Global Moderator

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    The court will have no grounds to rule like a salary arbitration case. A player would have to sue both the league and PA to challenge a term lawfully negotiated under a collective bargaining agreement - something courts are very loath to do . Whether Carter likes it or not, he is (or will be) represented by the NHLPA as his collective bargaining agent, and will be bound by the terms negotiated on his behalf by the PA. Their is a downside to collective bargaining - you do give up your individual right to action.
     
  23. mydnyte

    mydnyte Registered User

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    ...for most of us, this is Canada.
    and although no player has no inate right to play in the NHL, neither does the NHL have any right to keep a drafted (which is in theory illegal anyways because a player does not have the ability to not be drafted or enter the draft) player's rights indefinately while they work on an agreement that will determine the career of said player and leave them unable to seek employment or negotiate with any team they wish. (until they sign a NHL contract and join the NHLPA)
     
  24. kdb209

    kdb209 Global Moderator

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    Yes. This is a point we both agree on.

    But Daly's (and other's) quotes have generally been in the context of player, agent, and media claims that the draftees are suddenly all UFAs. Yes current teams retain draft rights (assuming the new CBA says so), but no one has claimed that those rights are maintained in perpetuity - that was never the question asked of Daly et al.

    As to what a reasonable window is - it's whatever the league and PA say it is. I don't see many grounds for challenge here under labor rights etc - terms agreed to under a CBA are pretty immune to challenges under anti-trust or labor law.

    As to what I expect will happen. If a CBA is struck so that a "normal" 2005 draft can happen (in some fashion - that's a whole other thread), I would expect the June 1st date to be extended out to some date closely preceding the draft, with unsigned '03 draftees going back into the draft. The issue of overage draftees and UFA status is a pretty open issue and may go either way.

    As I said, the overage draft / UFA issue is an open issue. They could keep the 20 yo cutoff or negotiate a special case for this draft only, or (my prefered option) treat players by their age on June 1, 2005 - if they would have been overage/UFA under a normal draft treat them the same way, so no player earns a benefit by the delay in draft date, but noplayer is harmed either.

    Being that the league and PA had no open ended draft right restrictions (for NA players), it is reasonable to assume that a fair window would be negotiated - although I remain doubtful that it could be successfully disputed and thrown out if the league and PA agreed to it.

    Even if a CBA is signed before June 1, there may still be issues dealt with in the CBA to extend the window somewhat - especially if the CBA is signed late enough that the draft would be delayed past it;s mid June date. In that case I would expect to see a day for day slip of the signing deadline w.r.t. the final '05 draft date.

    I'm not ruling out the possibility of an agent taking the NHL to court either, but I still STRONGLY beleive that the likelyhood of them prevailing and winning any damages (that are upheld on inevitable appeal) are very, very, slim. Hell If they do, you've got a case of beer (on me).

    As for the draftees not being PA members and having no vote and say - that issue has pretty much been held up in the several other court cases where draftees have challenged the draft in other sports (most recently Maurice Clarett).

    Now Chewbacca is a Wookie - do Wookies live on Endor? ...
     
  25. kdb209

    kdb209 Global Moderator

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    The current state of a player's draft rights are irrelevant. As long as the lockout continues and no NHL team is able to sign a player, a draftees rights are pretty moot. A draftee is still able to sign in the AHL or Europe, so his rights to work are in no way being infringed.

    And just cause a player may desire to seek employment with any team they wish, that team has no obligation to hire that player - in fact right now, teams are prevented by the league from signing that player, and once a new CBA is in place they will be legally prevented by the CBA from signing that player (except the team which holds his draft rights).

    No, drafts are not illegal. They would be in the absence of a CBA, but a CBA protects the league and PA for all claims of restraint of trade. Numerous US court cases have upheld such. Now, there have been no challenges in Canadian courts as far as I know.

    As an aside, another point you brought up - "...for most of us, this is Canada." Does anyone know the demagraphics of these boards - how many posters from the US, Canada, Europe, etc. That would be kind of interesting.
     
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