Leafs sign undrafted St-Pierre to three-year deal

godlh
01-16-2004, 06:42 AM
HFNHL Press Release


January 16, 2004



The Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club announced today the signing of undrafted 20 year old Martin St. Pierre to a three-year contract, the deal is reported to be an entry-level contract worth $250.000 per season if he plays in the HFNHL.

The Embrun, ON native has been overlooked by NHL and HFNHL teams alike for two straight drafts...the knock on St. Pierre is his size...he's only 5.8" and weighs 180 lbs...but Leafs GM Eric Danis is not concerned...

"We're seeing a revolution in the sport, lots of smaller players are starting to heat up and we feel that Martin is a guy that will make an impact in this league. Look at players like Martin St. Louis, Marc Savard, Sergei Samsonov, Stanislav Chistov, Matt Stajan, Daniel Brière and Steve Sullivan...these guys aren't very big, but they play big, and so does Martin".

St. Pierre has amassed plenty of penalty minutes and this seems to please the Leafs organization..."he's got a firery attitude, we love his style of play, he plays like he's 6'4 / 235 !"

St. Pierre's stats in the Ontario Hockey League could simply not be overlooked by the Leafs, they had to have him. This season, playing for the Guelph Storm, St. Pierre has been on fire, he's currently third in OHL scoring...Danis remembers when Marc Savard was amongst the top OHL scorers a few years back...and no one gave him a shot to make it big, they all said he was too small to have an impact, "look at Marc now" stated Danis.

"I'm glad to have another local guy on the club, and by local I mean from where I'm from...I had Derek Roy (Rockland) and Ryan Steeves (Rockland) in Dallas, now I have Serge Payer (Rockland) and Martin St. Pierre (Embrun) in Toronto, it's great to have these local guys on the team, I have seen these young men play ever since they were young boys, I know exactly what they bring to the table."


Stat-facts

Player :
Martin St. Pierre

Born :
1983 (20 years old)

How acquired :
Free Agent signing, Jan 16/04 (never drafted)

Current Team :
Guelph Storm, Ontario Hockey League (currently third in league scoring)

Stats :
00-01 : 68 GP : 69 PTS : 40 PIM
01-02 : 66 GP : 85 PTS : 68 PIM
02-03 : 55 GP : 56 PTS : 74 PIM
03-04 : 41 GP : 68 PTS : 63 PIM

St. Pierre has amassed 28 points in 24 career playoff games
St. Pierre had 4 points in 4 games at the 2002 Memorial Cup


St. Pierre is expected to join the St. John's Maple Leafs for assignement, but don't be surprised if he isn't up with the big club shortly, the fact that Morgan Warren has not played a single minute in the past three games makes him expendable, and given the fact that St. Pierre's salary is exactly half of what Warren makes, one can only assume that a change is near.


For LeafsTV,
I'm Brian Duff

Hossa
01-16-2004, 02:51 PM
I have a question.

When can a player be signed if they are in major junior? I was under the impression that until a player has turned pro, they can not be signed by an HFNHL. The reason I believed this to be true was that I wanted to sign Eric Lafrance at one point last year, and he was in his over-age season. I e-mailed the league and was told that until he completed his junior season and the draft was over, I couldn't sign Lafrance until July 1st or something along those lines. I didn't sign Lafrance for a number of reasons, so it doesn't really matter anyways.

So, my question is, when can a player in their overage junior season be signed? I don't care about St. Pierre, just want to know for the future, who I can sign and when?

Ohio Jones
01-17-2004, 02:44 AM
I have a question.

When can a player be signed if they are in major junior? I was under the impression that until a player has turned pro, they can not be signed by an HFNHL. The reason I believed this to be true was that I wanted to sign Eric Lafrance at one point last year, and he was in his over-age season. I e-mailed the league and was told that until he completed his junior season and the draft was over, I couldn't sign Lafrance until July 1st or something along those lines. I didn't sign Lafrance for a number of reasons, so it doesn't really matter anyways.

So, my question is, when can a player in their overage junior season be signed? I don't care about St. Pierre, just want to know for the future, who I can sign and when?

Sorry, I don't remember the Lafrance situation, but in this instance, St. Pierre's last eligibility for the entry draft was this past summer, 2003, because his 8/83 birthday renders him ineligible for next year's entry draft (which will include all birthdays from Jan 1/84 to Sept 15/86). That means St. Pierre was eligible to be signed as a UFA during this past summer Free Agent period and ever since.

If the situation with Lafrance looks to have been similar last year, so it may simply have been a misinterpretation of the HFNHL rule that says a college player cannot be signed until the first FA period after they leave (or graduate) college. With Lafrance still playing, the admin may not have realized he had already passed through an eligible FA period (the Summer 2002 signing period) and mistakenly said he couldn't be signed yet. Just speculating.

Hossa
01-17-2004, 08:04 AM
Sorry, I don't remember the Lafrance situation, but in this instance, St. Pierre's last eligibility for the entry draft was this past summer, 2003, because his 8/83 birthday renders him ineligible for next year's entry draft (which will include all birthdays from Jan 1/84 to Sept 15/86). That means St. Pierre was eligible to be signed as a UFA during this past summer Free Agent period and ever since.

If the situation with Lafrance looks to have been similar last year, so it may simply have been a misinterpretation of the HFNHL rule that says a college player cannot be signed until the first FA period after they leave (or graduate) college. With Lafrance still playing, the admin may not have realized he had already passed through an eligible FA period (the Summer 2002 signing period) and mistakenly said he couldn't be signed yet. Just speculating.

That seems like the logical explanation. I understand that he's no longer draft eligible, but I also know at least from NHL and CHL rules, that an over-age player is a player who does not have a professional contract, and that player can not sign a professional contract at any point during the season without forfeitting the remainder of his season. Now, this is the regular rule, so the HFNHL may be completely different.

It's also obviously not a major rule, there aren't many undrafted, overage juniors who are worth signing. And this isn't about Lafrance or St. Pierre either, I'm just a bit confused. Doug, your explanation seems logical though, and if you're sure that any overage junior can be signed at any point, then that's good enough for me.