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09-29-2003, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by hillbillypriest
Hi Buffaloed,

Hope this doesn't bring back too much bad deja vu from our recent exchanges on the Maurice Clarett thread, but I'm going to beg to differ. I believe that what is being suggested is not that the NHL will break contracts with rookies, but that the NHLPA and NHL will reach a new agreement to severely reduces the limit of what rookies can be paid as part of a jointly negotiated CBA. Apart from standard form contracts signed with individual players that expire after the CBA expires, I would not think that there's any aspect of the CBA could not be re-negotiated within the context of collective bargaining. So I don't see any reason why unsigned rookies could not be successfully sacrificed by the NHLPA when the ink's finally dry on the upcoming CBA.

p.s. - Unlike the Clarett discussion, in which you and DeathFromAbove pointed out to me that the current NFL CBA has a gap that does not specifically mention minimum draft age, I think Leon Wood's unsuccessful case against the NBA does apply here.
The difference with the NHL draft is that players have to sign a document to opt-in. It's a legal document that is part of the current CBA. If the NHL changes the terms these players were drafted under when they signed the opt-in form, they also void the opt-in form, which nullifies the draft. Those players would either become UFA's or be subject to re-drafting under the new CBA.

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