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11-09-2012, 01:16 AM
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CBA Thoughts; give players an out clause

Just wanted to start a discussion on something that has been bugging me.

First, the most obvious point to make is that under a cap system earnings of the PA members are guaranteed. It is my belief that the lower UFA age is a good thing for the NHL and aligns salary value to play value better than when guys were hitting UFA at 31. In lowering the UFA age the Owners lost likely 2 or 3 contracts. The signing tendencies have also changed with more multiple year deals to players than prior to the 04 lockout. What the owners want is more space between the UFA years and ELC. The NHL sees this as a allocation issue while the players likely understand that perspective but also see them conceding more freedom and power.

The owners started off with a proposal where ELC went to 5 years, Changes in RFA arbitration and UFA moved back to 30. To me this was not a buffet where the NHL wanted all of the above, they wanted 1 of the 3. From the outside looking in, I dont feel either party would be served well under any of those options. As i said previously; the lower UFA age makes far more sense than 30 (your prime years should see you getting the prime money and options). Also 5 year contracts are a huge issue because they stall the back diving contract habits.

I want to start a discussion based on the idea that the NHL's last proposal of a 2 year ELC followed by a slight change in RFA arbitration, and 28/8 year UFA can be the solution and that in return the players should be given "out clauses" in their contracts. I hate players requesting trades, like many fans, but i would have no problem with a player giving "notice".

Lets say a player wants out of their current contract (could be due to a new coach, tactics, playing time, wife etc). Based on their age they would be able to file for contract dissolvement by the trade deadline. Effectively they are given the rights most of us have to walk away from an employer after giving notice. If done the players contract evaporates on July 1st and based on their age the player is given specific rights.
IMO players exercising their option should be given the rights they would have if their contract ended that summer.
Compensation is an issue. Should the prior team be compensated for a UFA signing? an rfa?
When should that right be started? 25? how often should you be allowed to elect out? once every 2 years, 3 years?
obviously there are ways GMs will find to try to corrupt this.... what can be corrupted and what can be done to stop weaknesses?

To me one of the worst parts of being a fan are players asking for trades out etc. I think if you request a trade you should have your contract evaporated. I also agree that players would sacrifice rights by taking the NHL proposal contract combo (2 year elc, rfa arb changes, 28 UFA). I think extending them an out clause would be the best thing.

Because of this move, any player requesting a trade in public or leaking to the press should be heavily fined. It looks bad on the league and the players. If it is going to be done keep it quiet or face severe fines. SEVERE. IMHO trade demands are a huge black mark on both players and the leagues, and with the out clauses it shouldnt be necessary ever.

A side benefit of "out clauses" given to players, that i can see, is GMs being more fearful of giving long term contracts. By giving the NHLPA outclauses you might actually be giving a concession that works for both parties like the UFA age does. It might allow you to get your 5 year contract issue and no hiding of contracts request. With more rights given to the players... GMS would be weary. Do you think Shawn Horcoff or Scott Gomez would exercise their "out clause" lol. nope. The crappy contracts wont ever be exercised. So really a GM can get killed by this if he is Garth Snow puppet. I dont mind this fact. The smart businesses will realize the players have an out but the team doesnt. This is like other businesses... the business often has to wait for extreme circumstance to lay off an employee but an employee gives notice and walks.

contract max of 7 years.
2 year ELC if signed in summer or 3 years if signed midseason (like when a team signs a junior prospect after their junior season and puts them in the AHL for the remainder of that year).
RFA kept the same
team and player arbitration the same
UFA to 28/8
no hiding contracts. any player signed to over 2M in the NHL counts against the cap whether on the NHL team or in a lower level, regardless of 1 way or 2 way. Only exception is the ELCs.
player out clauses become available upon the ending of the 3rd year of a contract and every year after that on that contract. Out clause must be filed as exercised by the trade deadline prior to the summer. During the summer following the filing the players contract is evaporated and moves immediately to his associated free agency rank.
RFA who exercises outclause- can sign with any team, offer can NOT be matched, compensation higher than current CBA.
UFA who exercises outclause- can sign with any team freely. No compensation.
50/50 rev share.

Last edited by oilinblood: 11-09-2012 at 01:36 AM.
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