Thread: Trade immenent?
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01-07-2004, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Mizral
Two ways Smith could become a UFA:

#1 - There is a work stoppage for one year, the CBA is redone with the UFA age saying the game. At this point (one year and about 5 or 6 months from now), Smith will be past 31, and out of a contract, thus making him a UFA.
The Oilers aren't going to not offer Smith a contract this summer. As I understand it (from the legal mumbo jumbo), if they offer him at least a qualifying offer, his rights for one season are secure. Seeing as a lockout doesn't constitute a season (a season is league play, not a series of dates that the league usually plays in), The Oilers would still maintain Smith's rights for that last year.

#2 - The UFA age is lowered and Smith hasn't signed by the day the CBA drops (most UFA's, if not all, will not be signed before the CBA comes down, mostly due to financial, and in some cases, management, uncertainty.
I am assuming that a condition to either side of a new CBA would be that it gets grandfathered in. Meaning that if a players is signed, or is qualified under the terms of the old CBA, they must fulfill it. If Smith is qualified under the old CBA, he must live up to that standard, as his contract was agreed to under that old standard. It's like if contracts in the new CBA are no longer guaranteed, guys currently signed to deals would be exempt from that.

The only way Smith does not become a UFA if there isn't a work stoppage and the UFA age isn't lowered, or he signs an extension between now and the CBA.

Anyhow, even if Smith is a UFA, it doesn't mean the Oilers couldn't resign him. You guys are acting as if free agents simply dissapear into the night. I know this has happened in Edmonton often, but consider that some guys have actually be SIGNED as a UFA. Oates for instance. Also, wasn't Staios picked up as a UFA?
Guys like Staois and Oates were essentially cast aways. There was very little interest in these players aside from the Oilers. This will not be the same for Jason Smith.

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