lets say the nhl has replacement players to start next season.
training camp would open in september would the prospects that could one day play in the nhl practice with the scabs?
lets say our scab second line center goes down to an injury. could the rangers call up a prospect from hartford to replace him?
if the prospect did get called up and refused to go would he be in breach of contract?
is it possible that jessiman, montoya, and other big name prospects won't sign with the rangers to play in hartford because they wouldn't want to get called up?
if those prospects signed with the rangers, they would be making the decision to cross the picket line and become scabs (i know technically they aren't part of the nhlpa yet but its basically the same thing) so by signing with the rangers they would be agreeing to play as replacement players...they could sign AHL contracts to play in hartford but then the rangers couldn't call them up without signing them to NHL contracts first...
there is a good chance they wouldn't sign but i think that would be more about the fact that leaving school early when there is no nhl makes alot less sense and jessiman and montoya would likely look at it as 'i might as well stay here and graduate and how everything gets fixed during that time'
with regards to guys already in hartford under ranger contracts, those guys are nhlpa members so calling them up and putting them on the roster would be the same as jagr being on the roster. they would have to cross the line to play, just because they are in the minors that doesn't mean the teams can force him onto the nhl clubs...i think the bigger question is will those players continue to play in the AHL? the ahl is completely separate from the nhl, so they technically wouldn't be crossing the picketline but many ahl teams are owned by nhl teams. so are they going to refuse to play for dolan in ny but play for him in hartford? or will they walk away from the ahl too? (and they wouldn't be violating their contracts because they are on two-way deals on their nhl contracts)...
my feeling is that no player of importance, regardless of age, current contract status, etc would play as a scab in the 1st year...due to potential repercussions, players won't cross right away based on the hope that it won't last that long. so year 1 you'd basically be looking at ECHL hockey at nhl prices. then maybe in year 2 & 3 you'd start to see guys coming back...europeans will never come back
This is a tough question because we've never had this situation before. There were no replacement players during the last strike, so it wasn't an issue. My guess would be anyone playing under an NHL contract would be considered a scab. It's possible that they could sign AHL contracts, but I believe all NHL contracts contain a clause prohibiting the player from signing with any other North American team. I know some players signed AHL deals this year, but it's a different situation because the players are not refusing to go to work (and also I don't know if those players had NHL deals for the upcoming season). But even if players are allowed to play in the AHL, any decent prospect called up would immediately join the picket line unless a significant number of NHLers had already crossed.