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NHL and Flyers Re: Draftee Status and 2005 Entry Draft

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02-10-2005, 03:19 PM
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Bill_Meltzer
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NHL and Flyers Re: Draftee Status and 2005 Entry Draft

I directed a query today to Jamey Horan (NHL media relations director) and Joe Klueg (Flyers media relations director) to see if and when a timetable would be set to officially announce to the media its policy on the status of unsigned 2003 draftees as well as clarifying how an NHL draft would be conducted.

I didn't expect to get any concrete answers (how could there be?), but at least wanted to get statements on the subject.

Klueg said the Flyers had received no indication from the league and it was a league matter. But the short answer (of course) was that the status of the draft and prospect retention would to be tied to a CBA.

Horan said the NHL would address the issue to the media "at the appropriate time," but could not give a timetable.

What a mess. This has to make the jobs of NHL scouting departments almost impossible. Prospect evaluation is tough enough, let alone trying to strategize when there's no way to project where you'll be drafting and who'll be available in that range-- assuming you'll be drafting at all, in lieu of a CBA-- and how any 2003 draftees may fit in the mix.

This mess is yet another reason why the league should have set a CBA drop-dead date a long time ago.

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02-11-2005, 06:48 AM
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GKJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill_Meltzer
This mess is yet another reason why the league should have set a CBA drop-dead date a long time ago.

Meh, they still really haven't. The NHL said earlier this week that they had to have a deal done by the weekend and now they're letting it go until Sunday, and an announcement wouldn't even come until Tuesday, maybe as late as Thursday.

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02-11-2005, 09:44 AM
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Bill_Meltzer
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Originally Posted by go kim johnsson
Meh, they still really haven't. The NHL said earlier this week that they had to have a deal done by the weekend and now they're letting it go until Sunday, and an announcement wouldn't even come until Tuesday, maybe as late as Thursday.
I hear you.

But some of that is likely due to the need to shift gears. Now that the cancellation of the season is coming (barring a monumental shift), there are a lot of internal issues the league needs to address with its teams prior to making the announcement.

Even though Bettman can cancel the season without a Board of Governors meeting, every team in the league needs some directive on how to proceed with day-to-day operations in the short-term. One of the first orders of business is making sure that as soon as the cancellation announcement comes, every team is fully prepared to execute its refund policy, cancel all remaining arena dates, etc.

And even though there likely won't be finalized decisions on issues such as the 2005 draft,
timetables will have to be discussed, even if they are not announced formally. The Flyers confirmed that they have not been contacted by the league at all regarding that issue.

Meanwhile, with the cancellation of the season will come yet two more hurdles that have to be cleared. If a new CBA could be negotiated before the entry draft, the status of 2003 draftees will have to be determined. And at whatever point there's a new CBA, there will have to a formal determination on the status of players with contracts set to expire at the conclusion of the 2004-2005 season (they couldn't possibly honor the last year while being locked out-- so are they free agents now, or will it be negotiated for the deal roll over?)

Bringing back the NHL is only going to get more complicated-- not less-- once the announcement comes.

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