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Why does the NHL want two-year entry-level contracts?

Nov 16, 2012, 12:33 PM EDT

Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin

The issue of entry-level contracts doesn’t get much time in the CBA negotiations spotlight. It’s not a major area of contention compared to some of the others in the ongoing dispute, but however it’s decided will have a slight bearing on how money is allocated to players.

In its latest offer, the NHL proposed that entry-level contracts be cut from three years to two. The idea is that this will reduce the size of second contracts – for example, the ones recently granted to Tyler Seguin (six years, $34 million) and Taylor Hall (seven years, $42 million) – as entry-level players will have one fewer year to prove themselves in the NHL.

At least one league source doesn’t buy the theory, telling’s Joe Haggerty that players like Seguin and Hall will get big money anyway because they don’t need three years to become stars. In fact, reducing ELCs from three years to two will only let them cash in faster.

But it stands to reason that some players won’t make an impact in their first two years as a pro and will head into their second contract negotiations with little leverage. And for young players that aren’t stars like, say, Drew Doughty, holding out for a better deal isn’t really an option. So maybe instead of getting a two-year, one-way deal, a player has to sign a two-year, two-way deal.

Again, this shouldn’t be a make-or-break issue. If you’re curious, Haggerty delves a little deeper into it.

  1. bleed4philly - Nov 16, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    You want a season? Get rid of the NHL and the players union, as unorganized as it might be, no more work stoppage.

  2. edwelsh8 - Nov 16, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Its not about big contracts to Seguin and Hall and the like. It’s math: 2 year entry level contract + 5 year maximum length contract + an 8 year wait for UFA status = 3 contracts signed before a player reaches UFA status. If a player signed 2 max length deals after his 2 year ELC, he would be a 12 year veteran before reaching UFA status.

    • Jason Brough - Nov 16, 2012 at 2:19 PM

      There aren’t many guys that get five-year contracts after two years as a pro.

      • edwelsh8 - Nov 16, 2012 at 2:22 PM

        My example is worst case. The contract length structure ensures that no one would sign less than 3 contracts before they achieved UFA status

  3. atwatercrushesokoye - Nov 16, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    If they get 2 year entry contracts then the marquee players will cash in big after year 2 and when the next CBA expires the owners will be claiming they need 4 or 5 year entry level contracts because the players are cashing in too quickly.

  4. manchestermiracle - Nov 17, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Why do the owners keep looking for ways to limit contracts? Aren’t they the ones who offer those contracts? Another example showing how they can’t control themselves. They remind me of an alcoholic who wants the liquor cabinet locked, but insist on having a key. No wonder people call their point man an idiot.

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