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Demystifying NHL rules, part 1 September 9, 2009

Posted by calvin in Uncategorized.
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I’ve been reading up on this whole “you can’t send a player to the AHL if he still has junior eligibility” thing. I’ve never understood why on earth a player had to go back to juniors – after all, if they were almost good enough to make an NHL team wouldn’t they benefit more from being in the NHL than yawning their way through another season in juniors?

Here’s the official rule: A junior-aged player with an NHL contract cannot be sent to a minor pro league like the AHL unless he has already played four seasons of junior hockey. He must either stay on the NHL roster or return to junior.

But what’s with the four seasons of junior hockey? According to About.com, the rule is in place to protect junior hockey players and junior teams, ensuring that NHL clubs will retain only those teenagers who are ready for the big leagues.

I buy that, but with the salary cap and the 23-man roster in effect, doesn’t this rule become kind of a moot point? No, not a mute point, a moot point. Your thoughts?

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Comments»

1. Shelby Rose - September 9, 2009

I think the rule is quite stupid because let’s say someone has already reached their peak in juniors and are ready to make the jump. John Tavares, for example. He was only drafted in June, but several pro scouts found watching him to be extremely boring because he is too good for the level he was at. If a player is obviously ready to make the jump to the NHL then let them make that jump, and make room for them on the farm team. There are exceptions to every rule and it should be the same with this one.

manda903 - September 9, 2009

Great points, Shelby. One of the best examples of this rule not working, in my mind, is with Steven Stamkos. He was clearly too advanced for juniors but struggled quite a bit making the change to the NHL. I wonder if his development wasn’t set back because of the lack of confidence he could be struggling with after having such a difficult first season.


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