Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A word on no-trade clauses

Players can negotiate either a no-trade or a no-move clause in their contracts. However, no-trade or no-move clauses cannot take effect until the season in which the player would have been eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.

This is an important point because it means players such as Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Mike Richards can be traded up until that time (it’s not likely but you never know).
Simon's a certified agent with Newport Sports Management, and while infrequent, his blog items over at THN.com have had some good little tidbits in them. Simon notes there are about two dozen NHLers with no-trade or no-move clauses in their contracts.

While it's unlikely a player with a contract the size of the ones Ovechkin and Richards have will be moved, it's still interesting to note that that's an option — and it puts the ball back in the team's court at least a little bit.

Decision Day for Ovechkin, for example, won't come until he's 27 years old. After that point, he'll have "a partial no-trade clause" that will allow him to dictate which teams he can go to.

Before July 1, 2012, he can theoretically be had by anyone.



At 6:01 p.m., January 29, 2008, Anonymous PPP said...

About two dozen NT/NMC and the Leafs have 4 of them.

At 6:04 p.m., January 29, 2008, Anonymous PPP said...

p.s. I meant to add:

Thanks JFJ!

At 6:28 p.m., January 29, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what happens when, in the years just before the NHL's doomed experiment in socialism collapses under its own weight, every other player in the league has a no-trade and no movement clause?
Does the AHL fill up with aging vets hauling in $8M a year?
Are fans going to put up with teams, like today's Lightning or Leafs, for example, that remain hamstrung for half-decades thanks to past contract mistakes?
The Law of Unintended Consequences might not be knocking on the door, but its coming up the driveway.

At 6:31 p.m., January 29, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Given the tiny fraction of players with those contracts, we're a long way off yet.

Players can also opt to waive them, something we've seen happen a few times already.

At 10:35 a.m., January 30, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given the tiny fraction of players with those contracts, we're a long way off yet.

True enough, but they seem to have become standard on big-money long-term contracts and those are the ones where they will create the biggest problems for teams.

I really don't understand why GM's have been so willing to give them out. They make sense if a player is giving a hometown discount (a player who takes less money to sign with a specfic team doesn't want to get moved) but not otherwise. I mean, does Ovechkin turn down $124mm if he can't get a NMC? Does Rob Blake turn down $6mm/year with the Kings if he doesn't get one? I don't think so.

My only guess is that the GMs figure that if the player performs up to expectations then they won't want to move them, and if the player underperforms nobody else will want them anyway. Still, it's a bad policy and I cringe whenever I see one of these things given out.

At 5:25 p.m., January 30, 2008, Blogger Adam C said...

Why would Ovechkin want a no movement clause? Well, he's guaranteed to be paid millions of dollars for playing hockey, but not necessarily in the NHL. If he turns into Yashin in 10 years, a wealthy team might choose to bury him in the minors in order to save cap space. He'd have the choice between riding the buses and toiling through 80 games plus practices in obscurity, or retiring and leaving the money on the table.

Most of us would leap at the former, of course, but someone who's already a proud 30-year-old millionaire might not find it attractive.


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