NHL Rumors: The CBA, Cutting the NHL Draft to Four Rounds, and LTIR

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek on the 32 Thoughts: The Podcast – Oh My Bob episode, on the CBA, shortening the NHL draft, and LTIR.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

Marek: “Something from Marty Walsh’s point of view, the executive director of the Players Association, you know, was asked if he’s ever asked Gary Bettman about another team in Toronto, and he said, no, he hasn’t.

I’ve always maintained I would love to hear the conversation when the point is raised about how much money the Toronto Maple Leafs have spent in revenue sharing and now there’s going to be a new team to muscle in on their turf but nonetheless.

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The other thing that Marty Walsh said that I thought was pretty interesting was that the PA really needs to take some time here and start to focus on the next CBA. And I know when you say CBA, that is a glaze over and tune out for a lot of people. But mean Elliotte, this is the first time we’ve heard one of the sides say, we need to start spending some time thinking about the next CBA, which expires at the end of not next season, but the season after.”

Friedman: “Well, the league, actually when Bill Daley joined Bettman, they talked a little bit about the LTIR and it’s …”

Marek: “That’s coming up.”

Friedman: “… that is going to be a conversation too. I’ll tell you something else I have heard that a couple agents have told me about, about the next CBA and that is, that there are some agents who believe and maybe even the PA believes it, we’ll find out more about it, that the draft should be shortened to four rounds.

And the reason they, the reason they feel that way, Jeff …”

Marek: “Why?”

Friedman: “Is because they want you to interview fewer players. No, I’m kidding. That’s not the reason.”

Marek: “The players have complained.

The reason is that there’s so few players from like rounds five, six and seven. Like if you look at the players who don’t get contracts, very few of them are high picks, right? Most of them are later picks. right?”

Marek: “Yeah.”

Friedman: “And it’s the position of some of the people across the Players Association. And by that I’m including agents and players and all that, that why would they want players to be tied into teams for two to four years and then not get a contract?

They almost think it’s like holding up a player from really beginning their NHL career or putting themselves in the best situation. Like when someone said to me is, would it be better for there to be four rounds and then everybody who’s done with the draft, become a free agent …”

Marek: “A free agent, yeah.”

Friedman: “… that way you can pick your organization …”

Marek: “Well …”

Friedman: “… and sign with them.”

Marek: “You know, there is a school of thought and many people have put it forward, that there shouldn’t be a draft in the first place. You have a salary cap, so you have a, you have a way to …”

Friedman: “Well that’s that’s a CBA thing.”

Marek: “and then. No, I know, no, I know. Hang on, I’m gonna, what I’m saying is, there are some that say there shouldn’t even be a draft. Players that are turning pro should just be free agents.

You have X amount of money to dedicate to various players. Everyone has the same playing field. Why not just treat everybody like a free agent. This …”

Friedman: “I don’t think that’ll ever happen but I know (inaudible).”

Marek: “I don’t think it will. But it inches closer to that. Like hearing you talk about this all of a sudden now you’re getting rid of three rounds of players that won’t be drafted, whose rights won’t be secured or held by teams, they become free agents and able to sign.”

Friedman: “I understand, I understand this position is not about that. It’s not about abolishing the draft, it is about you know, why tie up a player’s rights for two to four years if odds are they’re not going to get signed anyway.”

Marek: “Right.”

Friedman: “We’ll see. We’ll see if it goes anywhere.”

Marek: “It’s interesting. You mentioned LTIR a couple of seconds ago and pretty obvious that one is not going to get dealt with until the CBA expires.”

Friedman: “Yeah, sure doesn’t sound like it. Sure doesn’t sound like it.”

Marek: “For anyone. Anyone who wants a gross about Kucherov, Kane, Stone, all of it, Just nothing’s gonna happen. Nothing’s gonna happen for a couple of seasons.”

Friedman: “Yeah, it sounds like this going to be a bargaining issue.”

Marek: “You can do, if you don’t like it, you can do two things. Nothing and like it.”