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53509Re: Superstar gets a C from history

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  • William Underwood
    Jan 5, 2011
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      Well a few things..first of all any pro league not just hockey has a system
      where a draft choice is held for x amount of time f they don't sign. For
      the NHL it is not just college players. Each classification of player has a
      statute that varies. And it only makes sense. A junior has only two years
      (three with overage but a draftee does not want to play overage typically)
      left of eligibility, a collegian has 4 max and a Euro has well, perpetual
      eligibility in their realm. Hence the length that a team holds the rights is
      proportionate to the player's ability to have a place to play while his
      contract situation is decided thus it is fair. And it is something that the
      PA and NHL agree to. In the end it is fair. A player has a haven to hold out
      in and as long as he does the NHL team can hold him, when that expires he is
      free. And the player can always leave college to go to junior if there is an
      issue. Now before we even say "education" he can get a deal in junior and
      more to the point if he is leaving school as a contract ploy how much does
      he really care about it? If school is so vital he will simply stay there
      regardless, after all we are talking about guys who plan to leave early that
      this would be an issue for. It is not an unfair system to any level nor to
      the team. Heck if you really want to press it you can always sign in Europe!
      :-) It is really a matter of balance, a team invests a choice in a pick who
      they THINK will sign. If they lack the time to do it we get a wasted choice
      plus too lax a period would allow players to make life hard on the drafting
      team. Now one can argue why not do like baseball and recycle players fast,
      well one reason is that we have another mechanism in hockey and that is we
      only draft at 18 and 19 after which you are a free agent. Now add on that
      even for college guys there is something unique in hockey most guys don't
      even play in college until 19, 20 or even 21. If we allowed guys say a one
      year window we would have anarchy. It may do no one any good. We would have
      bidding wars on top players and our being a sport with more limited funds
      than baseball as well as a cap it may well mean less guys get signed period.
      And we also may make more really expensive mistakes. Now why not extend the
      draft age? It would do two things. One it would be unfair to the juniors who
      are a great training ground and two it may also just encourage especially
      junior hot shots to go to Europe at 20 make big money and STILL hold that
      gun maybe even better than the college guy who might find himself hard
      pressed to do the same. Why? If you are already making say 750 in Europe you
      really push that team to at least mach that AND you will be going against
      other top guys playing in a better league and developing in say Sweden or
      Russia for that limited cap money. And indeed if a Euro re entered the draft
      each year with an already inflated ticket due to him making big bucks back
      home, what does that do for say a Washington when they draft an Ovechkin or
      worse yet a Pittsburgh when they took Malkin? He could play the "I hold out
      until Detroit takes me" game.or a as say national team line mates say "we
      only come as a package deal." Baseball lacks a lot of ours issues.:-) It is
      less of an echo of the C form and more reflection of the structure of hockey
      today. Yes the player must have rights but the team also needs to have its
      ability to draft and develop a player protected and the sport/fans have the
      right to enable their teams to get such access.so holding rights for a
      little whole does not kill anyone even the player.if they did not have these
      rights I know a TON of guys who would never have been drafted or signed.many
      of them college guys.when a team drafts guy they hate to admit that they
      goofed and if you do even reasonably well you will get your shot. If you
      never had to sign him he can be buried on the minors and never get that shot
      that a contract tends to push. I always tell guys that the advantage of not
      being drafted is that you can pick your team and can enhance your value IF
      you are lucky because it can also mean you get no real shot at all. Getting
      drafted is a thing that gives you a much better set of odds to get your day.
      If it comes down to two guys remotely equal the draftee will get the slot.
      Simply pout al lot of guys who come out of US junior, tier two or high
      school would not get drafted at all if teams did not have the ability to
      wait. The fact that a team has a four year vested interest in you can be the
      difference if you do not tear the colleges up between a two or three way NHL
      deal or an ECHL deal. I see it all of the time, college player A and B have
      similar careers but one has a deal with higher league the other does not but
      player A was a draftee five years back. And is a huge difference, an ECHL
      deal is week to week with a club option. no signing bonus and less money
      overall.if they changed this rule the college guy may well suffer the worst
      as he is often drafted out of lower leagues so may all of the lower tier two
      leagues who would see less of their guys drafted thus less prestige.



      As for the C form, I think it would be interesting to get a better
      description than we have out there. I have never seen a lawyer who has
      really SEE the old by laws and contract truly explain it. One thing is
      certain and that is that it was on shaky legal ground at best. One thing
      that Lewicki may have done was to make the league be a bit more careful in
      how they were handled. One problem with the whole process in finding out
      about it is that we generally have the word of players who signed the form
      with no agent and understood no more than the club told them. They were just
      kids and their families often lacked an education. And again this was not
      just an NHL thing, MLB did the same with its prospect "Take this money, sign
      here kid and become a Yankee, we own you now understand". Nor were football
      and basketball in the pre agent era.it was always the same "sing this, get
      this and you are ours." And as most of these guys were not Rhodes Scholars
      and wanted to play they just said "ok sir."It was the way sports in general
      worked in that era as well as today if they can get away with it although
      with agents it is way harder.provided that your agent is not a crook that
      is.:-) The problem is that we have little CLEAR explanation of it or its
      evolution from a NEUTRAL source, we either have guys who really never fully
      understood what they are signing or league guys who also kept it terse and
      simple. What we never have seen is the fine print and details. Most sources
      just either leave it at "they owned you" or you have to go into a myriad of
      rules to get gist of what it all meant and still there are questions. This
      is why I'd love to see a copy of the NHL by laws circa that era. THEN it
      could all be pieced together fully.



      Now as to how they owned a guy at a lower level we have that much explained.
      For each junior team that you sponsor, you could list players from up to
      three affiliated organizations below it on your 18 man junior protected
      list. One question I have is how you could hide amateur players on pro
      lists. Did they have to have signed a C form or what? Still some guys fell
      through the cracks such as Ted Lindsay.It was a system that was very much on
      shaky legal ground and I think that the NHL knew that and in the 60's
      another reason for the amateur draft never spoken was fear of a competitor.
      They knew that the AFL was out there, the Continental league had threatened
      to come into existence and there was the short lived ABL. The WHL was making
      noises. This was all food for a massive anti trust suit that would have won
      hands down. After all they lost their reserve clause in a case with the WHA
      in 72 POST C form etc. I once asked a prominent scout form the era why they
      didn't just allow the new expansion clubs to develop/buy sponsorship chains
      and he said he didn't know. Now of course there were extraneous issues but
      there were two very key ones that hit right at home. The WHL threat.they
      pretty much screwed the dub in expansion, no old owners got teams no
      indemnification worth talking about to the league.why make a more tempting
      target? Also there was a Players Association on the horizon, they had to
      know that it was inevitable. Again do they want to add fuel to a fire? The C
      from system could exist as ling as players were afraid to really go to court
      and challenge it and risk a career. But a competing league or PA would look
      at things like anti trust and have no issue about a war. Maybe I am giving
      them too much credit for brains but Campbell was indeed a lawyer. So the
      theory does have legs.you see rival leagues popping up or threatening to and
      you even see in your own sport one lurking.the WHL had been talking about
      trying to become a Western Div of the NHL for years and had gone into cities
      that made an independent effort open. And the rise of agents and PA's in
      other sports had to raise concern at least to a man of Campbell's brains.
      Could these be the major pressure points that ended the C Form?



      As to fighting.not many leagues outside of North America allow it without
      ejection. However it is on the rise in Europe. With the relaxing of import
      rules in the Elite League in Britain as well as the DEL it has gone up and
      the KHL singed Chris Simon a couple of years back and actually had a major
      brawl last year. In North America, Canadian junior and pro use the same
      rules, the USHL does too except in the last 5 minutes of the game when there
      is an EJ and suspension. The NAHL also allows only 5 for fighting in
      American junior. Note the commercial US junior leagues who have any gate at
      all allow fighting the ones that are reliant on tuition such as the EJ do
      not. It is a cultural commercial thing. If you need a gate, ie are not
      charging kids or have a school endowment to support your program you tend to
      not have fighting if you want/need butts in seats you do. And in Europe it
      is cultural. Note England which is a nation that has rugby, wrestling and is
      a major boxing center is more liberal, Germany where hockey is in most
      places like the US not a real staple and Russia which is trying to compete
      with the NHL have all loosened up the most although I understand that in
      Finland there is more glove dropping,. Now in the last case we must remember
      that in only two countries is hockey clearly the number one sport..Canada
      and Finland. Finland has always had a number of Canadians playing there and
      also has no doubt been influenced by its guys coming over here to play and
      with no soccer dominant culture to recoil in shock.well maybe that explains
      it. In the case of the first three, they have more imports both as players
      AND maybe even more key, coaches. And in the case of Germany and Britain, as
      in the US they need to really do anything that they can to differentiate the
      product and push the game. Russia is harder to figure..Now these league have
      tougher rules on fighting in North America in the surface but underneath it
      they differ from other parts of Europe in two vital ways. There are no
      really any long term ramifications for fighting. No huge suspensions or
      fines.Two they actually recruit and develop more aggressive players who are
      prone to fighting. I also understand that there is some fighting in the Asia
      Hockey League which again is import heavy. They also need to battle fro
      coverage.



      I think James that you can sum it up by saying that in Canada it is just a
      part of the sports culture and history from the early days. And if you want
      to read about tough hockey read the new Eddie Shore book, those guys were
      CRAZY! In those days a knuckle sandwich was a matter of survival. They tell
      about how Sprague Cleghorne would put talcum powder on his stick to
      facilitate butt ending.cross checks to the face---- you name it and it
      happened! The US inherited that and enhanced it for commercial reasons. a
      wild logging camp type of exotic game to sell. Genteel soccer oriented
      Europe where police did not even carry guns until recent decades had no such
      a legacy. This is not to say that Europeans can't be just as brutal but it
      is just a different form. College sport has a different set of roots that
      were originally non commercial. Tuition sports have to get parents money. So
      we can almost generalize, the more North Americans involved the more likely
      it is you see fights and the more commercially reliant a league is the more
      likely it is you are to see fights. So when you add the two together watch
      out for the gloves to fall doubly and when you inject a more North
      American/Anglo influenced audience which has more of a contact sports
      culture the odds go up exponentially. And I back that up with another
      example.Australia.in Aussie Rules when tow guys square off they just let
      them square off and if they break it up when they are told.they aren't even
      sent off., they only face tribunal if they get out of hand. Australia is
      another rough and ready Anglo settler cultural off shoot.

      _____



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