Friday, July 10, 2009

Hudler is the New Kiwi

But first, some things I've been a little remiss with:

- Thanks to Rawhide for the mention on Wednesday. Cross-promotion, grassroots, yes.

- I will be attending the prospect camp media availability on Saturday; I'd ask for questions, but both Laura and teh Chronicle staff are much more on the ball than I. If you DO have questions not posted elsewhere, feel free to leave them in the comments, or I may have to resort to queries of:

"So... you play... hockey...'s that working out for ya?"

Trust me, it won't be pretty.

Now on to new business:

We just got done with that whole Kiwi/KHL nastiness, and now we have another intercontinental mess on our hands. From Dreger @ TSN:

Jiri Hudler remains property of the Detroit Red Wings and therefore the recent contract he signed in the KHL is being contested.

The National Hockey League has approached both the IIHF and KHL, seeking their intervention.

According to the NHL, Hudler is contractually obligated to the Red Wings for next season.

Hudler, a restricted free agent filed for salary arbitration, which in the eyes of the league is acknowledgment of his intent to play in the NHL next year.

Now, there has been some confusion of late as to the exact nature of the relationship between the NHL, the KHL and the IIHF (as illustrated by a somewhat unplesant commenter in Rawhide's corner of the world). Let's try to clear it up. As noted by our boy Andre, the, the NHL IS NOT a member of the IIHF. But as noted by Mr. Dreger, the KHL IS a member of the IIHF, and any player wishing to join the KHL would need an IIHF International Transfer Card (ITC). Hudler's case normally wouldn't be a problem: he saw a greater opportunity for ice time over there (not to mention more tax-free dollars), and he went for it. However, Hudler had already set in motion the process of salary arbitration: a very arduous and time-consuming undertaking. The NHL apparently to this to mean Hudler was going to play over year this coming season - after all, if a player is going to subject himself to arbitration, why not make it worth it?

Hudler signed his Dynamo Moscow contract Thursday, July 8th. The player-elected arbitration request deadline was Sunday, July 5th. Unless Dyanamo Moscow swooped in last minute with a contract all ready to sign (some Kiwi Karma, perhaps?), it looks like Hudler has been burning the candle at both ends - something that (I'm guessing) won't sit very well with GM Ken Holland and head coach Mike Babcock. But (unlike the Radulov situation) it looks like the NHL may have some recourse. Alex Radulov was under contract with the Nashville Preadtors when he "defected" for the KHL. A quick Google search turned up another player who took off to the KHL, and the IIHL (in its infinite quest for justice) ADMONISHED the KHL, but declined to levy sanctions. This was back in November of 2008, just after Radulov "defected." In May 2009 , the IIHF set forth its International Transfer Regulations, which outline possible discipline for a "poached" player still under contract:

1.3 The disciplinary measures which can be applied by the IIHF Disciplinary Committee include, but are not limited to:

  • Caution
  • Censure
  • Fine
  • Suspension for international and/or national games/competitions

1.4 When a player plays without a valid transfer card the following shall apply:
- The IIHF General Secretary shall sanction the new Member National Association of the player with a fine of CHF 5000.- and request the Member National Association to advise the club that the player has to stop playing until provided with an ITC.

- Should the player continue to play without an ITC, the matter will be submitted to the IIHF Disciplinary Committee. The following sanctions shall be applied by the IIHF Disciplinary Committee:

  • Member National Association: Fine of minimum CHF 5’000.- and up to CHF 150’000.- (maximum) per game the player played without ITC since the IIHF General Secretary’s intervention.
  • Club: Ban on international transfers (during international transfer period) of minimum 3 months and up to 24 months (maximum).
  • Player: Suspension form IIHF Competitions for minimum 1 year and up to 3 years (maximum).
But is a player in arbitration considered to be under contract? The IIHF defines under contract thusly:

1 Definition of “Player Contract”
A player under contract is a player who has concluded a written contract with an ice hockey club (signed by the player and the club) according to which he is compensated for taking part in matches or training sessions or both. Contracts concluded between clubs and players must be of a specific duration.
2 Termination of Player Contracts
2.1 A player contract may be terminated (a) upon expiry of the term of the contract, (b) by mutual agreement, or (c) where there is a just cause.
2.2 Any contract provisions for early termination are considered to be mutually agreed upon.
2.3 Any other termination shall be considered as a breach of contract.
According to my reading of the CBA, a player electing arbitration has to accept the award given by the arbitrator (as part of crappy teams being able to hang on to their prospects a little longer). Wouldn't that mean Hudler is still under contract to the Wings?

I don't know, I'm asking.

1 comment:

Mortimer Peacock said...

Thanks for dropping this knowledge. I was pretty confused as to how all of this works.