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Monday, June 13, 2005

nhl- The CBA affect on Rosters

from Spector and Fox Sports, If rumored changes to the qualification age for unrestricted free agency actually become part of the NHL's next collective bargaining agreement, teams could be forced to change their methods for stocking their rosters.
Under the previous CBA, a player could qualify to become an unrestricted free agent at age 31. There's speculation the new agreement could see that age qualification drop to 30, then 29 and eventually 28.
Previously, big-market free spenders tended to be the bidders for the big name UFA players. That may not change under the new CBA, particularly when those teams can now bid for younger talent still in their prime, rather than aging stars whose reputations, rather than their actual statistics, were sometimes the driving force in establishing their market value.
This could also mean that small-market clubs, traditionally those pillaged for their best players once they qualified for UFA status, might continue to struggle to retain those players. Worse, a lowered age qualification means teams will hold those players' rights for a shorter period.
Under the previous CBA, a player's rights were retained by their club from the time they were drafted at age 18 until they qualified for UFA status at 31, barring a trade or outright release, for 13 seasons.
But should that UFA age be reduced to 28 in the near future, suddenly those clubs will only hold those players' rights for 10 seasons. Since the average NHLer, depending on his development, usually doesn't make the big league until his early 20s, his team might now only hold his rights for anywhere between four and eight seasons....more...