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Fun while it lasted: NHL kills draft pick compensation for hiring coaches, execs

Gary Bettman

Gary Bettman


Well, that didn’t take long.

Less than a year after implementing a trial period allowing teams to seek compensation when other clubs hired away a coach or executive under contract, the NHL has decided to scrap the rule.

From the Associated Press:

Commissioner Gary Bettman told the Board of Governors on Tuesday that as of Jan. 1 teams have the right to grant or deny permission to other franchises to talk to coaches and executives under contract.

But if a coach or executive does switch teams there will be no compensation allowed.

The league had a one-year trial run that allowed either a second- or third-round pick to be given as compensation for coaches and executives under contract even if they had been fired.

There were seven cases where draft picks were given away.

Bettman said it was time to “go back to the old rule,” one that “worked well for 10 years roughly,” and was “probably the best way to go.”

So as it stands, Vancouver is the last team to get compensation under the now-defunct rule. The Canucks were given a second-round pick from Columbus when the Blue Jackets hired John Tortorella in late October.

Under Bettman’s “old rule” -- which I guess is the new rule -- the Blue Jackets would’ve asked permission to speak with Tortorella about the job, without having to compensate Vancouver upon hiring him.

The Canucks, meanwhile, would’ve still got something in return -- financial freedom from the remaining three years of Tortorella’s contract. Or if they wanted, they could’ve denied him permission to interview, like when Seinfeld tried to return that jacket out of spite.

Bottom line, the old rule was better and simpler and it’s probably best that it’s back.