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I hate you, Toronto, ON • Canada • 23 Years Old • Male
ronguillet@gmail.com
In the "Salary Cap" world of today's NHL, all teams must configure their rosters to fit within the Cap currently set at $50.3M USD. And this system encourages a bargaining chip - the no trade clause.

While general managers employ this for different reasons, it ends up having the same effect. Some will use it to pursue players in the free agent frenzy to assure them of stability with their club, and with the same reasoning it is also used for RFA's.

But I ask you this: Is this something important for the NHL?
Personally I wouldn't mind seeing it removed from the league entirely, but some restructuring would also be appreciated.

Look at JFJ, for example. It can be argued that he lost his job because he abused the NTC's to assure the players stability. Ferguson put himself into a corner by giving a no-trade clause to Bryan McCabe, Tomas Kaberle, Darcy Tucker and Mats Sundin. And I ask you this: If JFJ had not given those players a no-trade clause, would he have his job today? It is something to ponder.

With the freedom to trade these players at will, JFJ could have easily moved some of them right when things went awry. In fact, JFJ told TSN last night that he had growing interest for McCabe, Kaberle, Sundin and Tucker from GM's around the league – funny how that works out.

Another example is the Tampa Bay Lightning. GM Jay Feaster has included no-trade clauses in the contracts of Brad Richards and Martin St-Louis. The Lightning are near the bottom of the NHL this season with three of the best forwards in the league, yet Feaster can do little to nothing to cure his club’s woes because St-Louis and Richards need to give permission to be dealt.

But here's another question: Should NHL players have this kind of power? Sure, some will argue every player should have the right to stability, but I disagree with this. When you're playing professional sports, you have to be prepared with the possibility of changing cities. The whole basis off their career is to play hard and impress to stay with their team.

With the NTC, player movement is also on the decline. Don't get me wrong, as always there will be a load of trades at the deadline, but this all goes back to the Ferguson scenario. If teams like Toronto were able to unload their players at the deadline without wondering about the possibility of those players waiving their NTC's, we'd see a considerable difference of liveliness come Feb.26th.

So here are some suggestions to mitigate the effects of this flaw (IMO):

- - Teams should be limited in the number of players to which they can grant no-trade clauses. This would force teams into only giving NTC's to their star players, thus making it much more interesting come Feb.26th.

- - Assign a cap value to a NTC - charging the no-trade clause against the cap would ultimately cost the teams more money, making them think twice before unloading them on half the team. (Thanks Scoop)

If you don't like that, there's always my suggestion - eliminate it. Doing this ensures a no-safety zone for all players and, come Feb.26th, a frenzy of trades would occur. Do the players really need that stability? This is something they surely considered when they chose this career path, so the lack of it won't come as a huge surprise to them.

You can find a list of all the players with NTC's here: http://www.thefourthperio...de_deadline/notrades.html
February 15, 2008 12:43 PM ET | Delete
That got messed up so here it is again: Just a note for you: The cap is 50.3 million not 52 million, but other then that good points and well written
February 15, 2008 1:24 PM ET | Delete
Thanks tyler, appreciate it.
February 15, 2008 2:10 PM ET | Delete
I like your first idea, the no trade clause is getting out of hand. I remember at last years deadline when Pittsburgh acquired Laraque he had to waive his NTC. What?...that's right Georges Laraque, good at what he does but come on is there anyone who doesn't have a NTC in their contract anymore.
February 15, 2008 4:12 PM ET | Delete
NTC's are awful did you know that larague had one in phoenix. and Briere has a no movement clause which means he cannot go any where till his contract is done. there are rumors that NTC's will be out of the next CBA.
February 15, 2008 4:13 PM ET | Delete
how about we do something like football has, where you make a player the "franchise" player. (i know its a different type of system). that one single player would have a NTC with no penalties to the team, but any additional players that want an NTC would cost the team $x per player against the cap.
February 15, 2008 5:31 PM ET | Delete
I'm a little against the NTC, but I think the bigger problem is the no movement clause. Isn't that what McCabe has? I think the no movement clause is a terrible idea. No player should be beyond reproach. It takes accountability away and can completely cripple teams if it backfires. Look at Toronto.
atc
February 16, 2008 1:14 AM ET | Delete
Is there a nice list somewhere with all the players who have a NTC in their contract?
February 16, 2008 1:16 AM ET | Delete
atc: http://www.thefourthperiod.com/trade_deadline/notrades.html
February 16, 2008 3:00 AM ET | Delete
Actually a no movement clause, as I understand it, just includes waivers and demotion to the minors in addition to a NTC. For example McCabe does have a NMC, so he can't be traded (without his approval), waived, or sent to the minors. It doesn't necessarily mean he has to play out his entire contract with Toronto. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
February 16, 2008 4:03 AM ET | Delete
No he doesn't have to, but if he wants to he can. The Leafs are unable to make any type of roster move without his consent. If he wants to be moved he can be, but if he doesnt the Leafs are up shit creek without a paddle.
February 16, 2008 1:33 PM ET | Delete
Right Tex, I kind of misread your first post. We're on the same page.
atc
February 17, 2008 2:09 AM ET | Delete
Thanks for the link.I think limiting NTCs to 2 per team would be a good compromise.
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