Well, that’s been something. I don’t ever recall a situation where a team attempted to acquire a player, which would’ve cost both financial and tangible assets to acquire, that would not be eligible for them to use without losing them for nothing on waivers. That unfortunately is the situation exactly that Flames fans have been going through today. In one of the most bizarre and confusing twists in NHL history, the Flames narrowly dodged a bullet. (and that’s still yet to be determined fully)
With the offer sheet tendered to Ryan O’Reilly, the Flames would have spent 2.5 million dollars on a signing bonus, in addition to a 1st and 3rd round draft pick that would’ve transferred over to the Av’s. The malfunction comes in with Ryan playing a pair of games in the KHL after the NHL regular season started. Based off the rule pertaining to this situation, a team can retain their own RFA’s and all other contract signings are liable to go through waivers before clearing. The Flames, by signing the offer sheet exempts the exception, meaning they would have to place him immediately on waivers, or in other words he would become a Columbus Blue Jacket.
The Flames released a statement saying that they interpreted that specific rule differently, which is in direct opposition to the stance that Bill Daly has taken (he was one of the authors of the CBA). So basically the Flames would be out a 1st, 3rd, 2.5 million in cash for nothing at all. Great asset management there.
It is not yet determined whether or not the Avalanche have formally submitted their matching of the contract yet. If they did not, they have 5+ days to blackmail the Flames. Either way, the Flames management group should have seen this coming. Ignorance of the rules, or misinterpretation of the rules is not an excuse. This is the biggest PR blunder that I can recall in recent memory. It makes the Flames management look rather foolish. That will not exactly inspire confidence in the team with any free agents.
It all seems like a bad dream.
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