The NHL Players Association plans to take action on behalf of several free agents looking to start their NHL contacts as soon as possible. One of which being the Islanders star goalie prospect, 24-year-old Ilya Sorokin, along with a “handful” of other guys that NHL deputy commission Bill Daly has referred to as “ringers.”
On his Russo-Souhan Show podcast last week, Minnesota Wild beat writer Michael Russo talked about the NHLPA’s position in regards to Kirill Kaprizov, the Russian winger drafted by Minnesota who’s in the same boat as Sorokin. Russo was clear that the PA expects to make their case that free agents signed this year should be eligible to play, or at least join their teams in order to burn their ELCs faster and get to a richer second contract that much quicker.
You can listen to the whole show here, but this part starts at 21:35:
I can tell you that the NHLPA is going to fight it. Because the one thing is that this is an arbitrary decision by the NHL.
And we saw it last week. Again, the kid was signed last September but there’s really no difference between a Nick Robertson with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and a Kirill Kaprizov, and an [Hab’s Alexander] Romanov and [Ilya] Sorokin and all these guys. They’re all reserve list players but suddenly, Robertson’s allowed to be part of the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup. Now again, he was signed pre-pause but, for the NHL to just take a handful of guys - and again this is a handful of guys, none of these college free agents would have been eligible to play anyway in the playoffs. So these are only the three or four guys I mentioned, and a kid from the Florida Panthers, there’s only a handful of these guys that this affects. And so the NHLPA’s gonna fight it, because this is a collective bargaining issue.