NHL general managers make a ton of tough decisions, but one of the toughest involve how to handle young talent. In a salary cap era, you have to get plenty of bang for the buck, as many teams reap the benefits of a player’s entry-level contract years or a well-timed second contract.
This time around, six rookies are nearing the nine game deadline for GMs to decide whether to keep them at the NHL level or preserve a year on their entry level deals by sending them to the minors or juniors. NHL.com provides the list of those six players.
This season, the special six who remain with their teams are the Oilers’ Taylor Hall (first pick), the Bruins’ Tyler Seguin (second), the Islanders’ Nino Niederreiter (fifth), [Jeff] Skinner (seventh), the Thrashers’ Alexander Burmistrov (eighth) and the Ducks’ Cam Fowler (twelfth).
Here is a schedule of the dates in which each player will hit their ninth game of the season.
TBD: Fowler (Ducks)*
October 27: Niederreiter (Islanders), Burmistrov (Thrashers)
October 28: Skinner (Hurricanes)
October 29: Hall (Oilers)
November 3: Seguin (Bruins)
* – Only games played in count towards the limit. Being scratched or out due to injury doesn’t count towards the total.
It should be interesting to see how each team will handle their rookie situation. While Hall is almost certain to stay with Edmonton, players such as Niederreiter could go either way.
We’ll keep you up to date as these teams make their choices and might even provide our two cents on the matter.