Why does the NHL want two-year entry-level contracts?

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The issue of entry-level contracts doesn’t get much time in the CBA negotiations spotlight. It’s not a major area of contention compared to some of the others in the ongoing dispute, but however it’s decided will have a slight bearing on how money is allocated to players.

In its latest offer, the NHL proposed that entry-level contracts be cut from three years to two. The idea is that this will reduce the size of second contracts – for example, the ones recently granted to Tyler Seguin (six years, $34 million) and Taylor Hall (seven years, $42 million) – as entry-level players will have one fewer year to prove themselves in the NHL.

At least one league source doesn’t buy the theory, telling CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty that players like Seguin and Hall will get big money anyway because they don’t need three years to become stars. In fact, reducing ELCs from three years to two will only let them cash in faster.

But it stands to reason that some players won’t make an impact in their first two years as a pro and will head into their second contract negotiations with little leverage. And for young players that aren’t stars like, say, Drew Doughty, holding out for a better deal isn’t really an option. So maybe instead of getting a two-year, one-way deal, a player has to sign a two-year, two-way deal.

Again, this shouldn’t be a make-or-break issue. If you’re curious, Haggerty delves a little deeper into it.