When the Buffalo Sabres hired Dan Bylsma to serve as the team’s bench boss, they agreed to provide the Pittsburgh Penguins with a third-round draft pick as compensation. That’s because Bylsma was still under contract with the Penguins, even though he had been fired.
And yet the Penguins didn’t seek compensation when the New Jersey Devils hired Ray Shero under similar circumstances. So why the double standard?
“The rule is not as clear as it should be,” Penguins GM Jim Rutherford told Trib Total Media. “We felt that the intent of the rule was for employees that were still with the team, that were working with the team, not terminated employees.
“Once Edmonton (gave Boston) a pick for (former Bruins GM) Peter Chiarelli — when he was a terminated employee — we decided to ask for picks for future employees.”
At the time of Shero’s hiring, Rutherford felt the Penguins were acting as an organization should. However, given that other teams are seeking compensation for fired employees, the Penguins would be hurting themselves if they didn’t follow suit.
“I do feel at the next (board of governors) meeting there will be more clarification on the rule,” Rutherford said.
Whether or not this practice continues remains to be seen, but for now surrendering a draft pick to bring on board a fired employee is the standard.