For years now, NHL teams could hire a member of another team's front office or coaching staff, one that was still under contract, and not have to compensate the new employee's former team in any way. That will change, according to Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada.
During its board of governors meeting Thursday, the NHL approved compensation for teams losing staff to other clubs. Here's how it breaks down via Friedman:
Today, NHL also approved compensation for a team losing someone hired to be head coach, GM or President/Hockey Ops with another club (1/2)— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 27, 2014
Generally, we're talking a third-round draft pick, and the club doing the hiring will have a window of three years to give it up.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 27, 2014
That seems fair.
This was an item that had a lot of support from Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, who likely was sick of losing assistant coaches and members of his front office without getting anything in return. It happened again this year when Red Wings assistant coach Bill Peters was hired away by the Carolina Hurricanes and last year when the Dallas Stars hired away assistant general manager Jim Nill to be their own GM.
This offseason, a lot of men currently employed by NHL teams were changing addresses. This new rule protects teams a bit more and it also adds an additional element of risk to each hire.
Losing a third-round pick is unlikely to make many clubs hesitate to hire away a staffer from an opposing team, but it at least forces them to give something up in return.
You also have to consider the position of an organization that is losing an employee. They are responsible for that individual's candidacy for new jobs, as well as their professional development.
The compensation definitely adds a new element to each hiring process, however. If a few candidates are close and one works for an NHL team currently and the other doesn't, that might give the one who won't require compensation a bit of a leg up ... if only a slight one.
Organizations like the Red Wings have often been a breeding ground for talented coaches and execs. Imagine if they had a few extra third-round picks to work with. As a team that has been a great late-round drafting team, this could really help them out as their employees are continually hired away. All they have to do is plug in another extremely qualified candidate, collect their draft pick and they might even come out ahead.
Since each of the positions Friedman noted as eligible to require compensation are such high-impact jobs in an organization, it is unlikely to see the flow of currently employed coaches and execs changing allegiances stop anytime soon. That three-year window with which to choose when to give up the pick is a nice bit of added flexibility as well.