So you’ve just been (gulp) traded, what now?

So you’ve just been (gulp) traded, what now?

Picture it: You’re at the gym for a game-day workout, visions of an afternoon nap dancing in your head, and suddenly Duthie’s beaming face (appearing in the flat screen mounted to the wall) is informing you that you, yes you, have been traded to the (sigh) Edmonton Oilers. As the blood rushes in your ears you sort of miss what the return is; and besides, you’re suddenly distracted by the onslaught of messages your iPhone is now receiving. Everybody and their cousin wants to know how you’re feeling about becoming an Oiler. Quick man, defuse those t-bombs! But what did you expect? It’s trade deadline time after all.

Yes, lost among all the talk of “trades,” “swaps,” “asset maximization” and “rentals” this time of year is the fact that at the end of the day we’re talking about people, and uprooting their lives, sometimes (often?) on a whim and almost always without notice. What we easily forget is that at the end of the day these guys are human beings. Yes, they’re millionaires and they’re built like modern-day Spartans (ok, ok, not you Phil, our beloved everyman superstar), but most of them grew up in towns and with families just like the rest of us. The only difference being that they were really really good at hockey.

So, now that the news has been broken to you that you’re leaving sunny Florida for the desolate tundra of Edmonton, what now? How do you, the player, know what happens next?

I’m glad you asked. Lost among all the talk of revenue sharing, make-whole payments and upper and lower limits during the last round of CBA talks was little known CBA provision, Article 14. This little gem – which only spans six pages – is the be-all-and-end-all of effecting player “Transfers”, which includes waiving, trading, assigning, loaning, expansion (Las Vegas anyone?) and team relocation.

First things first. According to Article 14.8, now that you’ve been traded you have a “reasonable” amount of time to report to your new team, which at this time of year means “grab your gear and get the next flight out of town because you’re playing tonight”.

Imagine that! You’ve got a house, two cars, a wife, and kids who are in school in a city that you chose to call “home”, and now you’re setting off part-way across the world and have a game to get ready for. What will become of your house? Where will you stay? What about your Hummer?! Well, you’ve got to walk before you run, so before we worry about all of those nagging details it’s important to know that Article 14.4 (b) obliges any team trading for a player after February 15th to provide that player with a single room hotel accommodation until the end of that season. Phew, so you’re not going to be homeless, anyway. As a bonus, the Oilers also have to provide you with a “mid-size” car rental for the next 21 days while you get on your feet. What luxury – thank you Article 14.5 (a)!

That still leaves you paying for a house you no longer live in, with vehicles you can’t drive, and a wife and kids who aren’t with you. What will become of them? Well let’s assume that, since you’ve got another year on your contract, you intend to rent or buy a house in the Edmonton area at some point. More than likely it won’t be mid-season, and more than likely you’re not going to uproot your family in the middle of work (and school) years; so here’s how it’s likely to play out.

First of all, as a newly Transferred player, you and your agent have likely just received this message in electronic format from the Edmonton Oilers:

“You may be entitled to certain reimbursements or benefits relating to your Transfer. However, there are time limits which apply to making a claim. Please refer to Article 14 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. You are encouraged to contact the NHLPA and/or your Agent for more information.”

Nothing says “welcome aboard, we’re happy to have you” like boilerplate contract language. Okay, so I’m eligible for certain reimbursements, how does that work?

Well, by virtue of Article 14.2 the Edmonton Oilers – as the team that just acquired you – are obligated to pick up a maximum of six months’ worth of the rent or mortgage payments you were making back in Florida so long as you obtain (by rental or purchase) a new residence in Edmonton within 12 months of being traded (note that if you don’t have a mortgage or lease, but own a place free and clear, you are not entitled to any payments in respect of that property).

But for those that do have mortgage or rental payments, sub-clause “vii” of Article 14.2 provides that for the 2014-2015 the Oilers are on the hook for a maximum of $4,100 per month. As an aside, $4,100/ month can net you a pretty darn big house in Florida at the moment. As long as you inform Edmonton of your intention to claim reimbursement within 3 months of buying or renting your new home, you’ll be eligible for reimbursement. Still can’t sell your place in Florida after six months? Sorry pal, you’re on your own.

But how will you pick out a home if your family is still in Florida? Article 14 has you covered there as well; specifically Article 14.7 requires the Edmonton Oilers to provide round-trip (economy) airfare for your wife and kids to come to Edmonton to check out houses, before heading back to pack up the old place. The Oilers will also have to provide you and your family with one-way (economy) airfare for your final trip back to Edmonton as well.

So now you’ve got a new house, but what about all of your stuff? No way you’re driving your Hummer to Edmonton with gas at a $1.36/litre, right? That’s where Article 14.3 comes into play. So long as you move your family from Florida to Edmonton within 12 months of being traded, the Oilers are responsible for covering your moving costs (including two cars since you’re married), subject only to their right to pick the company you move with.

So congratulations, you are now officially an Edmonton Oiler and you and your family are safely nestled in Edmonton for the foreseeable future, right? Wrong. Since you and your agent weren’t able to secure an “Individually Negotiated Limitation on Player Movement” (a no-trade/movement clause) under Article 11.8 of the CBA, you may just be doing this all over again next February; after all, the Oilers need to “maximize their assets” and you are just a “rental.”

No worries, though. Just play the most inspired hockey of your career down the stretch and maybe you’ll get a modified no-trade clause in your next deal. No pressure.

Just remember – lost among all the talk about adjusting to new systems, teammates and coaches, these guys also have personal lives that are drastically impacted when they’re moved at the deadline; that they’re able to focus on hockey and continue to deliver is a testament to focus and professionalism and should be lauded. So here’s to you, boys, and a happy deadline day to us all.

Elliot is a litigator, media and sports lawyer working downtown Toronto at Bersenas Jacobsen Chouest Thomson Blackburn LLP. He completed his articles at the Toronto office of a national full-service firm before leaving to pursue a media, sports and litigation practice. Elliot currently teaches a negotiation course entitled “Lawyer as Negotiator” at Osgoode Hall Law School, where he graduated in the top 6% of his class, and was a recipient of the McMillan LLP Scholarship. He has written extensively on negotiation, mediation and alternative dispute resolution, and his paper on collective bargaining in the National Hockey League was published in Volume 19 of the Sports Lawyers Journal. Elliot currently represents national level amateur athletes involved in sports related disputes through the Sports Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada. Elliot can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on twitter

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645 comments
Cameron19
Cameron19

Actually, Matt Greene has been a healthy scratch the last few games. Might be a decent target. Played really well on their Cup run, has had some injuries this year. 

Luke_R
Luke_R

Phew... was close but Sens loseeeee

Cameron19
Cameron19

To LAK: Franson, Raymond, McClement

To TOR: Greene, Clifford

-

Offensive boost for the Kings. Defensive and toughness boost for us. 

-

D'Amigo / Bolland / Clarkson

Clifford / Holland / Ashton

-

Gunnar / Phaneuf

Gleason / Rielly

Gardiner / Greene

Luke_R
Luke_R

3-2 Oilers, 3 to go in 3rd

Cameron19
Cameron19

So many of the Oilers forwards just change as soon as the puck heads back towards their zone. Even Eberle and Hall. 

Luke_R
Luke_R

Well, any predictions for what the Leafs are going to do? If you were a betting man

Cameron19
Cameron19

Any chance we trade Raymond to whatever team acquires Kesler?  

Bruffins
Bruffins

haven't seen much of him. Would you trade Rielly straight up for Ryan Murray on CBJ?

Bruffins
Bruffins

@wiski  

will always cheer for him unless he is playing the Leafs, great guy

Luke_R
Luke_R

@Cameron19  so ive decided, imma call Noni to tell him Maata for Kule, and Franson, Mcclement, Raymond for Clifford and Greene.

Luke_R
Luke_R

@Cameron19  what does cifford bring... can we lose Rayonds secondary scoring? Especially with Clarkson being a black hole... dont see anyone else who may bring some O besides Holland but you have him on 4th line..

ShiFty_D
ShiFty_D

@Cameron19   I'm open to something that addresses a boost in toughness (that can play) and defensive skill/board play. 

edit nvm. You likely have Kulie on the 2nd

peterbleafs
peterbleafs

@wiski How is that trolling? Shes a pig and she just got slagged as she deserved.

peterbleafs
peterbleafs

@Cameron19 Making them losers and not winners, no one has taught them.  thats what I worry about with RC, our young guys are not getting taught to be winners.

Bruffins
Bruffins

@Belfour20  

I don't know if it would be worth it for sport games. I only play NHL 13 for Xbox and they don't change THAT much each year. 

1DERYRS
1DERYRS

@Belfour20  I do ... and honestly if you are only looking to play those games wait until summer/fall. That is when NHL15 is coming out and there are a few good RPGS slated for that time as well... game i'm most looking forward to is called Destiny. Made by Bungie (creators of Halo) and is due our in Sept I believe. Online shooter RPG and looks really good. 

ShiFty_D
ShiFty_D

@wiski    And they moved BOTH #1's for what they were reportedly asking for Luongo

peterbleafs
peterbleafs

@Bruffins No never. We have Percy and Finn to do what Murray can do.  Murray cannot do what Rielly will be able to.

Jay31
Jay31

@Bruffins  Ive watched CBJ a few times this year, i think that would be a mostly lateral move

Cameron19
Cameron19

@lukethenuke @Cameron19  If we got that bottom six, we might see offense coming from them in a different way. All of those guys can fore-check.

Luke_R
Luke_R

@wiski @lukethenuke  i think we'l see a minor league deal, dealing away one of our dman and forward for a depth guy (Holzer and someone for example)

Cameron19
Cameron19

@lukethenuke @Cameron19  Would give us a different look, that's for sure. Right now our bottom six does basically nothing. So even providing a steady fore-check would help. 

Luke_R
Luke_R

@Cameron19 @lukethenuke  hmm... i think theyd score few, but that they would be dirty, but they would bring hard style of play and be pretty good defensivly

Bruffins
Bruffins

@Belfour20 @Bruffins  

true, I just know if I were to get it I won't leave my house haha. A couple games online or in franchise mode and I'm good

ShiFty_D
ShiFty_D

@Belfour20 @Cameron19Looks like a lot of cut scene movies in the game. Would have been nice to see some of the actual game play scenes. Regardless the graphics will still be fantastic knowing the improvements in consoles and games with every release

Bruffins
Bruffins

@Cameron19 @Belfour20 @Bruffins @Jay31  

watching Rielly, It really looks like he sees the game at a level only matched by Kessel and maybe Kadri. He is constantly either in a position or getting to one to make a play and our guys don't pick up on it

Cameron19
Cameron19

@Belfour20 @Bruffins @Jay31  I think at this age then, you would give the edge to the offensive guy.  Lots of young offensive D learn to be great defensively too.  Rarely happens the other way around.