Report: NHL to reintroduce draft-pick compensation for front office, coaching hires

June 26, 9:33 PM

In the ordinary course of things, NHL teams with vacancies at head coach or general manager often request permission to speak with talented hockey people employed by different organizations. Permission is usually granted, and the team that loses a talented front office coaching cog isn't compensated in anyway.

That could be changing, however, according to a report from CBC's Elliotte Friedman:

This move doesn't come as a huge surprise. In a multitude of instances this offseason, NHLs club have promoted talented executives or coaches, rather than allow other teams to speak with those talented people and risk losing them for nothing. It happened in Los Angeles with both Mike Futa and John Stevens, it happened with Detroit in the case of Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill, and it happened in Philadelphia with Ron Hextall.

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland - who has lost talented, experienced people like Todd McLellan, Bill Peters, Jim Nill, Steve Yzerman, and Paul MacLean among others over the years - has been outspoken about his reluctance to have key people in his organization continually poached by other clubs, for example.

"I don’t really want to be a development team for other people," Holland said in late April, in regards to allowing Blashill the opportunity to pursue NHL head coaching jobs.

Presumably that reluctance could be diminished, in part, by the right to recoup assets.

From a historical point of view, no NHL team has received draft-pick compensation for a departing coach or executive since 2006, when Gary Bettman forbade the practice following a messy feud between the Ottawa Senators and the Boston Bruins. That dispute stemmed from the contested services of current Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli - who spent roughly six weeks essentially working for both clubs. 

The Senators received a conditional draft pick as a result of that fracas and no club has been compensated similarly since. That can be expected to change, maybe beginning as soon as next offseason.

Feature photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jason Cohn