Three “prospects” re-enter the 2001 Draft

By Bill Placzek

The Hawks have confirmed that they have elected not to sign three 1998
draftees who are on my Hawk depth chart. Unlike other teams whose signees
and re-enters were reported on Thursday, the news trickled slowly out of
1901 West Madison.

They are Jonathan Pelletier (26 ), Sean Griffin(31),and Alexandre Couture (3
4 ). The numbers in parenthesis after their names indicate where I had them
slotted on the Hawk depth chart, all in the long shot area.

They will be reentering the draft since their agents wanted salaries and
signing bonuses quite higher than the organization wanted to pay.
More and more teams will be rejecting ridiculous negotiations when the player
seems a long way from being an NHL level talent.

I don’t think it is as much a negotiation tactic as it is fiscal
responsibility by the owners. The Mike Van Ryn ruling will determine once and
for all if drafting college players(along with drafting Europeans) will give
NHL teams an added time span in which the team holds the players rights, even
if they eventually play Major Junior for a year. Presently taking a European
player or college player gives you more time for them to develop and secures
them as team property as opposed to a junior player who you must sign with
the big league club after their final year of play in Canadien junior.
Van Ryn started out as a collegian and then dropped back into the OHL with
Sarnia. Though the ruling won’t come until mid-July, the results may change the
dynamic of how agents deal with ownership. This tactic was one Brooks
Orpik’s agent had discussed with him, but he chose to stay in school this
season. It was also used by Mike Barrett in making each NHL team know prior
to the 2000 NHL draft that taking one Sedin without the other might have
them come over and play in the OHL and come out after a year as free agents.
Teams who drafted them would lose their pick along with the Sedin’s. That was
the reason Bob Murray was frightened into accepting McCabe and the pick in
the 2001 draft, clearly a downgrade from the #4 in a super strong draft.