There could be a new wrinkle for New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello to navigate if he plans on acquiring a pending UFA in the trade market.
On February 17, 2020, the Vancouver Canucks acquired Tyler Toffoli from the Los Angeles Kings via trade. The former New York Islanders trade target was acquired for a roster player, a prospect, and two picks: a 2020 second-round pick and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2022.
Los Angeles would get that 2022 fourth-round pick from Vancouver if Toffoli re-signed with the Canucks.
It’s a fairly common condition attached to a pick when a team trades a pending UFAs. By trading that pending UFA before they hit the market the new team can offer that UFA eight years on a new deal instead of seven.
That extra year is an advantage when it comes to negotiating contracts and the team giving up the pending UFA wants to be fairly compensated for it. How GMs approach that part of the transaction is likely to change in 2020.
As part of a new six-year CBA, teams will no longer be able to attach conditions based on a player re-signing to a trade.
A re-sign condition was used five times this season in trades:
- Tyler Toffoli to Vancouver: 2022 4th round pick
- Marco Scandella to St. Louis: 2021 4th round pick
- Kyle Clifford to Toronto: 2021 3rd round pick
- Taylor Hall to Arizona: 2021 3rd round pick
- Cody Eakin to Winnipeg: 2021 4th round pick
None of these trades could be as they are for the 2020-21 season and forward if the CBA is agreed upon by the league and the players.
A vote on the new six-year CBA is scheduled to start on Monday for players.
What this does to the trade market will be interesting. GM’s will still have no idea if the player they’re trying to acquire will re-sign with them. But now they can’t hedge that uncertainty with a conditional pick.
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How GM’s deal with this new wrinkle will be wildly interesting.
Do we see more GMs press to get an extension done immediately post-trade like the Islanders did with Jean-Gabriel Pageau and thus drive up the price of the trade? Or does it go the other way with a later round pick going to the former team? I look forward to seeing what GMs come up with.