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This Monday will mark the deadline for NHL teams to send out their qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents, noting their intentions if they want to hold on to a player, or allow them to go out into free agency. For the Edmonton Oilers, this year includes:
But should it contain Taylor Fedun? Jason Gregor brought it up earlier today with this tweet:
I think Fedun is RFA and not UFA because he never played a regular season game of pro 1st year of contract. Odd rule but think it is true.
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) June 27, 2014
So after doing some digging in the NHL’s CBA, there are four different groups of unrestricted free agents. The two that we’ll touch today are Groups Three and Six. Group Three encompasses the players that have played either seven seasons or has turned 27 by June 30th of the year his contract expires.
The other group, Group Six, has quite a list of requirements to qualify for this group. These players who are at the end of their contract, need to be
(a) 25 years or older;
(b) need to have completed three or more professional seasons in either the NHL, a minor league, or overseas (a completed season counts when, as an 18 or 19 year old, 11 professional regular season or playoff games are played – or as a 20 year old or older, one single professional regular season or playoff game is played);
And (c) skaters need to have played in less than 80 NHL (regular season or playoff) games or goaltenders need to have played in less than 28 NHL (regular season or playoff) games. For goaltenders, a game played would only be counted if they were in net for more than 30 minutes.
Down the checklist for Taylor Fedun. (a) He’s 26 years old. (b) He has been under contract for three seasons, but the wrench comes in from his first season in which he was injured during the preseason. Fedun was out for the entire season, not playing in any regular season or playoff games. Therefore, he’s only completed two seasons per the terms of a Group Six Free Agent. (c) He has only played in four NHL games.
Unless there’s something else that I’m not aware of in the CBA that would allow him to be a UFA this season, which I honestly was under the assumption that he was until today, I do believe that Fedun is an RFA this season and eligible to be qualified by the Oilers. His being injured also slid his waiver eligibility another year as well, meaning he won’t have to pass through waivers next season, which could be quite valuable to have for the Oilers.