Guaranteed ice time clauses


Randy Russon
By
January 24, 2019

Ever wonder why certain players in the Ontario Hockey League get more ice time — as in, on the top power play unit, for example — at the expense of others who are just as deserving?

Well, it just might be because the player or players in question have a guaranteed ice time clause built into the agreement that they have with their OHL team.

While it may be a tad on the shady side, not to mention downright unfair, there are player agents who have managed to negotiate side deals — that are relative to ice time on behalf of their clients — with general managers in the OHL.

Players who have a commitment from a Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association school have been known to ask for — and receive — a guaranteed ice time clause in exchange for opting out of their college hockey agreement to instead sign with the OHL team that drafted them.

Imagine being a first or second round pick to the OHL and also having an NCAA commitment in hand. Imagine the ice time deal a player agent can swing with a general manager to have a client sign an OHL card in exchange for forgoing an NCAA commitment.

Like it or not, folks, side deals such as ones that guarantee preferred ice time are a part of how some player agents and general managers do business.

Is it right? Is it fair? Could it potentially affect team harmony? Could it affect the development of other players who do not have the luxury of guaranteed ice time situations?

Well, let’s just call it the cost of doing business with certain player agents and their clients for certain OHL general managers and their teams.

Like it or not — and I am a supportive writer and fan of the OHL and many of its teams, general managers, coaches and players — but junior hockey is a serious, high-stakes business.

Then again, in fairness to the OHL and its member teams, hockey becomes a serious business well before advancement to the major junior level.

Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to give his or her head a shake.




What you think about “Guaranteed ice time clauses”

  1. I dont think anything is guaranteed in this world except death and taxes . A good hockey coach will coach the way he wants to use his players when playing.

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