NHL to kill compensation for hiring away coaches, executives

The NHL is doing away with the compensatory system that required teams to surrender draft picks for hiring executives and coaches from other organizations. The new system goes into effect Jan. 1, 2016. However, teams such as the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers will still be on the hook for their off-season hirings.

The NHL is getting rid of the compensation system that forces teams to surrender draft picks for hiring staff away from any of the league’s 29 other teams. The rule will be officially eliminated beginning Jan. 1, 2016, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported.

At the NHL’s board of governors meetings Tuesday, the league has decided to drop the compensation policy entirely. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the board of governors executive committee backed eliminating the compensation Monday.

There is one catch, though: those who have given up picks already, or who hired staff under the previous rules, will still be required to surrender those draft picks.

For instance, the Edmonton Oilers, who hired former Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli and Sharks coach Todd McLellan, and the Toronto Maple Leafs, who hired former Devils GM Lou Lamoriello and Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, will still have to forfeit draft picks as part of their respective acquisitions. Other teams on the hook include the Columbus Blue Jackets, who hired former Canucks coach John Tortorella, the Buffalo Sabres, who will owe the Penguins a draft choice for hiring Dan Bylsma, and the New Jersey Devils, who hired Pittsburgh’s AHL coach John Hynes in the off-season.

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ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that Calgary Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke said there was “no opposition” to getting rid of the compensation system once the league presented the reasoning behind axing it.

The call to kill the compensation system has been ongoing for most of the off-season and into the season, especially in the cases of a coach or GM who has been fired. Only Hynes, Lamoriello and Babcock were hired while members of other organizations, though Babcock was set to become a free agent coach before heading to Toronto. Each of Chiarelli, Tortorella and Bylsma had been fired, while McLellan and the Sharks had mutually agreed to part ways.