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Asked Jun 29, 2018 by Dan W.
NHL Length of Contracts

It is understood that a team can sign their own player for a max of 8 years, and an outside team can sign a player for 7 years during Free Agency. It is also understood that team can re-sign during a player's last year in a contract to an extension. What is stopping teams from signing a player for a 1 year contract on July 1st, and turning around July 2nd and offering them an 8 year extension, effectively making their contract a 9 year contract?

Jun 29, 2018

Hi Dan,

Players that sign a 1 year contract are only eligible to sign an extension starting on January 1. Furthermore, in order to sign a player for the maximum 8 years, the player had to be on the team's roster at the last Trade Deadline.  So in your example, if a player signed a 1 year Contract with a new team, they could sign a 7 year Extension on January 1, or wait until the next Trade Deadline and then sign an 8 Year extension. 

If the NHL felt that the extensions were agreed to in advance and the team and player were trying to circumvent the rules of the CBA, there could be penalties and the contract could be denied registration with NHL Central Registry.

Thanks for the question.