Craig Conroy, GM of the Calgary Flames
Photo credit: CTV News Calgary

Embarrassing Look for Flames GM Craig Conroy after Player's Contract is Rejected by League

Published March 18, 2024 at 8:50 PM

You have to wonder how no one picked up on this before it made it to the filing phase. Calgary Flames General Manager will have to try once again to register a contract with a new player after the initial one was rejected by the NHL's Central Registry.

The Flames recently struck a deal with Sam Morton that would have seen him under an entry-level contract after being passed over in the draft for years. Morton has been playing with the Minnesota State University team of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). However, it seems Morton was not eligible for an ELC as he's considered too old, meaning negotiations will have to start again.

"Sam Morton's #Flames 1 year entry-level contract (ELC) has been rejected by the NHL central registry - he is ineligible for an ELC since his entry-level age is 25 (greater than 24)

The #Flames will have to submit a new non-ELC contract."

Morton is technically not 25 yet. However, he is considered that age by the NHL because he is birthday is before September 17th of 2024. How Conroy or Morton's agent missed this is a mystery, but it's both of their jobs to know these things. An entry-level deal meant Morton could be sent to the Calgary Wranglers of the AHL without having to clear waivers. That is no longer the case.

It was also asked why Andrei Kuzmenko was able to sign an entry-level contract with the Vanoucver Canucks and enter the NHL at the age of 26. As is the case with a few areas, the rules are not the same for North American and Non-North American players.

All in all, it's a brutal look for the Flames, as well as the person Morton is paying to negotiate this deal. The only other possible explanation other than not knowing or forgetting the rules, is that one side or the other (or both) knew an ELC was against the rules, but hoped it would be overlooked.
March 18   |   383 answers
Embarrassing Look for Flames GM Craig Conroy after Player's Contract is Rejected by League

Who's responsibility is it to know how ELCs work?

The GM9524.8 %
The Agent236 %
Both24864.8 %
Not sure174.4 %
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