Vladimir Tkachev’s Contract Rejected By NHL


Yesterday the Edmonton Oilers were flying high after having a first round calibre player drop right into their laps and signing him for next to next nothing. A few hours later they got some bad used when the NHL announced that the contract they gave to Vladimir Tkachev was ruled ineligible, because the team misread the CBA rules. Vladimir Tkachev will no enter into the 2015 NHL draft.

After all 30 NHL teams passed on him during the 2014 NHL draft, the Oilers decided to sign the prospect with first round potential which would have been almost like an extra draft pick. The signing seemed to follow down the same path as Joe Hicketts who recently signed with the Detroit Red Wings after going un-drafted in the 2014 draft.

However, the NHL had other ideas when it came to Tkachev and the Edmonton Oilers. Tkachev began last season by playing 18

This is the CBA ruling regarding the signing of a player. From CBS


games in Russia, including two with Avangard Omsk of the KHL, before coming to the WHL. Therefore, he only played half a season with the WHL’s Moncton Wildcats.

Since he did not play a full season with the Wildcats he was and is not eligible to sign a standard players contract in the NHL. After getting his release from Russia he joined the Wildcats in the hope it would improve his draft stock. With the Wildcats he recorded 39 points in 26 games, but his short stature scared teams off drafting him.

The Oilers and their GM Craig MacTavish did not fully understand the concept of playing last season in North America and believed that since he did indeed play for the Moncton Wildcats he had played last season in North America.

"“There’s a subsection in the CBA that defines prior season. When we looked at it, it looked like Vlad fulfilled all the criteria to sign a Standard Player’s Contract. He went through the draft — 30 teams had a chance to draft him — and he played the prior season in North America, which he did in Moncton.“But when you go down two paragraphs further, in another subsection of article 8, it defines ‘prior season’ as a complete season. Vlad had played some games in the KHL and that went unnoticed.”"

While the Oilers made a massive front office mistake, the person who ends up with the worst end of the stick is Vladimir Tkachev. After battling hard throughout rookie camp, earning an invite to main camp and giving it everything he had to earn an NHL contract, that hard earned contract is yanked away mere hours after signing.

Sure the Oilers were going to send him back to the Moncton Wildcats for this upcoming season, but for Tkachev to know he had an NHL home, a team waiting for him would have been nice insurance. Instead now, the 5 foot 8 and 141 pound forward will need to work extra hard to impress in the 2015 draft so he doesn’t get passed over again.

The good news for Tkachev and 29 other teams that were jealous of the Oilers for landing him is that this time it is highly unlikely he gets passed over. He’s a very skilled player with tremendous hockey sense and puck-handling skills which helps put his size, or lack there of, on the back-burner.

Scouts everywhere can add Vladimir Tkachev to their “watch” list for this upcoming QMJHL season and teams who passed on him the first time around likely won’t make the same mistake twice.