Defenseman Haydn Fleury
agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract earlier this evening as announced by the Carolina Hurricanes.
The nitty-gritty details can be found here, and the signing is bound to spur at least a few questions. Hopefully this helps answer some you might have.
Does this mean Fleury will play with the Hurricanes in the 2014-15 season?
Not necessarily. Fleury will attend training camp, and a decision on where he plays will be made in due time at that point.
Where can Fleury play this season?
Fleury can play with Carolina or with the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League (WHL).
Why can Fleury not play in Charlotte this season?
The National Hockey League (NHL) and Canadian Hockey League (CHL) have an agreement that stipulates that a player in the CHL drafted by an NHL team is ineligible to play in professional minor leagues, such as the American Hockey League (AHL) or East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), until he is 20 years old (by the end of the calendar year) or, in a less common scenario, has completed four years in the CHL.
Fleury, a member of the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels, has just turned 18 years of age, so he is not eligible to play in Charlotte this season.
When will a decision be made on where Fleury plays this season?
It may be considered somewhat of an artificial threshold, but Fleury can skate in nine regular-season games with the Hurricanes before a final decision is made. Of course, Carolina could decide at any point prior to that to return him to Red Deer. But once Fleury skates in his 10th NHL game, the first year of his entry-level contract is burned.
Should the Canes return Fleury to Red Deer prior to that 10th game, his entry-level contract “slides” or is extended by a season.
If you have any additional questions, let me know in the comments below or reach out to me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes.