Contract Status of Goldobin and Dahlen

Last week the Canucks acquired forward Nikolay Goldobin and Jonathan Dahlen in two separate deals that brought excitement to the organization.

Both players skill-sets, ice-time and projections have been discussed at length throughout the market. So let’s take different angle, pull out the handy CBA and talk about how the Canucks have these players rights going forward.

We’ll start with the one that we talked about before.

Jonathan Dahlen

The young Swede is currently plying his trade in the Allsvenskan playoffs.

Selected in the 2nd round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft out of Sweden, the Canucks will retain his rights until June 1, 2020. This is outlined in Article 8.6d of the NHL/NHLPA CBA:


This information is likely moot, as GM Jim Benning stated after the acquisition of the young winger that the Canucks hope to sign him and bring him over to see what he can do.

But if it’s ultimately decided that Dahlen does return to Sweden next season, it isn’t the end of the world as there would still be three more years of holding his rights, as opposed to someone drafted from the CHL who is only two years total.

Nikolay Goldobin

Goldobin provides an interesting case, as he currently in his first year of his Entry Level Contract due to slides.

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The obvious first reaction is – “wait, why?”

The trusty CBA is able to provide the reasoning behind it, and there is a couple of steps to it.

First is the definition of Nikolay Goldobin’s age as per article 9.2

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In the previous image with the contract details, Goldobin’s ELC was signed on October 5, 2014. His Birthday is October 7, 2014.

The key part here is the ‘a Player’s age on September 15 of the calendar year in which he signs an SPC’. Since he was 18 years old on September 15th, 2014 – he is ’18 years old’ according to the CBA, despite turning 19 two days after signing the contract.

With that clarification, we jump back Article 9.1d (i & ii) which covers the Entry Level slides:

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We are all aware of the entry level slide if a player doesn’t play 10 NHL games. As we can see from Elite Prospects, Goldobin did not play more than 9 NHL games in any season so far:

Goldobin was loaned to HIFK for the 2014-15 season, then did not appear in any NHL games. Thus the first entry level slide was done. For the 2015-16 season, subsection 9.1d(ii) and Goldobin being an ’18 year old’ when signing his contract is key here. If the San Jose Sharks had waited until January 1, 2015 to sign Goldobin, he would’ve been 19 years old, and thus subsection 9.1d (ii) would not apply.

But since he was signed during his 18 year old season, and then failed to appear in more than 9 NHL games during the 2015-16 season, it activated the second slide of his entry level contract.

That means that this year is the first year of Goldobin’s entry level contract that will run through the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.

For Goldobin, that cost control is a very fortuitous benefit of the acquisition.  When his contract is done, he will be 23 year old RFA with quite a bit of pro experience under his belt. That will help in accurately placing his next contract.

For Dahlen – although the Canucks do hope to sign him this summer, there is no rush. They have plenty of options available to them to ensure that Dahlen’s development is handled properly.