The NHL has an agreement with the Canadian Hockey League: Underage junior-level players can play nine games in the NHL without burning a year of their entry-level contracts, but if they play in that tenth game, they lose that first year.
We discuss this rule every year with regards to junior players, as we did on Tuesday with Flyers' 2012 first-rounder Scott Laughton. Should he play the nine games with the big club? Should he play more than nine games? Is it worth it to burn a year of his ELC on a shortened 48-game season?
Nine games is obviously a pretty large chunk of a 48-game season -- much larger than a nine-game chunk of an 82-game season, of course. So it makes sense that the NHL and CHL are planning on changing this rule a bit for the year.
It's "expected" tho not official yet that the 10-game rule for called up juniors will become the six-game rule.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 9, 2013
It'll be back to the 10-game rule for 2013-14.
I still would have no issue with Laughton being brought in for training camp and perhaps a five-game look, especially considering Danny Briere is going to miss time to start the season. It can't hurt. But a week of camp and five games is not enough time to determine whether or not he's truly NHL ready, and this rule change only reaffirms that Laughton should be sent back to the OHL before playing the entire season in Philadelphia.