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Compensation For Fired Coaches

via Dave Hodge of TSN,

Obviously, Dan Bylsma was Buffalo's first choice to succeed Ted Nolan as coach of the Sabres….er, well, second choice…..so the matter of draft pick compensation owed to Pittsburgh wasn't about to get in the way.

But what if Bylsma and another candidate had similar credentials, Bylsma was favoured narrowly and the other prospective coach came with no strings attached? And what if the Sabres decided to take a pass on Bylsma as a result? After all, a third-round draft pick is something of value in every other sense. Teams don't give them away with a shrug of the shoulders.

If the issue of compensation meant that Bylsma did not get the Buffalo job, he'd be justifiably upset. The Penguins would still be paying him, and the Sabres, while having to live with their decision, would wonder why they couldn't sign the best coach available free of charge. In that case, I'm guessing Bylsma and every other coach would push for a rule change, and so would the Sabres. That ought to happen, anyway. Thumbs down to draft pick compensation for fired coaches. 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+bylsma

Comments

redxblack's avatar

Bylsma is still on the Penguins payroll. He’s not a fired coach. He’s under contract still. He’s just not actively coaching, or going to work. This is the same for any contract employee with a non-compete clause who can’t up stumps and move to the competition. The difference is that Bylsma is still within his contract and not a “free agent.” The Penguins have something of value (a top tier coach on the shelf) and to give that up, they expect to get something.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 05/29/15 at 10:20 AM ET

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I don’t understand how teams have a stake in coaches once they are fired. It makes sense if the coaches are still under contract, i.e. Babcock, but the teams “give up” on the coach when firing them.

So by firing, they are not terminating the contract? Why is there a difference?

Could you imagine if teams got compensated when their bought out players signed with other clubs?

Posted by jwest06 on 05/29/15 at 10:45 AM ET

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Bylsma is still on the Penguins payroll. He’s not a fired coach. He’s under contract still.

Yes, but they’ve relieved him of his duties.  If it were possible for them to do so, they would have removed him from their payroll.

Buffalo, in hiring him, have relieved them of their duty to pay him even though they don’t want to.

There should, at the very least, be lesser compensation for a coach who has been removed from his position than for one who is still the head coach of a team.

Having said that, a team that refuses to hire their preferred coach because of the loss of a third round pick isn’t serious about getting the man they feel is the best for the job.  It’s not like it’s a first rounder.

Posted by Garth on 05/29/15 at 10:48 AM ET

nEgativezEro's avatar

I’m unfamiliar with coaches contracts and how they affect a team. You obviously can’t “fire” players in the same fashion. As far as I can tell, the coach contracts are guaranteed, just like the players, hence the coach being paid the full value of the contract even after being fired. What I’m not sure about is whether that coach is still owed the full amount of his contract if he signs with another team. If the Penguins are still on the hook for his full salary, even after he’s being paid to actively coach Buffalo, I get that wanting a draft pick makes some sense. If the Pittsburgh contract is nullified once he signs elsewhere, gaining a draft pick for another team doing you a favor seems completely ridiculous.

Even under the first scenario it seems strange that, after a coach has been fired from the team and is no longer affiliated with them or doing any work for them, the team could still require compensation for another team hiring them. Coaches under an active contract, absolutely. Fired, or otherwise dismissed coaches, no way.

Posted by nEgativezEro on 05/29/15 at 10:52 AM ET

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Could you imagine if teams got compensated when their bought out players signed with other clubs?

Or if a team were given a draft pick when another team claims a player that has been put on waivers.

Posted by Garth on 05/29/15 at 10:52 AM ET

d ca's avatar

Is this really that difficult of a concept to understand?

The coaches have guaranteed contracts. The employer pays them regardless of what they do at work. If the employer tells them not to come in they still get paid.

It’s no different than the UAW jobs bank where people can go sit in a cafeteria and watch movies for 8 hours. The lifeguard that’s getting paid to sit in the club house during a thunderstorm. The waitress that gets paid when no customers are in the restaurant (who can file a complaint about minimum wage/no longer working for tips when you try to make them do something else). The doctor getting paid to be on-call. etc, etc.

Management relieved him of his duties as coach and allow him to seek other employment in the hopes that his new contract would be for more than his old contract and thus not subject them to a lawsuit for the difference in compensation.

Posted by d ca on 05/29/15 at 12:03 PM ET

Alan's avatar

Fired or not, the coach is still under contract until the date at which the contract expires. This is why Babcock netted the Wings a draft pick. Regardless of whether or not he’s still employed, he’s still under contract.

I’m really not sure why this is so hard for folks to understand.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 05/29/15 at 12:16 PM ET

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The lifeguard that’s getting paid to sit in the club house during a thunderstorm.

I wonder if it would be possible to find a worse comparison to make.

The waitress that gets paid when no customers are in the restaurant

Nevermind, I’ve found one that’s worse.

Is Bylsma not Pittsburgh’s coach because of bad weather or because it’s the off-season?  Oh, he was relieved of his duties?  Hmm I wonder if that’s different than

Fired or not, the coach is still under contract until the date at which the contract expires. This is why Babcock netted the Wings a draft pick.

Uh huh, but Babcock was not fired.  He was still held the job title of head coach of the Detroit Red Wings.  When Buffalo hired Dan Bylsma, he did not still hold the job title of head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

I’m really not sure why this is so hard for folks to understand.

The logistics of it are not what’s being questioned.

We know he’s still under contract, but Pittsburgh relieved him of his duties and, if it were possible, would not have been paying him for the last year.  They’re already being let out of that responsibility PLUS they’re getting rewarded.

Is it so hard to understand that there is a difference between a current head coach and a former head coach?

Posted by Garth on 05/29/15 at 12:36 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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