Can A NHL Player Reject A Trade?

Can An NHL Player Refuse A Trade?

Ever questioned whether an NHL player might reject a trade from his team? What would happen if a player refused to join the team to which he was traded? Fortunately, in this post, we will examine NHL deals and the penalties for rejecting a trade. We’ll also look at contract provisions that let players turn off trade offers.

Can An NHL Player Refuse A Trade?

Can NHL Players Refuse A Trade

In the NHL, players are not permitted to reject contracts. The NHL and NHLPA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) are to blame for this. The deal does not compel players to sign an NHL contract. Nonetheless, it notes that participants who sign up for the league are required to abide by the rules of the game.

In addition, the NHL favors team owners, who have more influence over player rights, in the power structure. This implies that the owner has authority over the players’ mobility and trade choices.

Anyone in the NHL who rejects a trade to another team will be suspended and not paid. In the NHL, it is uncommon for players to reject trade offers. However, the NHL CBA states that a player cannot legally reject a transfer unless his contract contains a no-trade or no-movement clause.

In this article, we shall examine the effects of a no-trade and no-movement clause on a player’s contract. We’ll go over its restrictions as well as how it impact a player’s capacity to reject trade proposals.

Related Article: Basic Rules Of Ice Hockey Explained

No-Trade Clause

About No Trade Clause In The NHL

The term “No-Trade Clause” refers to a clause in a player’s contract that prohibits a team from trading a player to another team in the league without the player’s knowledge and consent. In order for a trade to another league franchise to happen, the player’s consent must be obtained by the team.

There are two types of no-trade clauses:

  1. Full No-Trade Clause
    In this situation, the player has complete control over the team he can be traded to within the league. If a team has a trade offer from any team, the decision to accept or reject the offer is solely based on his decision. 
  2. Modified No-trade Clause
    This makes provision for a player to make a list of teams he cannot be traded to. This means that the player is willing to be traded to any of the other teams outside the list he mentioned without his consent or approval. The list of teams a player can’t be traded to is stipulated in the player’s contract. 

Conditions And Limitations of No-Trade Clause

The NHL does not grant no-trade clauses to every player. Eligibility for trades based on age is the main prerequisite before a player can request a no-trade clause in his contract. A player must have played seven seasons or be at least twenty-seven years old in order to be eligible for a no-trade clause, just like with waivers.

A no-trade clause may be inserted to the player’s contract if he is considered to be a valuable member of the squad and performs exceptionally.

While giving athletes control over their trade position has many benefits, no-trade clauses also have some drawbacks. The following are some examples of no-trade clause limitations:

  • Although players cannot be traded to another team, they can be placed on waivers and sent to a minor league affiliate, such as the American Hockey League.
  • The team can terminate a player’s contract with a no-trade clause. This is called a buyout in the NHL. However, the team will have to pay two-thirds of the remaining contract value. 
  • When a player has a modified no-trade clause, he has to seek the permission of the team before he receives trade offers from any of the teams on his no-trade list. 

No-Movement Clause

No Movement Clause

Similar to a no-trade agreement, but with added advantages, is a no-movement clause. A no-movement clause specifies that a player must give his or her consent before being traded, waived, or assigned to a minor league.

Given that they have total control over their contract as players, it is the most lucrative condition for players.

Also, a no-movement provision has the same requirements as a no-trade clause. First, a player must have seven seasons of playing experience or be 27 years old.

A player cannot, unlike with a no-trade clause, be transferred to the AHL or any other minor league or even placed on the waiver wire. This is why it’s thought to be the provision that players should bargain for because it’s the most lucrative.

A player who has this condition in their contract can only be bought out of their NHL contract by their team. This means they receive two-thirds of the remaining contract value (according to NHL rules).

Why Do Teams Give NTC And NMC?

No-Trade and No-Movement clauses are only granted to exceptional players who negotiate such terms in their contracts if they are to renew their contracts with the team. The request for an NTC or NMC in a player’s contract could be disregarded if the athlete is not exceptionally talented or good.

This is so that a team can trade a player down the road if they believe he isn’t providing the results they desire or if they can’t afford to keep him under contract.

Player With No-Trade/No-Movement Clause (2022-23 Season)

NHL Players With NTC Or NMC

Even though the NHL gives out contract clauses to players, not every player gets these clauses. Therefore, here is a table of players in the NHL with either a no-trade or no-movement clause in their contract.

NHL TeamNHL PlayersClause Type
Pittsburgh PenguinsSidney Crosby
Evgeni Malkin
Rickard Rakell
No-Movement Clause
No-Movement Clause
No-Trade Clause
Seattle KrakensJaden Schwartz
Andre Burakovsky
Jamie Oleksiak
No-Movement Clause
No-Trade Clause
No-Trade Clause
Toronto Maple LeafsMorgan Rielly
John Tavares
Matt Murray
No-Movement Clause
No-Movement Clause
No-Trade Clause
Vancouver CanucksIlya Mikheyev
Oliver Ekman-Larsson
No-Trade Clause
No-Movement Clause
Montreal CanadiensJosh Anderson
Jonathan Drouin
Carey Price
No-Trade Clause
No-Movement Clause
No-Trade Clause
Data From


So this brings us to the end of this article. By now, you should have a better understanding of a player’s contract and how a no-trade/no-movement clause affects the ability of a team to trade or waive a player. 

Thanks for reading.

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