from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
“There can’t be a draft without a CBA. That’s one of the things collectively bargained,” said former NHL general manager Craig Button, now a draft guru for TSN.
“The NHL could still implement a draft regardless of having no CBA, but the NHLPA could say no and then everybody’s a free agent. That would be messy. What if they say there’s a bidding situation for the junior players? It’s far-fetched and I don’t think it would happen, but …”
Then we’d have a Justin Schultz type of scramble for players like centre Nathan MacKinnon in Halifax, defenceman Seth Jones in Portland or Finnish centre Alexander Barkov. All three are playing at the world junior championship in Ufa, Russia.
“Yeah,” said Button, laughing, when asked about the Schultz sweepstakes, which the Oilers won on June 30, 2012, when they signed the University of Wisconsin Badgers star defenceman to a two-year contract.