Eligibility question

I got an e-mail question the other day about Thomas Hickey’s AHL eligibility. Under the AHL/CHL agreement, a player must be either 20 years old or have played four years of junior hockey in order to be eligible to play in the AHL. Hickey has played three full years of junior hockey, plus five games in 2004-05. I’m told that does NOT make him eligible for the AHL under its agreement with the CHL. A player must play 25 games in order to have officially “played” a CHL season. (sorry about the typo earlier). So if Hickey doesn’t make the Kings, he will go back to Seattle of the Western Hockey League.

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  • Cutty Sarkn3ss

    No rush on him, send him back to Seattle. . .

  • anthony

    Rules are Rules.
    No matter how unreasonable they are.
    I mean – an 18 year old can play in the NHL but not the AHL.
    Makes very little sense.

  • Aaron

    Thanks for clearing this up, Rich.

    P.S. It looks like you’ve got a very confusing typo in the next to last sentence of your update. I’m guessing it should read “CHL season” instead of “AHL season.”

  • JDM

    Thanks for clearing that up Rich.

    It may be a bummer, but I don’t think another year of dominating the WHL will hurt Hickey much. If anything he can work mostly on his physical game since he already can score at that level. Unfortunately, I don’t imagine he can learn too much more about rushing up the ice and scoring until he has stiffer competition. The AHL would have been great, ce la vie. My guess is we won’t see him until next year, unless it’s for 5-10 games to start.

  • Seitz

    A player must play 25 games in order to have officially “played” an AHL season.

    Either you meant to say a junior season where you said an AHL season, or I’m not getting the relevance of this statement. What difference does it make how many games are considered a full AHL season?

    Assuming that I’m right, then the following is true: Hickey is 20 games short of having played his fourth full junior season, meaning he’s not eligible for the AHL.

    That raises the following questions: Does Hickey become eligible for the AHL after playing 20 games in juniors this season (giving him the full 25)? If not, would he become eligible after playing 25 games in juniors this season (assuming those other five don’t count)?

    Basically, is it possible for him to play half the year in juniors and half the year in the AHL?

  • Crash Davis

    Sietz, that’s a great question to ask: does half a season played THIS year (qualifying as his 4th after 20-25 games) mean Hickey can then jump to AHL mid-year?

    Probably not until the WHL season has concluded for his individual team (which is what Bernier did last year by joining Manchester for a few games in March/April ’08 after his junior team Lewiston was done). It could be Hickey has to fulfill his junior contract to Seattle. Once Seattle finishes year AFTER either out of playoffs or defeated in playoffs, his contract and obligation with Seattle is done. No jumping to other leagues until then.

  • -J

    Players cannot leave their teams in the middle of the year as their eligibility doen’t actually change during the season. This goes for the games played and for age. For the age requirement, for instance, a player is considered to be 20 if they turn 20 by Jan 1 of the season for which their eligibility is in question. Since Hickey turns 20 in February, he cannot move to the AHL until his season with Seattle is complete.

    Anthony- it makes perfect sense, from the CHL’s POV, to not let NHL teams come in and swipe their top players only to put them in other development leagues. Don’t forget, the CHL is a business and these players are the key to success. Also, look what’s happening in the NCAA, where teams are regularly losing their top players as freshman,sophmores, and juniors (ex. teddy purcell). It probably won’t be too long until the NCAA makes a similar move.

  • Nick

    It will be a long time before they make that move because it’s a school first and they can make the decision to leave school if they want to. They can’t leave their signed contracts with with CHL teams.

  • cristobal

    what do we really know about this Thomas Hickey, anyway?


    Thomas Hickey (soldier)
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Thomas Hickey (died 28 June 1776) was a Continental Army soldier who was executed for mutiny and sedition early in the American Revolutionary War.
    In 1776, after the conclusion of the Boston campaign, General George Washington and the Continental Army marched to New York City and prepared for an anticipated attempt by the British Army to occupy the city. The Royal Governor of New York, William Tryon, had been driven out of the city by American Patriots and was compelled to seek refuge on a ship in New York Harbor. Nevertheless, the city had many residents who favored the British side, known as Loyalists.
    Thomas Hickey was a private in the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard, a unit formed on 12 March 1776, to protect General Washington, his official papers, and the Continental Army’s cash. That spring, Hickey and another soldier were arrested for passing counterfeit money. While incarcerated, Hickey revealed to another prisoner, Isaac Ketchum, that he was part of a wider conspiracy of soldiers who were prepared to defect to the British once the expected invasion came. Arrested by civilian authorities, Hickey was turned over to the Continental Army for trial. He was court-martialed and found guilty of mutiny and sedition. He was executed before a crowd of 20,000 spectators.
    Hickey was the only person put on trial for the conspiracy. During the trial, David Mathews, the Mayor of New York City, was accused of funding the operation to bribe soldiers to join the British. Although the charge was never proven, Mathews and twelve others were briefly imprisoned. The conspiracy became greatly exaggerated in rumor, and was alleged to include plans to kidnap Washington, assassinate his officers, and blow up the Continental Army’s ammunition magazines. The false rumors greatly damaged the reputation of Loyalists throughout the nascent United States.

    Will this guy be a consistent blue-liner?


  • cristobal

    who’s 35, has won 4 cups with the same team, has never scored more than 37 points, And, got paid less than a million dollars this past season while winning another cup?

  • Mike

    For those that are curious, the Kings’ prospects that are eligible to play in Manchester this season are:

    G, Jonathan Bernier
    G, Jonathan Quick
    G, Danny Taylor
    G, Jeff Zatkoff

    D, Peter Harrold
    D, Joe Piskula
    D, Alec Martinez
    D, Davis Drewiske
    D, Drew Bagnall
    D, Josh Kidd
    D, Andrew Campbell
    D, Josh Meyers
    D, Martin Nolet
    D, Niclas Andersen (I believe Kings let him go)

    F, Ted Purcell
    F, Trevor Lewis
    F, Brian Boyle
    F, Matt Moulson
    F, David Meckler
    F, Scott Parse
    F, Marc-Andre Cliche
    F, Bud Holloway
    F, Justin Azevedo
    F, Constantin Braun (I believe Kings let him go)
    F, Vladimir Dravecky
    F, Gabe Gauthier
    F, Brady Murray
    F, Kevin Westgarth
    F, John Zeiler
    F, Richard Clune
    F, Matt Fillier
    F, Garrett Roe
    F, Joshua Turnbull

    Note: A few of these are obvious as they’ve already spent time in the AHL but I thought it’d be good to have a master list.

  • ryan oliver

    If his name isnt Hickey, then you are hijacking yet another one of Rich’s threads. Cristobal, if you want to post your random thoughts, go to another website. And Rich, if Hickey doesnt make the big club, what is the d roster gonna look like?

    Gauthier Johnson
    doughty Greene
    Preissing ?
    Maybe Harrold, but I would rather see Harrold as a 7th D-man. My guess is that its Hickey’s spot to lose.

  • Bad Monkey

    What about him playing in the ECHL with Ontario?

  • cristobal

    ryan oliver –

    are you saying you don’t know the answer to my trivia question?

  • Quisp

    Ryan –

    Unless Hickey has a growth spurt this summer, I don’t think he’s going to be physically mature enough to play for the Kings this season. We can quibble about pairings, but the names you mention sound right to me. Add Martinez and (a long shot) Bagnall. And of course the oft-mentioned as-yet-to-be-acquired left-shooting offensive-defenseman. And, I guess, Piskula. It seems reasonable (to me anyway, negotiating with myself in a vacuum) to expect Teubert and Hickey to be ready in 2009-10.

    That said, I hope Hickey and Teubert at least dress from some pre-season games. If they do, it will be the first time in my experience that the preseason games mean as much to me as the regular season. Actually, that might be the case anyway, right? What with all the battles going on…

  • yesitscal

    Ryan, it’s still my humble opinion that the Kings will trade for a defenseman before the season begins that that Hickey will probably end up back in juniors. It’s better to err on the side of caution rather than to rush him, but as someone else stated on this thread they could always keep him on the roster for ten games to begin the season, but then that will start his free-agency clock ticking, I think.

  • Jeremy Roenick’s jaw

    A player for rhetorical consideration.

    Derian Hatcher anyone? (I’d be VERY interested in knowing Coach Murray’s take on him)



    He may be worth a mid to late round draft pick in return.

    IF Coach likes him, he’s open to playing in LALA land, and the Flyers subsequently sign Bryan Berard. I for one say, welcome. =)

    Go Kings

  • JDM

    yestical –

    re: Hickey’s free agency clock.

    I don’t think 10 games counts. I think that’s why they have that rule. Bernier played his 4 games last season and still has 3 years till RFA, I imagine the same would be the case with Hickey.

    I think that’s why that 10 game thing exists, because after 10 games you are considered a pro and therefore can’t go back to juniors. Or is it not even a rule that you can’t go back to juniors, more like a self imposed rule by teams so that their young players contracts don’t kick in?

    My guess is he gets 4-6 games to show him the physical shape he needs to reach. I only see him not making the team even for a tryout if 7 other defenseman handedly beat him out in camp. Tuebert is new to the system so its easier to send him back right away. Piskula, Harrold, Martinez and Bagnall can be bounced around to DL’s heart content. I expect because of that Hickey gets a look, sent back to juniors and one of Martinez/Piskula/Bagnall/Drewiske gets called up (or just sits the first few games or we dress 7 dmen) based on camp and who is hot at the start of the AHL season.

  • ryan oliver

    Yes, I suppose Piskula is an option, but I would like to see Hickey get the 10 game shot with the big club, then see where he fits. All I know is that Hardy has his hands full with this defense. I expect a league worst in PK. Although that wouldnt be news now would it. I also just realized that if both Hickey and Doughty get sent back to juniors, then Team Canada would have Doughty, Hickey and Teubert at the World Juniors. Yikes.

  • Quisp

    Hickey is just not going to be able to do the job at 180 pounds, or whatever he is. He’s going to have to bulk up. I just don’t see how he’s going to be ready even for your 10 game stint.

    I don’t know why we would have to have a league worst PK, however.

  • JDM

    The 10 game stint atleast in my head is not so much to see if he’s ready, but rather knowing that he’s not ready to give him a taste of what it takes to be ready for NHL competition. I’m sure if he thinks that he is ready at 180lbs then an opening night of Joe Thornton (for example) bearing down on him for a shift or two will prove him otherwise. That way, atleast if he is going to spend another year in juniors he will have a definate goal of where he needs to get to and really know what aspects of his game to focus on.

    Instead of just bulking up for bulking ups sake, he can say for sure “I want and need to be this strong” and instead of continiuing to work this season same as last season, he will know exactly where he had problems – these could be things he didn’t think we’re an important part of his game before or maybe things he thought he was good enough at but isn’t just yet. Either way, I don’t see how a short trial to start the season could hurt him or the team in the long run.

    I have a feeling we will dress 7 defenseman regularly, or atleast to start the season, so if he is a huge liability then he can sit and go back to juniors the next day. Worked for Bernier.

    re: the PK

    I agree, I think with Hardy back our PK could be somewhat respectable in a “it’s not great, but there’s certainly worse out there” kind of way.

  • Quisp

    JDM –

    I see what you’re saying, definitely. I look forward to every opportunity to see him with the big club. Yeah, I didn’t really mean “bulk up” so much as I meant “grow up,” as in, “grow into his body.” Some of these kids look more like kids than others. Time will sort all this out. But, in the last week of August, I am impatient.

    It is 16 days, 5 hours, 34 minutes and 6 seconds until Friday, September 12, 2008 at 9:00:00 AM (Los Angeles time)

  • yesitscal

    JDM, I’ll take your word on Hickey’s contract status if he sticks with the Kings to start the season. I was just thinking that JJ’s clock started when he played those five games at the end of the 2006-’07 season, but perhaps that was a different scenario since he was coming out of the collegiate ranks. Also, the Kings will have to have seven at least near-NHL caliber defensemen in order to dress that many and I just don’t see it right now barring a trade or a last-minute FA signing, but by now the pickings are pretty slim.

  • PowrrrPlay

    IMHO, Kings are holding a few roster spots open on “D”.

    And therefore Hickey is going to be given every opportunity to make the Kings this year. So, if Hickey ends up back with the Tbirds he only needs to evaluate where his game is and where it needs to be.


    PS. Doughty as well!

  • Ciccarelli


    What is your basis for saying the Kings let Andersen go? He was at the rookie camp this year.

    Braun may be another story, since some of his teammates were invited to camp, but he wasn’t there.

  • Quattro

    That sucks. It is ridiculous that 18-19 year olds can play in the NHL but not the AHL.

  • Anonymous

    Hickey is near the same size as Vishnovski, maybe Hickey is a tad bigger actually. A reasonable guess is that part of why Vishnovsky was let go was the Kings felt they needed to clear space for Hickey to play. Too many smallish defenders won’t work as for years we’ve watched bigger teams throw the puck in deep and just pound us down low. Big guys stay big. Small guys get tired.

    DL and Hextall both stated Hickey had a shot to make the Kings this year.

    Big or small, FYI, the Seattle t-bird fans rave about Hickey–say he is the best player their since Patrick Marleau. In the playoff series with Kelowna, who had Luke Schenn and Tyler myers, articles called Hickey the best player on the ice. Now Hickey got those accolages playing on a bad ankle with an injury so severe it required surgery once they did an MRI on it (Hickey didn’t let on how bad he was hurt so he could play in the playoffs; it was a knee to the head which knocked him unconscious which forced him out; he was going to play in manchester when Lombardi decided to get an MRI just to be safe and it showed the ankle tendon was severed/badly torn). Hickey looks two steps above his competition in the highlight films.

    Commentators in this year’s draft put Schenn as NHL ready. By those standards, the better player HIckey should also be near NHL ready. Assuming his ankle heals, Hickey is near ready for the NHL now.

    As for his size, Hickey’s not getting much bigger unless its excess fat. Moving Vish cleared space for a smaller puck moving defenseman.

  • -J

    “It will be a long time before they make that move because it’s a school first and they can make the decision to leave school if they want to. They can’t leave their signed contracts with with CHL teams”

    Not True. CHL players can leave, they just can’t go to other NA leagues (the AHL, ECHL, etc, etc) because of the NHL-CHL agreement. They have every right to go to a European league, and I won’t be surprised to see some of them end up in the KHL in the next few years (though I think most NHL teams would not like this to happen). There is no reason the NCAA can’t do the same thing- having this type of agreement doesn’t prevent a player from leaving school- it just says if you commit to playing NCAA hockey, that’s the only hockey you’re going to play for the next four years, unless you’re good enough to go to the NHL (and if you don’t like it, you have every right to go play somewhere else).

  • ryan oliver

    Well, who would be the 4 penalty killers?

    Johnson, Gauthier, Greene, Doughty?

    Last year was:
    Blake, Modry, Johnson, Stuart (for most of the year)

    I would take last years PK D over this years. In 2 years, hey, definetly the 4 we have now. Well, Gauthier will be replaced by Teubert. Plus, the PK was never that great under Hardy. But dont get me wrong, I’m happy with the direction, its just that this year will definatly be a bad one. Then, we can throw Hedman back on the point.

  • Jet

    JDM – Hickey would likely go up against other team’s 3rd and 4th lines. This means dump and smash for most teams. I think there is some down side to playing him 10 games in the NHL. Also, being a #4 he will have a target on his back anyway. Maybe it would be better to let his body mature for one more year?

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