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Update: Jake Dotchin signs with the Anaheim Ducks and files grievance against the Lightning

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Without news of a signing, we found out through Dotchin being on waivers.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Minnesota Wild Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

An interesting thing occurred today at noon eastern time. Pierre LeBrun reported the waiver news of the day, which included Cory Conacher being placed on waivers by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The other interesting bit was that Jake Dotchin was also placed on waivers, but by the Anaheim Ducks. There was a collective “Hmm...” that went around the hockey world following that tweet.

It raised one big question. What happened to Dotchin’s grievance against the Lightning for terminating his contract? The circumstances around the termination of his contract have been kept quiet by official sources, but various reports indicated that conditioning was an issue. And the speculation was that it means conditioning has been an on-going issue for the defenseman for it to have risen to the level of being a material breach of contract.

Seeing that Dotchin has signed a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks though, that suggests something has changed, and perhaps he will not be pursuing his grievance against the Lightning organization. Or maybe he has agreed to a settlement with the team. He could also have decided that he was better off pursuing his career somewhere else rather than going through an appeal. If he had continued with the grievance and won his case, then his contract would have been restored and he would re-join the Lightning organization, but the situation would have been awkward, to say the least.

Eliotte Friedman has reported that Dotchin needs to clear waivers before he can join the Anaheim Ducks tomorrow.

We are unsure of the reasons why he would need waivers. In reviewing the Waivers portion of the NHL/NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement, there is only one provision I can find regarding players signed after the start of the regular season. In that provision, it states that a player signing after the start of the season requires waivers if that player played in a professional league outside of North America during the season. To the best of my knowledge, there have been no reports of Dotchin playing in Europe while waiting for his situation to be cleared. We’ll continue to monitor this situation and seek clarification on the issue to update when we know more.

Update

It appears that Dotchin has officially filed a grievance over his contract termination. This is to be expected as allowing the team to do this unchallenged would set a dangerous precedent from the perspective of the NHL Player’s Association. It’s unclear from the tweet exactly what the goal of the grievance is. Friedman specifically mentions “the difference” so maybe Dotchin is seeking the difference between his contract in Tampa and his contract in Anaheim, which would be $12,500. Whatever the case, news will likely continue to trickle out on this until the grievance is resolved and we’ll keep up as best we can.

Update #2

As of noon ET on October 18, Jake Dotchin is a San Diego Gull.