E.H.C. Alliance reacts to case of Chris DiDomenico’s transfer

E.H.C. Alliance reacts to case of Chris DiDomenico’s transfer

01 Mar 2017 | EHC Alliance Press Release
 

The Alliance of European Hockey Clubs (E.H.C.) reacts to the circumstances surrounding the transfer of forward Chris DiDomenico who left the SCL Langnau Tigers of the Swiss NLA league to sign with the NHL Ottawa Senators.

 
 
 
 

The SCL Tigers announced on Monday (27 Feb.) that the club felt that they had no other choice than reluctantly terminating the contract and thus releasing DiDomenico despite that the player was under contract with the Swiss club over the 2017-2018 season, meaning for this season and the next. The Ottawa Senators confirmed the signing on Tuesday (28 Feb).

According to SCL Tigers’ CEO Peter Müller, the player did not have any out-clause allowing him to sign with another club. It is the opinion of the Alliance of the European Hockey Clubs that this is an apparent case of non-honoring a valid and binding contract, violating the terms and conditions of the agreement and virtually forcing a termination upon the club, which furthermore is facing the most challenging part of the season, avoiding relegation from the NLA.

“After being pursued by the Ottawa Senators and having received an offer from them, while being under contract with us, the player told us outright that he no longer had any intentions to play for the SCL Tigers,” said Peter Müller. “We informed the player that we were not prepared to terminate the contract immediately, but suggested that we would release him as soon as the club had managed to qualify for next season’s NLA. As this was apparently not possible due to applicable transfer deadlines, we suggested to the player that he would at least stay until the end of the season. But the player’s conduct left us with no other option than terminating the contract.”

E.H.C. Alliance President Marc Lüthi:

“Purely from the legal standpoint, Chris DiDomenico became a free-agent the very moment the contract was terminated. With his free-agent status, the player was free to sign anywhere he wanted. But this is a broader issue were we from the European clubs’ perspective feel that there is a moral obligation from the player to honor his contract. It is clear, that once the player realized that he could sign with an NHL-club, he forced a termination by not respecting the very basics of an employment agreement which is to be loyal to the employer and act according to terms and conditions as laid out in the contract. From what we understand, the player’s conduct was not in the spirit of what he and the club agreed upon.”

“It is important for the sake of safeguarding the integrity of our game and the integrity of European club hockey, that we put regulations in place where the pursuing club’s conduct is under scrutiny. It is not likely that the player suddenly wanted to have his contract terminated. He chose to do so after he was contacted by another club, via his agent or directly. This is in our view an apparent case of tampering.”

“Together with the IIHF, NHL and NHLPA we want to discuss this issue to make sure that such cases can be avoided and also to review whether the SCL Tigers could have had other options than terminating the contract,” said Marc Lüthi.


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