With the signing of Filip Zadina comes a little more clarification (sort of) regarding Zadina’s non-NHL rights, per MLive’s Ansar Khan…
It remains to be seen where Zadina will play in 2018-19 if he doesn’t make the Red Wings roster.
The NHL has ruled that Zadina was on loan to Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League from his European club, Pardubice HC of the Czech Republic, according to agent Darren Ferris. That makes him eligible to play for the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins in 2018-19 if the Red Wings opt to send him there.
But Halifax might dispute that ruling in hopes of getting Zadina back next season, if he doesn’t earn a spot with the Red Wings. Halifax claims Zadina is a CHL player. CHL players with junior eligibility must return to their junior clubs if they’re not in the NHL.
And the Free Press’s Helene St. James:
Whether he can make the Wings as an 18-year-old will play out during exhibition season, but general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press that Zadina “is going to get a chance to make our team this season.”
In the meantime, there’s contention as to Zadina’s status: Zadina and the Wings believe he was loaned by his Czech club to his junior club, Halifax, which would make him an European-status player able to be sent to the AHL next season, while the Mooseheads have told the Wings Zadina was not a loan and therefore must go back to Halifax if he does not make the Detroit roster. The NHL is looking into that matter.
If it is determined to be a loan, it gives the Wings better flexibility. If Zadina does not look like he belongs in the top nine mix during exhibition season, they could send him to Grand Rapids to start his pro career with the Griffins, then call him back up as warranted. If not a loan, the Wings could look at him for nine games and then send him to Halifax. A longer audition is also possible, though then it burns the first year of his contract even if Zadina is sent to back to juniors after at any point.
The Athletic’s Craig Custance also provided some clarification:
First, here’s what we know about his contract. It’s a three-year, entry-level deal with full Class A bonuses, but no Class B bonuses, typical of a player drafted No. 6 overall. It also contains an out that allows him to play in Europe if he doesn’t make the NHL.
According to multiple sources, in doing this contract, the Red Wings got clarity from the NHL as to whether or not Zadina would have to go back to Halifax in the QMJHL if he doesn’t make the NHL this season. The Red Wings’ and Zadina camp’s stance is that he was on loan from his Czech team to Halifax, which would allow Detroit to send him to the AHL next season rather than back to the QMJHL.
The NHL, according to a source, received a document that was signed before the import draft which set out the terms of his agreement with Halifax — and states that it was only for the 2017-18 season. Prior to the import draft, Zadina had agreed with his Czech team that it would loan him for one year only to a North American junior league. The NHL also was provided a copy of the contract he signed in 2016 with the Czech team.
While this is a bit of a gray area, the NHL indicated that it was enough evidence to confirm the Red Wings’ belief that the AHL was an option for the 2018-19 season.
With that bit of clarity, the contract was finalized.
But even with the league’s backing, both sides aren’t ruling out a pushback from Halifax. Especially with the Mooseheads hosting the Memorial Cup in 2019.
“I think it’s a moot point anyway,” Zadina’s agent, Darren Ferris, told The Athletic. “I think he’ll remain with the big club.”