What was the calendar year on June 30 preceding the first season of his first NHL contract?
Filling out this field accurately is the most critical step in the waiver calculation. If this is inputted incorrectly, the result will be calculated incorrectly.
This field should not be confused with the year the contract was signed. For example, Justin Abdelkader signed his first NHL contract on April 4, 2008, with 2007-08 as the first season of that contract. The calendar year on June 30 preceding the 2007-08 season is 2007, so 2007 would be selected here. Conversely, Colton Gillies signed his first contract on March 31, 2008, with 2008-09 as the first season. The calendar year on June 30 preceding the 2008-09 season is 2008, so 2008 would be selected here.
Contracts signed between March 1 and the end of a league year are most problematic for filling out this field because the first season of the contract can either be the current season or the following season.
In the event of a contract slide, years that have slid count as the first season of the contract. For example, Thomas Hickey signed his first NHL contract on July 10, 2007, with 2007-08 to be its first season. But his contract slid twice and now runs from 2009-10 to 2011-12. Nonetheless, 2007-08 is counted as his first season for waiver purposes, and the calendar year on June 30 preceding the 2007-08 season is 2007, so 2007 would be selected here.
In roughly 80 percent of the cases, this is an easy field to fill out, and the year often ends up aligning with the year the contract was actually signed. If you aren't certain about this field for a specific player, email firstname.lastname@example.org.