Everyone’s rather concerned about the upcoming National Hockey League trade deadline around these parts, but the folks at Cap Friendly tweeted out something that raised a few eyebrows yesterday.
53 players are eligible to become Group 6 UFAs. Sabres lead with 6 players, followed by Sens and Panthers at 5. pic.twitter.com/RcPlAxSFSl
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) February 25, 2016
According to their data, Joni Ortio could become a Group 6 free agent at the end of this season. This revelation made us curious, so we did some digging in our favourite place: the CBA. All the details after the jump.
Ortio turns 25 years old on April 16, so he’ll be 25 when his contract expires. He’s in his fourth pro season under a standard player contract (SPC). He meets the age requirements.
After last night’s game, Ortio has played in 22 NHL games. However, he’s only played 30+ minutes in 18 games in the NHL (eight games in 2013-14, five games in 2014-15 and five games this season). In the other four games, he was used in relief twice or started and pulled twice and didn’t play 30 minutes. This means that Ortio has to probably go the distance in 10 of the remaining 22 games this season, or else he becomes a Group 6 free agent on July 1.
If he does meet the 28 games requirement, he’d be a Group 2 (restricted) free agent.
We caught up with Ortio following Calgary’s 2-1 overtime loss to the New York Islanders. When asked about whether there had been any discussions about how many games he’d get to play while up with the team or his contractual status (Group 6 vs. Group 2), he downplayed the whole thing.
“I know nothing about that,” said Ortio. “I didn’t even know about the Group 6 thing. That’s someone else’s problem. I’m just trying to stop the puck.”