A little while back, we took a look at Joni Ortio’s status for this coming summer. Due to his age and National Hockey League experience, Ortio was likely to become a Group 6 free agent at the end of the season…unless he played a certain number of games of 30 minutes or more.
After last night’s game, Ortio has played enough games (26) to be a restricted free agent on July 1.
This would be Ortio’s 26th game. Even though CBA says 28 to keep him RFA, it can be 26 because lockout year is pro-rated. #Flames
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) March 16, 2016
We initially listed the number as 28 games, but our pal Pat Steinberg did some digging and discovered that the lockout year skewed the numbers a bit.
Here’s the math: Ortio’s presently in his fifth professional season. (His first two seasons were spent partially and then entirely in Finland’s SM-Liiga, but they count because his entry-level contract was active.)
The 28 game figure is based on five full NHL seasons for a player to get their games in, and that number represents roughly 6.8% of the available games. But with the 2012-13 season getting knocked down to 48 games due to the lockout, 6.8% of the available games shrinks from 28 to 25.6, 26 if you’re rounding.
Including last night’s game, Ortio has played 30+ minutes in:
- 2013-14: 8 games
- 2014-15: 5 games
- 2015-16: 13 games
So he’s definitely hit the 26-game threshold. If the Flames choose to qualify him, he’ll be a restricted free agent this summer.