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Teams can seek draft pick compensation for fired coaches, GMs, executives

The Bruins could ask for a draft pick in return if a team wants to hire fired GM Peter Chiarelli. Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

An update on a blog I wrote a few weeks back about team personnel compensation:

There has been confusion in NHL circles about where exactly fired coaches/executives fit into all this if they remain under contract.

The initial explanation I was given from someone in the know was that if a coach/executive was fired, even if still under contract, the team in question did not qualify for draft pick compensation from the team hiring the fired person. That was also what most team executives I had spoken with thought.

However, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who authored the memo on this, told ESPN.com Monday that for coaches, general managers or presidents of hockey operations who are fired but remain under contract, their teams are privy to draft pick compensation if they choose to pursue it.

But the team can also waive the draft pick compensation if it wants, Daly said.

The reason many teams would waive in most cases is they're more interested in getting the person who is under contract but no longer working for the team off the books. So why discourage a hire elsewhere.

Still, it certainly adds a new wrinkle to it all.

Let's take fired Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli as an example. He has three years left on his deal. As per Daly's interpretation of the rule, the Bruins do in fact have the right to draft pick compensation if they want it.

Now, you would think the Bruins wouldn't want to block any attempt by another team to hire Chiarelli since they owe him a salary for three more years. But the point is, they apparently could demand a pick if they wanted.

What's interesting about all this is that it runs counter to what many team executives believed was the original point of wanting to bring back compensation. One executive told ESPN.com Monday he had always thought the rule was just to protect, for example, a team like the Detroit Red Wings when they allow Steve Yzerman or Jim Nill to go elsewhere for better opportunities, not to try to squeeze a pick out of someone you fired.

Which is why this has the potential now to be very intriguing -- and potentially contentious -- moving forward. We shall see.