Former Sarnia Sting Alex Galchenyuk celebrates his first NHL goal (Getty)One of the key differences in the way entry-level contracts work in the shortened 2013 National Hockey League season versus other years is the maximum number of games a junior-aged player can play before a year off of his deal is "burned". In most years, once a player hits ten games playing in the National Hockey League a year is taken off his three-year minimum first contract. Those years are valuable in a salary-capped league, oftentimes because rookies are a good way to get NHL-level talent for minor-league pay. The Philadelphia Flyers understood that after they brought in Sean Couturier right out of the QMJHL last season to play heavy defensive minutes for them in the 2011-12 season. This season, they've sent down Scott Laughton to the Oshawa Generals.
The previous limit was nine, but the current limit for this season is five. Laughton was cut by the Philadelphia Flyers after five games, no goals and no points, an "even" +/- and 11:31 of ice-time per game, mostly at even strength on a line with Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Wild cut defenceman Mathew Dumba after he was a healthy scratch for four games. That's likely all the best for Dumba, who has struggled for Red Deer this season and as a result didn't make Canada's World Junior squad after being selected No. 7 overall. Minnesota has a fairly young defensive corps so it could still be a tough lineup in the coming years. Red Deer have gone 2-4 in the absence of Dumba, but their playoff position is fairly secure at third place in the WHL's Central Division, hardly within striking distance of No. 1 Edmonton and No. 2 Calgary. Even shaky, they'll welcome Dumba's two-way physical play back to the lineup.Read More »from Scott Laughton and Mat Dumba returned to CHL clubs; which top prospects are left?