Why A Tryout?

I had a couple Blue Jackets fans ask why CBJ forward Brandon Dubinsky was signed to a tryout agreement (PTO) by the Alaska Aces today. Why would he have to try out?

I spoke to their director of media relations and play-by-play voice,  the very genial Josh Bogorad, and here’s the answer he gave me:

“A PTO is a designation that can be given to any player in place of a contract for a limited time only.  Since ECHL contracts are not guaranteed (a player can be released and their contract voided at any time), there is no difference between a PTO and standard contract during training camp.

“However, per ECHL rules only a certain number of players can be signed to a contract at a given time, and Brandon needed to sign some type of agreement in order to legally be allowed to participate in training camp with us.  So for right now, since camp is already under way and we have our full quota of contracted players signed, he is signed to a PTO.”

It sounds likes this arrangement also allows Dubinsky and the Aces some flexibility, which is especially important with the uncertain nature of NHL labor negotiations.

And in case you’re curious, the Blue Jackets tell me Dubinsky doesn’t have to clear waivers to enter into this arrangement.

A huge thanks to Josh for all his time, and for allowing me to share his words verbatim. I kind of promised him I’d jump aboard his team’s bandwagon as a sign of appreciation, so I better get myself an Aces hat now.

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