For Byfield and Kaliyev, the LA Kings should say no to the OHL

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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LA Kings Draft Quinton Byfield
(Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images) /

With the OHL expected to begin an abbreviated season soon, the LA Kings have a big decision to make regarding Quinton Byfield and Arthur Kaliyev. In fact, it is a really easy one.

Although not official just yet, it looks like the Ontario Hockey League will attempt to get a shortened season in which would begin soon. For draft prospects, this is great news, but for the LA Kings, it presents a bit of a conundrum.

Per an agreement between the National Hockey League and the Canadian Hockey League (the overall governing body of the Western Hockey League, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and the Ontario Hockey League), any player under the age of 20 that plays in one of these three leagues must either play in the NHL or CHL – they are not eligible for the American Hockey League. This agreement is in place to help the Canadian Hockey League remain viable by protecting its interests in its young stars. This agreement expires at the end of this season.

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While the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has been playing, and the Western Hockey League has recently begun as well, the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) remained dormant. This actually worked out for the LA Kings since the Ontario Hockey League was not operating. The CHL/NHL agreement was waived – allowing Quinton Byfield and Arthur Kaliyev to play for the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League. Otherwise, they would have had to return to their OHL teams since they are both under the age of twenty.

With the Ontario Hockey League return to play imminent, the LA Kings have two choices regarding Byfield and Kaliyev. They either have to send them back to the OHL or bring them up to the NHL. They can no longer play in the American Hockey League. The answer to what they should do is bring both up to Los Angeles, and here’s why.