In response to BigBadnBruin's comment:
In response to Bookboy007's comment:
All that said, I'll repeat the caveat above: I haven't been able to confirm whether they are subject to the EL cap or not, only that they have no RFA or other rights to use as leverage (and Crowls did that - credit where due).
Are you not entertained?!?!
Both players are the same age, and were drafted in the same year (2009). Why would they not be at the same stage of contract rights?
All sorts of reasons. Your contract rights are based on a whole pile of things - particularly, when did you sign your first pro contract, at what age, and how long for? You know how players who sign pro deals but then go back to junior don't burn a year of the contract if they play fewer than 10 games? Part of the same set of calculations. In both the case of both Smith and Krug, they signed at an older age than Tatar and then played fewer pro seasons under their deals. There's a minimum number of pro seasons (mix of AHL and NHL depending on when you first signed your SPC) you have to play to be considered an RFA. The NHLPA CBA is available on line - google it and then search for the EL provisions. Or just PM Crowls....