The hockey world is a buzz with chatter of the Kovalchuk rejection and the impending (maybe?) investigations into other similiar contracts (Luongo, Pronger, Hossa, Savard, etc).
They make a lovely couple
This is typical of the NHL. If they ignored all the previous contracts, why suddenly try to correct your mistakes? There is a loop hole in the CBA. You let many teams and players exploit this loop hole with little more than a verbal warning and a "Hey guys that's not cool; you're being jerks!"
Admittedly, the Devils and Kovalchuk kind of slapped the NHL in the face with this one. Seventeen years? Perhaps that's a bit too long. It was the straw that broke the Bettman's back. Clearly he was sick of looking incompetent yet again and decided enough was enough.
The Bettman went to war.
Now the rumors are that the NHL is re-investigating the other contracts they let slip through and may void those. Favorite trade rumor subject Marc Savard's contract is one of those deals in question and if it is voided Chiarelli may be bailed out.
After the jump, we explore the NHL's stupidity and possible ramifications for the Bruins...
Bettman sucks. That is all.
So the NHL is apparently ready to jump in their time machine and right all the wrongs of contracts past!
As Ilya Kovalchuk watches his 17 year deal and his millions and millions of dollars float away, he probably begins to dream of the KHL and Devils fans begin to fall asleep as yet another season of nothing but boring trap hockey seems all but assured.
Side note: Zach Parise... come to Boston. We love you. We'll find a way to void your New Jersey contract!
We don't care about Luongo. Or Pronger. Or Hossa. But especially Pronger. Screw 'em. Void 'em all.
What makes this ruling interesting for us is the potential problems (or relief of problems depending on how you look at it) this brings for our beloved Bruins.
Savard's new seven-year, $28 million deal kicks in this season. Although the deal has a cap hit of about $4 million, Savard is paid $7 million the first two years of his deal and then less than $1 million the last two. At the press conference when Savard and the Bruins announced the new deal, Savard talked about how he fully intended to play out the entire seven years. But really, what else was he going to say? "Hahahahaha nice loop hole. Suck it Bettman!"?
Let's be honest. This deal is clearly structured to beat the salary cap. Not necessarily against the CBA based on how it is worded (depending on your interpretation). But the Kovalchuk rejection may have set a precedent for the NHL. Now perhaps they have a bit more ground to stand on. The NHL has finally found their balls and are fighting back.
If they void Savard's deal he's essentially a free agent. Rumors are swirling that the Bruins want to trade him and Savard is pissed his name keeps coming up. Losing Savard would certainly clear cap space, but would leave the Bruins a bit shorthanded offensively. Although after Game 7 rumors began surfacing that perhaps Savard wasn't well liked in the locker room after he refused to take responsibility for his miscue. Maybe if the deal is voided both sides get what they want.
But this is yet another case of the NHL showing why, under their current leadership, they'll remain a distant fourth in popularity among the major sports in the US.
The NHL is led by a leadership group that didn't have the balls to challenge these contracts when they first started cropping up and were finally forced to act when a deal with blatant disregard to the CBA was offered. Sure, much of the blame falls on New Jersey and Kovalchuk and his agent for negotiating this, but based on past actions they had to assume the NHL was going to play dead.
The NHL is a reactive league when it should be proactive. But instead they wait until problems slap them in their face then go get Bettman out of his swimming pool of money he doesn't deserve to yell at people. You know, right after he puts his stilts on so he can be just like normal people.
The NHL continues to make themselves look worse and worse. They can't get discipline right. They missed the boat on marketing Ryan Miller to American fans during the Olympics. And now they make themselves look like they're too intimidated to fight "bad" contracts until they have no other option.
So have fun on your trip Back to the Future Bettman while you and the other idiots try to make yourselves look good. It is too late buddy. I wish I was getting paid millions of dollars a year to be completely horrible at my job.