Hockey Headlines

Monday, 9 August 2010

Back To The Market

It's now official, and Ilya Kovalchuk's seventeen-year contract has been rejected by the arbitrator, Mr. Richard Bloch, due the contract circumventing the salary cap rules. What worries everyone more is that Mr. Bloch also threw the contracts of Marian Hossa, Chris Pronger, Roberto Luongo, and Marc Savard into the mix, saying that these contracts also raise questions in terms of their setups. Obviously, this loophole will be a major point in the next CBA discussions between the NHL and the NHLPA, but, for now, the NHL holds the upper-hand based purely on common sense.

So as it stands, Ilya Kovalchuk is a free agent, the New Jersey Devils are without a bonafide hired gun who can shoot the lights out, and the NHL is back to some sort of sensibility. While I doubt that the contracts of the other men mentioned above will be terminated, it should provide some general managers with a thought when it comes to signing players to crazy terms and money.

While I don't doubt that Kovalchuk and the Devils will still reach a deal, it will just have to fit properly into the NHL's somewhat-defined rules now. As Mr. Bloch stated, "The overall structure of this (contract) reflects not so much the hope that Mr. Kovalchuk will be playing in those advanced years, but rather the expectation that he will not."

The precedent has been set, and now the line is clearly drawn in the sand. We might actually see some common sense become "common" once again.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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