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Old 08-09-2010, 06:01 PM   #1
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National Hockey League 2010-2011

Let's get this started on the hottest topic -

Arbitrator backs league's rejection of Devils/Kovalchuk contract.

I'm a HUGE Devils fan.

'm as surprised as any Devils fan about this. And I'm as pissed as all of you are.

I've been trying to find some sense to all of this, and the ONLY reason that I could PLAUSIBLY see as to why Bloch(head) ruled in favor of the league is the length of the contract. Any other reason I'd call bullshit on.

I do remember when Hossa and Pronger were signed the league investigated those signings and I think they pushed the envelope, but the Devils, we crossed the line. Do I think it's wrong? Yes. Do I think it's unfair? Of course. Do I think the league is out to keep the Devils down? No.

Getting my anger aside and trying to be realistic here, if anyone signed a 17-year contract in the same manner as Kovalchuk, I think the league would have done the exact same thing to that team.
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:57 PM   #2
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Sadly, I'm an Islander fan, but my buddy is a Devil fan. This is a horseshit decision.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:33 PM   #3
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Thank you. Seems like Devils and Islanders fans get along - we have the same mutual enemy - the flippin' Rangers!

First of all, this "spirit of the CBA" nonsense comment by Bloch should not count. Second, there was a great point made by some journalist that I think should lead to a lawsuit between the NHLPA and the league. He basically mentioned how the NHLPA refused to agree to a CBA with any kind of contract length limits, and that this was a deal-breaker. Effectively, this ruling allows the NHL to put any kind of artificial contract length limits they want simply by arguing with their catch-all clause.

In other words, back during the lockout, the NHLPA refused to sign a contract that had any kind of contract length limits. When the league gave in, that was a deal-breaker and the NHLPA signed the CBA.

With this rejection and ruling by the arbitrator, the league is basically, in effect, putting a limit on the contract length because it circumvents the “spirit of the CBA”, when that was the deal-breaker that allowed the NHLPA to sign the CBA, once the league removed the contract length limit.

And now they are investigating the other contracts (Luongo, Savard, Pronger, Hossa), to make them unofficial and have them become free agents, and if it turns out Hossa's contract is void and circumvents the CBA, then Bettman has the right to take the Stanley Cup away from the Blackhawks, since technically he wouldn't have been on the roster.

This whole thing is turning into a mess and I'm not sure who I'm madder at - Bettman, the league, or the owners.

Mark my words- there will be no season 2011-2012. The NHLPA will get that former MLB union head and the NHLPA will get strong again.
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:01 PM   #4
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With this rejection and ruling by the arbitrator, the league is basically, in effect, putting a limit on the contract length because it circumvents the “spirit of the CBA”, when that was the deal-breaker that allowed the NHLPA to sign the CBA, once the league removed the contract length limit.
Except the league is not arguing against the 17-year term of Kovy's deal, but rather the huge salary drop in the last 6 years which would then give the team a lower cap hit.
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:12 PM   #5
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And I'm as pissed as all of you are.
I'm not pissed about it at all, sorry. It was a bogus deal and I'm glad that it was rejected and that the arbitration case was won by the league.

My only criticism of the league is that it took them this long to start fighting against such contracts. But better late than never.

I'm an Islander fan as well, and while my dislike of the Rangers is stronger than that which I have for any other team, I have no love for the Devils at all.
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:28 PM   #6
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I'm an Islander fan as well, and while my dislike of the Rangers is stronger than that which I have for any other team, I have no love for the Devils at all.


You speak words of war, Islanders fan. I like the Islanders. It's on!
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:25 PM   #7
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Sadly, Islander fans have nothing to say to anyone about anything, since we haven't won a playoff series in 17 years.
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:51 PM   #8
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I'm not sorry that a certain team started that streak.
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:23 AM   #9
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i dont see how anyone can be pissed that the contract was voided

it was clearly a cap circumvention
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:07 AM   #10
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It wasn't clearly a cap circumvention. Bloch even stated in his ruling that the Devils didn't do anything wrong, but the intent was there.

So bassically from a legal standpoint they didn't circumvent the cap but from a practical standpoint they did.

So, what is it Bloch(head), are we looking at legalities or gut feelings? That's where I'm pissed because his report is contradicting in and of itself.

And NOW other contracts need to be investigated and if need be, made void and unregistered too.
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:14 AM   #11
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with no articles linked, what's the issue here?

is it the contract was massively backloaded/frontloaded?
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:14 AM   #12
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The Luongo, Hossa, Pronger and Savard contracts are being investigated per the arbitrator's rulings.

With the Hossa contract, if his contract is found to be cap circumvention, Bettman has the ability to take the Stanley Cup away from the Blackhawks since technically he shouldn't have been part of the roster.

I hate Bettman.

The league is the Empire.
Bettman is Darth Vader.
The NHLPA is the Rebellion.
The Devils are the main heroes.
Lou is Obi-Wan.
Darth Vader just struck down Obi-Wan.
And Boba Fett is the Bloch, the arbitrator. He joined the wrong side.

And now the evil empire is going after other rebel alliance members.

It's time to kick ass and blow-up their death star and get rid of Darth Bettman.
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:16 AM   #13
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with no articles linked, what's the issue here?

is it the contract was massively backloaded/frontloaded?

Report: NHL checking Luongo's deal among other contracts
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:11 AM   #14
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with no articles linked, what's the issue here?

is it the contract was massively backloaded/frontloaded?
It was massively front loaded.

The NHL's salary cap is as follows: each team has to reach a minimum of $43.4 million in salaries or a maximum of $59.4 million for the 2010-2011 season.

The cap hit, or the amount of a contract that counts against the cap, is the average salary over the life of that contract. So the cap hit for Kovalchuk's contract over 17 years was $6 million. However, he was slated to receive $95 million over the first 10 years of the contract and just $7 million over the last seven years.

Additionally, at 27 years old, Kovalchuk would be 44 when the contract expires. If he would decide to retire after age 35, then the New Jersey Devils would be off the hook for his salary AND the contract does not count against the cap.

The NHL says the Devils negotiated the contract in "bad faith", which in the CBA is grounds for nullification of contracts, and it's hard to argue against that.
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:21 AM   #15
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It was massively front loaded.
I agree it was massively front loaded. In that article I posted, Bloch states:

"Each of these players will be 40 or over at the end of the contract term and each contract includes dramatic divebacks," Bloch wrote in his ruling. "Pronger's annual salary, for example, drops from $4,000,000 to $525,000 at the point he is earning almost 97% of the total $34,450,000 salary.

"Roberto Luongo, with Vancouver, has a 12- year agreement that will end when he is 43. After averaging some $7,000,000 per year for the first nine years of the Agreement, Luongo will receive an average of about 1.2 million during his last 3 years, amounting to some 5.7% of the total compensation during that time period."

Frankly, it is consistent. if you're going to void Kovalchuk's contract, the investigation needs to happen on Pronger's and Luongo's front loaded contract. And to be fully consistent, these two contracts need to be voided for the same argument Kovalchuk's was since these were done as a way to get under the cap as well.

If they're not voided, then there is drastic inconsistent and unfairness being done to the Devils. All front loaded, all drop considerably in the last year, and all designed to get under the cap.

That being said though, I don't think these contracts should be voided, just like I think the arbitrator ruled incorrectly - legally they didn't circumvent the CBA, whether the gut feeling or the intent was there, they didn't LEGALLY do anything wrong.
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