Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The NHL rejected the Devils/Kovalchuk contract, determining that it was an effort to navigate around the salary cap. A player's cap number is determined by their average salary over the life of the contract. So Kovalchuk's 17 year, $102 million deal would result in a $6 million hit for the Devils. Not bad for a guy with 338 goals and 642 points in 621 games.

The problem is, $98.5 million of that deal was frontloaded into the first 11 years ($8.9 million per season). The remaining 6 years paid $550,000 a season, and served only to lower the overall cap hit. The idea was that Kovalchuk probably wouldn't be playing for $550k at that point. He'd either sign a new deal with the Devils, or with someone else, maybe even in the KHL. But the Devils would get a decade of production from Kovalchuk, and take a $6 million hit instead of a $9 million.

I'm glad the NHL stepped up and negated this deal. I think the NHL cap is too inflexible, with no wiggle room or exemptions for homegrown talent to stay with their original team. But this is the right thing for the NHL to do.

AP via Yahoo Sports

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