Ilya Kovalchuk: In Defense of Long Contracts

July 22nd, 2010 by AJ Basile Leave a reply »
On the surface, they are all ridiculous. Marian Hossa at 42? Henrik Zetterberg at 40? While recent contracts may make it look normal, few players are on the ice during their life's fourth decade.

Still, long term deals in the new NHL are becoming a trend—an often used loophole to keep cap hits down and top talent in town.

There is no doubt that these contracts can go wrong quickly. Just ask the New York Islanders. Rick DiPietro is having a hard time making it to the fifth year of his mega deal, never mind the 15th. Alexi Yashin was the definition of what can go wrong with a healthy player as he became complacent and ineffective.

The rejection of Ilya Kovalchuk's 17-year contract with the New Jersey Devils draws the line in the sand. GM's are now, we can assume, on notice. Obviously, the league believes that deals such as this that circumvent the cap hurt the game.

The thing is, they don't.

Let's begin by looking to the most popular league in the world, the NFL.

NFL teams have made a living off of cap circumvention by using performance bonuses to spread out cap hits over future seasons and minimize the curr ...

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