Ilya Kovalchuk’s Rejected Contract: Solving the NHL Salary Circus

July 21st, 2010 by Zac Diodati Leave a reply »
Seventeen Years. It's a long time. Seventeen years can give us up to four different presidents, four world cups, and a birth, entire career, plus retirement for a Chinese olympic gymnast. The University of Georgia can even beat the University of Florida three times in football in that time span. It's an eternity. 

So why would an NHL franchise sign a player (with a reputation for poor work ethic) for seventeen years? Manipulation. 

The structure of the NHL's salary cap regulations have been completely abused by league owners and GMs this offseason, with Kovalchuk's $102 million deal being the most notable.

Two things make the contract (which has been rejected by the NHL) ridiculous: The front-loaded salary and the age at which Kovalchuk will complete it. The all-star Russian winger will be 44 in 2027, an age at which no athlete has ever (and will ever) be able to compete at a world class level. 

Not only has Kovalchuk already recorded nine seasons in his career, he's not exactly the best at his position. He's certainly been in the argument before, but conventional wisdom says that only Alex Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby are ...

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