NHL: Ilya Kovalchuk and New Jersey Devils Are Damning the NHL To Hell

September 2nd, 2010 by Matt Hutter Leave a reply »
And here we sit.

After an entire summer of questions about Ilya Kovalchuk—where will he go? how much will he get, and for how long?—the circus appeared to be put to rest in late July when the New Jersey Devils announced they had signed the Russian sniper to a whopping, record-breaking, 17-year, $102 million contract.

While everyone was still trying to digest the very idea of such a ludicrous deal, the NHL immediately cried foul and informed the New Jersey Devils that they were not going to approve a deal that quite obviously circumvented the NHL's salary cap.

To say the deal was front-loaded is factual, but it doesn't capture the true audacity of the deal's structure.

The New Jersey Devils would have you, I, and the NHL believe that they planned to have Kovalchuk suit up until he was 44 years old and that, from age 39 on, he'd be playing for $550,000 per season.

Never mind the fact that $98.5 million of the proposed $102 million contract would be paid out within the first 11 years of the deal, this contract is totally on the up-and-up and filed in good faith (wink, wink).

The NHLPA promptly filed a ...

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