Thread: News Article: Pronger's contract investigated
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08-01-2009, 05:06 PM
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From Tim P.:

Both the Pronger and Hossa deals were approved by the NHL before being filed, so this appears to be an attempt by the league to send a message to fellow clubs about further long-term signings in which teams attempt to “void” remaining cap hits on deals after a player turns 35 and may have retired.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly declined comment.

However, a league source told that the NHL wants to understand how the Pronger contract was negotiated. Were the “extra years” added simply for the purpose of lowering the AAV (average annual value) of Pronger’s deal?

Pronger will be 42 years old by the end of his contract. Various sources say the NHL seriously doubts Pronger will play to that age. So, as one source suggested, why did the Flyers sign him for that long unless they wanted to reduce their annual cap hit?

The NHL will ask an outside law firm to handle the investigation, ESPN reported.

Flyers team president Peter Luukko said in a statement:

"We firmly believe that we have complied with the CBA in every respect. We understand why the League would investigate a contract like this one, but again we are confident that we handled this one properly. We will refrain from discussing any particulars of the investigation as well as the contents of the contract."

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren also could not be reached for comment.

Curiously, the Flyers have already acknowledged that because Pronger will turn 35 before his seven-year contract extension begins, even if he were to retire before the terms expired, the club would still be subject to a $5 million annual cap hit.
So why is the NHL questioning the Pronger deal?

On the surface, it would appear as though the NHL will have a tough time arguing that the Flyers tried to circumvent the CBA, since they’ve already admitted they can’t void a cap hit in any remaining years in the deal if Pronger decided to retire early.

At some point, you can expect the NHLPA to weigh in on this issue, as well. If this is a scare tactic by the league against other clubs, it is equally a scare tactic to the players themselves – as to their rights regarding earning capacity during their prime years, versus the end of the careers, and so forth.

Last edited by MiamiScreamingEagles: 08-01-2009 at 05:15 PM.
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