Thread: Confirmed with Link: Kovalchuk Deal Rejected
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07-20-2010, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Garbage Goal View Post
They're comparably in that they all are designed to circumvent the cap and keep a star player for the rest of their careers, but they're definitely not similar in the sense that they're two completely different beasts. All of the similarities are pretty loose similarities that don't really matter in this instance.
I mean, it's not that loose.

Kovalchuk earns like 95% of the contract prior to the 12th year (so, just shy of 2/3rd of the contract).

Hossa earns 93.6% of his 12 year contract after the 8th season.

That's VERY comparable if you ask me.

They can cite whatever they want I think, but I don't think that's what they have to present to an arbitrator. Even if its, then they still have very stable legs to stand on. Just by looking at the contract it's clear the Kovalchuk won't fulfill it and it's designed to circumvent the cap. The contract itself does half of the work.

It's not like the league would reject a contract and then not be prepared to make an argument about it either. They know what they're doing.

Whether they're arguing that it's cap circumvention or that Kovalchuk won't play out the contract or both of those things, I just don't see the NHL losing an arbitration case.
Eyeball test won't pass muster here before an arbitrator. The Devils have a very clear argument about precedent for these contracts. The NHL isn't going to be able to stand there and say "well, we just don't like these types of deals." Why, because then that makes this decision arbitrary after the previous ones they made. What they can argue is that specific aspects of this deal are problematic, the 550K v. league minimum is the most glaring problem, IMO.

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